Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change Current Affairs - 2019

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#SelfiewithSapling campaign: launched by Environment Minister

On the eve of World Environment Day, Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a people’s campaign called #SelfiewithSapling, urging people to advocate the cause on social media.

Key Highlights about Campaign

  • Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar urged all people to join the campaign and plant a sapling and post selfie with the planted sapling on social media.
  • He also stressed that ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (means Peoples Participation) is integral towards tackling environmental issues and environment protection has to be a people’s movement for achieving success in domain.
  • He also informed that on occasion of World Environment Day (celebrated on 5 June) he along with Kapil Dev (renowned cricketer) and Jackie Shroff (bollywood actor) will plant sapling in premises of Paryavaran Bhawan (India’s first on site net zero building) in New Delhi.
  • Significance: Such initiatives are needed so as to create a carbon sink. Also environmental concerns cannot be addressed solely by government and has to be a people’s programme.

Other Initiatives

  • Hawa Aane De: Recently, the Environment ministry released a music video for World Environment Day 2019′s theme of “Air Pollution”, song is titled “Hawa Aane De”.
  • NCAP: In January 2019, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched by Centre government with aim to reduce air pollution by 2024. According to environment ministry, the committee formed under NCAP has drawn up an action plan for 84 of 102 non-attainment cities, i.e. cities that do not meet the National Air Quality Standard (NAQS) identified under programme.

3 June: World Bicycle Day celebrated

The World Bicycle Day was globally celebrated on 3 June 2019 by organising group rides on the event to popularize the use of bicycles in daily life.

Background

  • In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 3 June as World Bicycle Day to observe the day as a celebration of “uniqueness, longevity, and versatility” of the bicycle. Professor Leszek Sibilski of Montgomery College, Maryland, United States with his Sociology class petitioned for the bicycle to have its own day and to recognize all its good qualities.
  • Professor Sibilski and his class then led a grassroots campaign to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day which used social media to spread word globally and nominated 3 of June to mark as World Bicycle Day. The campaign eventually gained the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries and was finally materialized in 2018, when the UN declared it a world holiday.

Significance

  • The day highlights bicycle as an affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation also as they do not produce any air-borne pollutants, fumes, greenhouse gases and even reduce countries carbon footprints
  • Amsterdam leads the number with 40% of all its commuters use a bicycle to go to work.

Celebrations Worldwide

  • In an effort to bring bicycle and cycling habit back in fashion, the World Bicycle Day event in New York, saw the participation of various countries including Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Canada and even India’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Syed Akbaruddin and his team.
  • In 2018, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, and then Minister for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, , inaugurated the adoption of bike sharing system in the core area of New Delhi
  • Also days ahead of World Bicycle Day celebration in 2018, Bengaluru appointed its first ever ‘Bicycle Mayor‘ the first of its kind in India, Satya Shankaran.