Wildlife Institute of India Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

NGT asks centre to prepare plan for protection of Great Indian Bustard

A National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed Central government to prepare a time-bound action plan within two months for protection of Great Indian Bustard. This decision is in response to the high mortality rate of birds noted by NGT.

Key Highlights

Committee: NGT Bench headed by Justice A K Goel constituted a joint committee comprising officials of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and nominees of Energy Departments of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The committee was tasked to prepare an action plan for implementation of suggestions put forth by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) over the isuue.

Plea:  NGT was hearing a plea filed by Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL), through advocate Gaurav Bansal, seeking directions to ministry to make bio-diversity impact assessment mandatory for every wind-power project, irrespective of its size/capacity. Plea stated that the reason for high mortality rate of critically endangered species of birds as per 30th Forest Advisory Committee meeting is power lines, especially high-voltage transmission lines with multiple overhead wires as the bird have poor frontal vision. It put forth that 75% of birds have died due to collision with power lines in past 30 years.

Environment Ministry also acknowledged that adult mortality among GIB is still very high due to collisions with power-lines that crisscross their flying paths.

WII Report Recommendations:

It suggested a slew of measures, such as mitigation of all power transmission lines passing through priority bustard habitats and disallowing new wind turbines, solar farms among others.

Steps should be taken to reduce poaching of specie and other wildlife in Thar landscape.

Poaching of GIB and other wildlife in Thar landscape could be reduced by improving protection enforcement through training of forest department frontline staff in smart patrolling tools with help of conservation organisations.

About Great Indian bustard

Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps

Population: 200 individuals worldwide. Its largest populations are found in Indian state of Rajasthan.

Status: It is Listed in-

  • Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972,
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or Bonn Convention
  • Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
  • IUCN Red List- as Critically Endangered
  • National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016)

It has also been identified as one of the species for recovery programme under Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

SC clears Chardham highway project connecting 4 holy places in Uttarakhand

Supreme Court has cleared decks for Chardham highway project, which will connect four holy places of Uttarakhand through 900 km all-weather roads. The apex court had also directed Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to form high-powered committee by 22 August 2019 so as to look into environmental concerns.

High-Powered Committee

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Surya Kant modified an earlier order of National Green Tribunal by constituting a fresh high-powered committee to look into environmental concern.

Supreme Court added representatives from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Physical Research Laboratory under government’s space department and Ministry of Defence to new high powered committee and asked committee to submit its recommendations within 4 months.

As per SC, committee shall hold quarterly meetings thereafter to ensure compliance and may suggest any further measure after each review meeting.

It shall consider cumulative and independent impact of Chardham project on entire Himalayan valleys.

Committee will also suggest areas in which afforestation should be taken and kind of saplings to be planted. SC directed that in case of non-survival of any sapling, further plantation should be done and compensatory afforestation should be 10 times number of trees cut.

About Char Dham Highway

It is a proposed two-lane (in each direction) express National Highway in state of Uttarakhand.  The two lane highway will have a minimum width of 10 metre.

The proposed Char Dham Expressway National Highway project will connect 4 holy places in Uttarakhand states viz.- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri

Project includes 900 km national highways which will connect whole of Uttarakhand state.