Year End Review
Year End Review: 2022 - Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
- 16 Jan 2023
- 11 min read
For Prelims: Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), INDIA @ CoP27, Circular Economy, TX2 International Award, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), Ramsar Convention, Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar Campaign
For Mains: Initiatives of MoEFCC.
Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)
- The concept of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) was introduced by Prime Minister of India at COP26 in Glasgow on 1st November 2021.
- The cover decision of UNFCCC COP27, titled the ‘Sharm Al Sheikh Implementation Plan’, notes the 'importance of transition to sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production for efforts to address climate change'.
Promoting Circular Economy - Waste-to-Wealth
- Circular Economy Action Plans for 10 waste categories (Lithium-ion batteries; E-waste; Toxic and hazardous industrial waste; Scrap metal (ferrous and non-ferrous); Tyre and Rubber; End of Life Vehicles; Gypsum, Used Oil, Solar Panels and Municipal Solid Waste have been finalized, and are under implementation.
- The MoEF&CC is the Nodal Ministry for Circular Economy Action Plan for Tyre and Rubber and stakeholder ministry in other CE Action Plans.
- Regulations on market based Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle have been notified for four categories of wastes i.e. plastic packaging waste, battery waste, e-waste and waste tyre.
- Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Waste Tyre
- Guidelines on EPR for Plastic Packaging
- Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022
- E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022
- The Waste-to-Wealth Mission/ Mission Circular Economy is bound to create new business models as well as new employment opportunities.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
- MoEF&CC has been implementing the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national-level strategy outlining the actions for reducing the levels of air pollution at city and regional scales in India.
- State Action Plans are under process and received from 10 States/ UTs so far.
- City Action Plans are prepared by cities for implementation of activities which assists in air quality improvement.
- MoEF&CC conducted regional workshops for sensitization, knowledge sharing and capacity building of the stakeholders such as a National Conference on VAYU in Odisha.
- MoEF&CC has also launched “PRANA” , a portal for monitoring and implementation of NCAP on the occasion of International day of clean air for blue skies.
- The Swachh Vayu Survekshan guidelines for Ranking of cities under NCAP has been issued to cities.
Efforts for Climate Action in India
- Cabinet has approved India’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution which is a step towards achieving India’s long-term goal of reaching net-zero by 2070.
- Approval of the Cabinet translates Prime Minister “Panchamrit” announced at COP-26 into enhanced climate targets and India is now committed to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030.
The Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC
- The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states, “All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
- India launched its long-term low carbon development strategy at the 27th session of Conference of Parties (COP-27) to the UNFCCC.
- With this release, India joins the select list of less than 60 parties that have submitted their LT-LEDS to UNFCCC.
- India’s approach is based on the following four key considerations that underpin its long-term low-carbon development strategy:
- India has contributed little to global warming.
- India’s historical contribution to cumulative global GHG emissions is therefore minuscule despite having a share of ~17% of the world’s population.
- India is committed to pursuing low-carbon strategies for development and is actively pursuing them, as per national circumstances.
- India needs to build climate resilience.
- The LT-LEDS aims to go beyond India’s climate targets or the nationally determined contributions (NDC) of achieving 50% of India’s cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.
- India’s LT-LEDS rests on seven key transitions to low-carbon development pathways.
- These include electricity systems, transport systems, urbanization, industrial systems, CO2 removal, forestry, economic and financial aspects of low carbon development.
Cheetah Introduction in India
- The last cheetahs in the Indian wilderness were recorded in 1947.
- The main reasons for the extinction of cheetahs in India were large scale capture of animals from the wild for coursing, bounty and sport hunting.
- The reason for the decline of the cheetah is extensive habitat conversion along with consequent decline in prey base.
- Cheetahs were declared as extinct by the government in 1952.
- The Government of India initiated G2G consultative meetings with the Republic of Namibia which culminated in the signing of MoU between the two countries for cheetah conservation.
- Eight cheetahs were translocated from Namibia to India (Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh).
India establishes Asia’s largest Ramsar Sites network
- India added ten wetlands to the List of Wetlands of International Importance (also called Ramsar Sites) within the framework of the Ramsar Convention.
- Taking the total number of Ramsar Sites in India to an incredible 75, the highest in Asia.
- India ratified the Ramsar Convention in 1982.
- Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan and Chilika in Odisha were the first two sites to be placed on the Ramsar List by the Government of India.
- Ramsar Site designation has received a significant policy push from the MoEFCC.
- The network of Indian Ramsar Sites currently covers 1.33 million ha, which is approximately 8% of the known wetland extent of the country.
- Ramsar Sites form an international network of wetlands which are important for conserving global biological diversity and sustaining human lives through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and services.
- Ramsar Sites are one of the three pillars of the Ramsar Convention, the other two being working towards the wise use of wetlands and cooperating internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetlands and shared species.
- Since 1986, the MoEFCC has been implementing a national scheme known as the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems to assist state governments in preparing and implementing integrated management plans for Ramsar sites and other priority wetlands.
- Ramsar sites receive legal protection under Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. Each Ramsar site needs to have a management plan which outlines the pathway to wise use.
- In June 2022, the Ministry also formulated the ‘Sahbhagita Guidelines’ outlining an “all of society” approach and governance framework for wetlands conservation in the country.
Ban on identified Single Use Plastics and Plastic Waste Management
- India has taken resolute steps to reflect its commitment to eliminate single use plastics that are not biodegradable and have an adverse impact on the environment. The strategy has two pillars:
- Ban on single use plastic items which have high littering potential and low utility,
- Implementation of extended producer responsibility on plastic packaging.
- Thickness of Plastic carry bags increased to 120 micrometers.
- To develop alternatives to single use plastics “India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021” was organized by the Ministry.
- A completely biodegradable alternative to thermocol from paddy straw waste (Parali) has been developed. This innovation will use Parali and also replace thermocol.
- Prakriti- Messenger of the Earth was launched as a mascot of sustainability and protection of the environment to spread awareness amongst the general public.
- Puneet Sagar and Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar Campaign have showcased the importance of collective action in maintaining clean beaches and coasts.
TX2 International Award to Tiger Reserves of India
- The TX2 - a Tiger Conservation Excellence award is organized by a consortium of international organizations namely the Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS), Fauna & Flora International, Global Tiger Forum, IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme, Panthera, UNDP Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative.
- The award is given to tiger reserves that have made significant progress towards doubling the tiger number since 2010.
- In 2010, the ambitious goal of doubling wild tiger number by 2022 was set by the 13 tiger range countries.
- The tiger reserves/ tiger conservation sites of range countries can submit the applications for TX2 awards.
- From India, in 2020, the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh won the TX2 award and the Manas Tiger Reserve, Assam was selected for Conservation Excellence award for the transboundary conservation partnership.
- The TX2 award for the year 2021 was bagged by the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.