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Year End Review 2019: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

  • 26 Mar 2020
  • 9 min read

Important Schemes and Policies

Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019

  • India scored 62.93 and ranked 11th in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
  • Published by: German watch, CAN International and the New Climate Institute.
  • The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU.
  • In 2019 index, no country performed well enough to reach the ranking very good, meaning that no country has yet made it to one of the top three places in the rankings.
  • However, Sweden leads the ranking, followed by Morocco and Lithuania.

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

  • It was launched in January 2019.
  • The Central government launched a five-year action plan with a tentative target of 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024, with 2017 as the base year.
    • Unlike earlier initiatives which focussed largely on the national capital region, this is a comprehensive pan-India air pollution abatement scheme for 102 cities which were identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.

Fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

  • It was held in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Theme of UNEA-4: ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.
  • Two resolutions adopted related to Single-use Plastics and Sustainable Nitrogen management.
  • UNEP also released 6th edition of the Global Environment Outlook Report (GEO).
    • It outlines the current state of the environment illustrates possible future environmental trends and analyses the effectiveness of policies.

India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)

  • Launched in March 2019.
  • Reducing cooling demand by 20-25% and refrigeration demand by 25-30% by the year 2037 are the goals of this plan.
  • Cooling requirement is cross-sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries.

Bharat Standard IV to Bharat Standard VI

  • The country has leapfrogged from Bharat Standard (BS) IV to Bharat Standard VI for vehicle emission norms and from 1st April 2020, vehicles will be BS-VI compliant.

Conservation Programmes

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

  • Was launched in February 2019. The Asiatic Lion endemic to Gir landscape of Gujarat, is one of the 21 critically endangered species identified by the Ministry for taking up recovery programmes.

National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment

All India Tiger Estimation - 2018

  • Results of the fourth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation - 2018 were released on International Tiger Day (July 29), 2019.
  • According to this census, the count of tigers in India has risen to 2967 from 2,226 in 2014.

India State of Forest Report (ISFR)

  • The biennial report India State of Forest Report (ISFR), 2019 was released.
  • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56% of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover.
  • The top five States (UT) in terms of increase in forest cover: Karnataka>Andhra Pradesh>Kerala>Jammu & Kashmir>Himachal Pradesh.


  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, (CAMPA Funds) were handed over to various states.
  • The fund will be utilised for the Compensatory Afforestation, Catchment Area Treatment, Wildlife Management, Assisted Natural Regeneration, Forest Fire Prevention and Control Operations, Soil and Moisture Conservation Works in the forest, Improvement of Wildlife Habitat, Management of Biological Diversity and Biological Resources, Research in Forestry and Monitoring of CAMPA works etc.
  • Compensatory afforestation means that every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the user agency pays for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.


  • World Environment Day is observed on the 5th of June every year for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
  • Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

Important Legislations

  • The Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 were amended.
  • The amendment has been done keeping into consideration the “Ease of Doing Business” and boosting “Make in India” initiative by simplifying the procedures under the Rules, while at the same time upholding the principles of sustainable development and ensuring minimal impact on the environment.

Important Conventions

UN Convention to Combat Desertification

  • India hosted the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 2-13 September 2019 at Greater Noida.
  • This was the first time that India hosted an edition of the UNCCD COP.
  • The theme of the Conference was ‘Restore land, Sustain future’.
  • India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from twenty-one million hectares to twenty-six million hectares between now and 2030.
  • India has proposed to set up a global technical support institute for the member countries of the UNCCD for their capacity building and support regarding the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Program.

Climate Action Summit

  • It was held in New York in September 2019.
  • It was hosted by the UN Secretary.
  • It had the key focus on raising ambition and accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement.
  • India will increase renewable energy capacity to beyond 175 GW (capacity as committed under the Paris Climate Agreement) by 2022, and will further take it to 450 GW.
  • The Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, an international partnership that will support countries- developed and developing- to build climate and disaster-resilient infrastructure was also launched.

Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC

Key Issues

  • The summit passed the declaration calling on countries to improve their current pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It also endorsed to help poor countries that are suffering the effects of climate change, although any new funds were not allocated for the purpose.
  • It called on the “urgent need” to cut planet-heating greenhouse gases in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
  • The Summit couldn’t reach a final agreement on Carbon markets and on the definition and composition of Climate finances.
  • At COP25, India also called upon more countries to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to meet the growing energy requirement, even as it acknowledged the phenomenal progress made by the Alliance and the growing solar energy capabilities the world over.
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