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EIA Draft Amendment 2020 Changes: Last Date Extended to 30th June

29 May 2020

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Extended till 30th June finally! Environmental Impact Assessment Amendment Draft Notification 2020, suggestions, objections, changes can now be submitted by public to the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC).

What is EIA & its Amendment?
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.
The latest draft of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020 is going to replace the EIA notification 2006 that regulates the environment clearance given by the national government for projects such as dams, mining, thermal power plants, infrastructure projects like highways, ports, airport and big construction projects. This is why it’s important. There’s should be stringent environmental clearance & pollution checks for such type of projects which can pose danger to nature, forests and biodiversity. The draft EIA 2020 has come under criticism from environmentalists and activists. EIA Notification 2020 is will change India’s environmental regulatory regime to the detriment of the environment and to the lives and livelihoods of people dependent on the ecosystem.

Why the Extension?

The ministry issued the amendment on March 12, 2020, and the time period was to expire on 11th may, in 60days, however this attracted lots of individuals, communities, environment activist , NGO’s & organizations criticize the step. It was because of the lockdown due to pandemic corona which made it difficult to give a right discussion and public opinion to the said draft. A decision like EIA amendment will have a long term impact on counties policies on Environment, which should be deemed as top priority by all.

An excerpt from the document issued by MoEFCC
Any person interested in making any objections or suggestions on the proposal contained in the draft notification may forward the same in writing for consideration of the Central Government within the period so specified to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh Road, Aliganj, New Delhi110 003, or send it to the e-mail address at eia2020-moefcc@gov.in. Read the whole document here: http://environmentclearance.nic.in/write…/Draft_EIA_2020.pdf
#SaveEIA #EIAForGreenIndia

Environment Performance Index for Countries to be Realeased on 4th June, 2020

28th May 2020

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Shocking!!! India ranked 177 among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) – 2018. Why we are discussing this now? Well the EPI 2020, report will be soon out on June 4, 2020 & we will know whether we improved or not.

The countries which badly fared and remained at bottom 5 along with India were Nepal, Congo, Bangladesh and Burundi. India’s rankings plummeted 36 points from 141 in 2016. This should worry us & the Indian policy makers too. See the report here: https://epi.envirocenter.yale.edu/epi-country-report/IND

High rank in the EPI shows long-standing commitments to protecting public health, preserving natural resources and decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from economic activity. The EPI is the global metrics to measure performance of the countries in environment health policy. In the 2018 EPI, 24 indicators were grouped within 10 issue categories:
Air Quality,
Water & Sanitation,
Heavy Metals (lead exposure),
Biodiversity & Habitat,
Forests (tree cover loss),
Fisheries,
Climate & Energy (CO2, Methane and Black Carbon Emissions),
Air Pollution (SO2 and NOx emission),
Water Resources (wastewater treatment), and
Agriculture (sustainable).
A country’s EPI score can be dis-aggregated to levels of the policy objectives or the issue categories, allowing performance to be tracked at different levels. This index has been developed by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. It is really sad that a mega bio-diverse country which owes its roots to nature & worships it fared as fourth worst country worldwide in curbing environmental pollution. Is it not an alarming situation, to raise concerns strong and clear for the strict amendments in EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) and implementation of environmental laws that will pave a green sustainable future for the country.

Forest Fires in Uttarakhand 

26th May 2020

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Uttarakhand is burning for past 4 days due to #forestfires. There’s a big threat posed to wildlife biodiversity in the state with rise in temperatures causing fires & increased number of incidents. Climate Change with rising temperature is one of the major factor that has resulted in half of the increase in wildfires in the forest around the world. The fires in past decades have been intensified and also the rain fall has been decreasing during the peak summers. The fires during years of 80s were very less as compared to recent times. We have already seen Amazon forest & Australian forest reeling under uncontrolled fires recently. The loss of flora and fauna because of the forest fires is really sad.

We need to implement stringent environmental impact assessment in India, to control environmental & nature damages done in name of development. A little act can help us to preserve the biodiversity of our megadiverse nation. Throughout the world there are various organizations trying to fix the Earth and restore it. We humans need to understand the importance of our choices and love towards nature

The Locust Invasion is Here, and Its Bad

23rd May 2020

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Massive #LocustAttack #LocustInvasion in 25 years hits India. Blame it to #ClimateChange in the world! At a time when India is battling Covid, they present a new worry with their potential for exponential growth and enormous crop destruction.

Intensified storms & heavy rains help these pests to breed out of proportion. These deadly grasshoppers travel far from East Africa to India, and gobble up all green vegetation that come in their way. Our farmers livelihoods on stake, especially in mainly in Rajasthan & Gujarat and also in states of Punjab, Haryana & Madhya pradesh. During the current year, the swarm of locusts has entered India earlier than their normal time of June and July.States are adopting various means for controlling the swarms including heavy equipment's & drones.

Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) are a direct threat to the food security of a country. In favorable conditions, a locust swarm can cover an area from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres.As mentioned in a report published in The Hindu, a swarm of desert locust containing around 40 million locusts can consume (or destroy) food that would suffice the hunger need of 35,000 people, assuming that one person consumes around 2.3 kg of food every day.

As we said, climate change is to mostly blame for the locust outbreak. These impacts are linked to the “Indian Ocean Dipole”, a climate system that affects weather from East Africa to western Australia.In their “solitary” form locust are brown in colour and relatively harmless to crops. But, under certain conditions, the insects can switch into a “gregarious form” – turning electric yellow and displaying swarming behaviour. Many cyclones caused these insects to breed and then their gregarious form triggered the migratory swarms. We need to find a way to settle down Earth's Environment. The warnings have been plenty till corona showed up. If we still continue to exploit Earth, cause climate change & harm biodiversity Humans will get extinct earlier than predicted.

Celebrate Biodiversity & Conserve it. Biodiversity Day is Today!

22 May 2020

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India is a megadiverse country with only 2.4% of the world's land area, accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, including species of plants and species of animals. India is known for its rich heritage of Biological diversity, having already documented over 91,000 species of animals and 45,500 species of plants in its 10 biogeographic regions .Biodiversity is not distributed evenly across the globe. Certain countries, lying mostly in the tropics, are characterised by high species richness and more number of endemic species-called Mega diversity nations About 19 countries/Nations belongs to this category as on today.

The country is also one of the 12 primary centres of origin of cultivated plants and domesticated animals. It is considered to be the homeland of 167 important plant species of cereals, millets, fruits, condiments, vegetables, pulses, fibre crops and oilseeds, and 114 breeds of domesticated animals.The country is also one of the 12 primary centres of origin of cultivated plants and domesticated animals. It is considered to be the homeland of 167 important plant species of cereals, millets, fruits, condiments, vegetables, pulses, fibre crops and oilseeds, and 114 breeds of domesticated animals.

Let's support the World Environment Day Biodiversity Campaign 2020 " Love Nature" by Initiative Earth, in line with UNEP's theme this year.

Intensified Cyclones like Amphan are Linked to Climate Change

May 20 2020

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#ClimateChange is Real! It is Causing Tropical Cyclones & Hurricanes to Intensify! Right now in India #CycloneAmphan made a landfall on Odisha & West Bengal.

The cyclone is being termed as the most furious super cyclone and both the states are reeling under the storm. Scientists are worried about the increase in greenhouse gases as there are plenty of research that relates to the increase in spread and no and severity of cyclones or hurricanes. Rising sea level, warmer sea temperatures, also air pollution may have adverse effect on climate which can further cause very severe tropical cyclones. We are all going through the pandemic and now this cyclone is causing much destruction and pain. Nature's fury is on raise each passing day and we should know that everything is directly or indirectly connected to exploitation of nature by humans.

Prayers & strength to all! Stay Safe

Dehing Patkai : The Amazon of the East is in Danger

20th May 2020

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Raise your voice to save Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve which is the largest rain forest in India.
Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/chief-minister-of-assam-stopping-o…
Let’s stand together with solidarity for #SaveDehingPatkai.

The industrial pollution of coal mines, oil refineries, gas drilling, are affecting the rare biodiversity of the region. The Dehing Patkai is rightly called the Amazon of the East.

We should urge to stop any current and future coal mining project in Saleki and the whole of Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve. There are many threatened and endangered species which reside there. The animals included hoolock gibbon, slow loris , pig - tailed macaque , stump-tailed macaque, capped langur, Indian leopard , Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, gaur, Chinese pangolin, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan squirrel, leopard cat, clouded leopard, porcupine, crab-eating mongoose, sambar, sun bear, binturong, barking deer, golden cat, and marbled cat. The Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve hosts around 293 different species of birds as well. Among the common reptiles found here are the rock python, king cobra, Asian leaf turtle, and monitor lizard. Moreover, as many as 30 species of butterflies and over 100 species of orchids thrive in this beautiful tropical vegetation.
Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam and covers an area of 111.19 km2 (42.93 sq mi) rainforest. The tropical wet evergreen forest consists of three parts: Jeypore, upper Dihing River, and Dirok rainforest. It was declared a sanctuary on 13 June 2004. This sanctuary is also a part of the Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve. The rainforest stretches for more than 575 km2 (222 sq mi) in the districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, and Sivasagar.

Following the recent move of the approval of coal mining, the environmentalists, civil societies and student communities have vehemently opposed the decision to approve the coal mining site in the area. Earth’s biodiversity is already under threat by human activities and if we keep exploiting what is left we will wipe out all species in future. May 22 is biodiversity day, lets love, protect & nurture Earth & Save our Biodiversity.

Vizag LG Polymers Factoy had No Environmental Clearance 

18th May 2020

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The Vizag Gas Tragedy has left us shocked. As per media reports the Polymer factory was running illegally without the important Environmental Clearance (EC) (Environmental Impact Assessment) from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) .The poor operations & maintenance during lockdown must have led to the explosion and release of styrene gas. The company LG Polymers India Pvt was established in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers Pvt Ltd. Taken over by LG Chem (South Korea), Hindustan Polymers was renamed as LG Polymers India Private Limited (LGPI) in July, 1997. It has increased its operations and area in 2004 and it was mandatory to get the nod from the authorities to continue production. Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board APPCB consent was given to the unit even when the Impact assessment was not completed in 2017. We need to determine the underlying issues that cause such industrial negligence. Visakhapatnam gas leak highlights the need for industries to be extra cautious.
There were three Industrial Accidents on May 7.
Polymer Factory Gas Leak, Vizag, Andhra Pradesh- 11 Dead, 350 Hospitalized, approx. 3000 people affected
Paper Mill Gas Leak, Raigadh , Chattisgarh-8 Injured
NLC India Limited’s thermal power station 2 Boiler Blast at Neyveli, Tamil Nadu-7 Injured

What is styrene & gas effects?
Styrene is an organic material used for insulation in buildings, also used to make fiberglass, plastic pipes, automobile parts, carpet backing, drinking cups and other “food-use”. Styrene causes irritation of lungs, the eyes, and the mouth. It affects the brain causing lethargy & confusion. Long terms effects may cause damage to the liver and the reproductive system.

Actions after the Gas Leak
The National Green Tribunal NGT has issued notices to APPCB, district magistrate of Vishakhapatnam, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), MoEF&CC and LG Polymers India Pvt Limited for their response on the accident. Andhra Pradesh High Court took cognizance of the styrene gas leak and issued notices to the state and the Central governments, while observing how such a plant was allowed to operate in the midst of human habitations. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday, initiated a five member expert committee to inquire into the gas leak incident. Andhra CM announced compensation of ₹1 crore for families of deceased. Union environment ministry and state pollution control boards issued separate directives to all companies to take precautions while restarting. In a recent development the NGT has fined an amount of 50 crores to LG polymer.

How can this be averted?
We should ponder some thoughts why there are no strict measures and checks to the compliance of rules and regulations which should be implied to such units. The loop holes by the authorities and government on such units cause such tragedies and we come to know the tragic news. These tragedies can be averted at very first place. There should be stringent check for clearance of any industrial project and there should be clear guidelines to adherence to safety measure on unit’s day-to-day operation.

What can we do?
We Indians should understand the basics of Environmental Rules & Regulations and abide them. Also we should be capable enough to raise our voices on not only on humanitarian issues but environmental issues loud and clear. Involvement of masses and pressure on authorities will avert such tragedies. The environmental concerns such as hasty land clearances for industrial development, deforestation & wiping out of green areas in the name of development will have direct impact on the environment & green area of the country. The Central & State Governments, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) also apex bodies like Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), and National Green Tribunal play an important role to consider environmental threats that may lead to upcoming human crisis, also depletion in biodiversity. The impact of Bhopal gas tragedy still exist in after many generations.
Don’t forget these deeper environmental issues will only wipe the humans from earth one day. If we don’t act now climate change, pollution, pandemics will make our lives more miserable in coming future. Stay informed and lets work together to spread awareness about the environmental concerns in people.

Cleaner Yamuna & No Insect Invasion on Taj Mahal this Year

16th May 2020

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For the first time in 5 years, Tajmahal had no invasions of swarms of insects that damage it during this season. Reason: The Yamuna is cleaner, which earlier was so polluted that it became the breeding ground for Goeldichironomus insects.These insects use to poop causing black stains on the marble which needed special continuous treatments for removal to restore Taj’s beauty. This happened only because, the water of river Yamuna is now less polluted as the industrial activities have come to a halt. Once the lockdown is over will everything be same as before. We need to restore what is left by making crucial decisions for environment. Join the revolution Initiative Earth to raise your voice for the Earth.
We all know that Taj is located on banks of river Yamuna and dirty water for past several decades have had very adverse effects on the beauty of the monument. Taj makes us all Indians so proud, it’s a sheer beauty and also it represents our country on global platforms. Our holy rivers are our lifelines and their waters feed our lands but humans for their greed have really messed up the balance of nature by polluting them more than they can take,
Till now, we have seen many such evidences in India itself where reduced pollution have changed the air quality of cities and water quality of rivers flowing through them. We had some rare sights of Mt Everest from a Sitamarhi, Bihar, Kanchenjunga from Siliguri, Asam, Dhauladhar Range from Jalandhar, Punjab and Gangotri Range from Saharanpur, UP. Also there have been reports of sights of dolphin in Ganga, Yamuna and near Mumbai beach. The water in Rishikesh became drinkable during Lockdown. Moreover, wildlife also got a respite. Endangered Olive Ridley turtles were found Day Nesting in Odisha after decades, also there were reports of bumper hatch from other coasts of India. Thousands of Flamingos flocked at Navi Mumbai creek amid lockdown. There are several other examples. Nature has got a break from Humans after a long time and the effects are visible. Once the lockdown is over will everything be same as before? Reeling Earth with Pollution? We need to restore what is left by making crucial decisions for environment. #COVID is also a result of too much of interference & exploitation of nature by humans.

 

Today is Endangered Species Day! Conserve what is left!
15th May 2020

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Time to know & act about wildlife extinction. Flora & fauna are disappearing from earth due to human actions. Pandemic like COVID emerged due to wildlife trade. Where are we heading?
Did you know the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to a study? Yet since the dawn of civilization, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants.
Established in 1964, The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.

The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. https://www.iucnredlist.org/ https://www.iucnredlist.org/
#EndangeredSpeciesDay #InitiativeEarth #LoveNature

Disclaimer 2020: The images shown above are for representation purposes only.