Uttarakhand government to give 4.4 acres of orchard land for non-horticultural activities; farmers protest
Anger is simmering among farmers of the Kumaon region after the Uttarakhand government decided to give away 4.4 acres of Ramgarh orchards situated near Nainital that span across 165 acres, once famous for its peach, plum, avocado, and apple cultivation, to the State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIDCUL). SIDCUL will allegedly set up hotels, wellness centres, and industrial units in the area.
According to the locals, the government’s order on the matter was issued nearly three months ago, but locals started opposing it earlier this month.
The farmers’ protest in Nainital marked its 22nd day on Sunday, under the banner ‘Save Orchards Association’ (Udyaan Bachao Samiti).
Uttarakhand has around 94 government gardens and orchards but they are affected by various issues including scarcity of irrigation water, animal attacks, agro-climatic issues, urbanisation, etc., according to horticulture experts
Asian Waterbird Census 2023: Diversity, number at Okhla sanctuary less than last yr
The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2023 at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary has recorded a decreased total number of water birds and overall species diversity in relation to previous years.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary is the most degraded, polluted and disturbed habitat in all respects, decreasing overall water birds number and species diversity including migratory birds every year,” it said.
The wetland habitat several times in a year remains completely dried, the latest being the recent migration season in October-November, 2022 which impacts on the breeding of the resident birds, and lesser arrival of winter migratory water birds. Till December, 2022 the sanctuary witnessed the least number of migratory water birds, resulting in overall decreased population.
The AWC 2023 recorded further decreased species diversity:from 47 (2022) to 36 (2023) and total number: 9,143 to 6,083 (2023) dominated the total number by common winter migratory species Northern Shoveler and then Eurasian Coot in comparison to previous years.
Black Sea Grain Initiative
The Black Sea Grain initiative endeavours to tackle escalating food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions because of Russian actions in the world’s ‘breadbasket’.
The deal brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey, was signed in Istanbul in July, 2022.
The central idea was to calm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation.
The deal put in place a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), comprising senior representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN for oversight and coordination.
Maharashtra lags in clean energy transition, Karnataka, Gujarat top list
Maharashtra, the state with the highest electricity demand in India, lags behind several others when it comes to energy transition to renewable sources. This is mainly due to slow renewable energy uptake in the state and its inability to shut down older, polluting coal power plants, said a report. It should nevertheless be considered that though Maharashtra lags on the transition parameter in percentage terms, because of its greater net power generation, it has a higher reference point for a comparison with other states.
According to the study, Rajasthan and Maharashtra showed low participation in green markets. It said that Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra have a huge potential to become renewable energy export hubs by utilising their untapped clean energy potential. These states have made limited efforts to participate in green market mechanisms like GDAM (green day ahead market), it added.
Ember is an independent, not-for-profit climate and energy think tank while the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) examines issues related to energy markets, trends, and policies.
Vulture population in Western Ghats down from 10,000 to hundreds
With the number of vultures nestling amid Western Ghats in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu dramatically plunging from about 10,000 two decades ago to a few hundreds now, the state forest department and Wildlife Conservation Society have undertaken a survey in the tiger reserves to ascertain the reasons for the worrying development.
The survey was conducted in the forests spread across the three states to count the vulture population. In Karnataka, the survey was in Bandipur, BRT and Nagarahole tiger reserves.
Earlier, the three states used to conduct separate surveys in different periods, but now they are holding the synchronized survey to avoid duplication of data in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu, Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala and Karnataka’s three tiger reserves.