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World Environment Day 2019 observed on June 5

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World Environment Day (WED) is observed on June 5 every year. It is celebrated to raise awareness about environmental issues pertaining to our planet and the action to be taken to tackle them. The theme of the year is ‘Beat Air Pollution’. This day was observed for the first time in 1974 by the United Nations. World Environment Day 2019 is being hosted by China this year with a theme of “Air Pollution”.In 2018, India was the host country.

World Environment day


Dzukou Valley of Nagaland becomes Plastic Free Zone on World Environment Day
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Nagaland’s scenic Dzükou Valley has become Plastic Free Zone. The declaration was made officially by Advisor of Youth Resources and Sports, Zale Neikha. The initiative was by Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO) to conserve and protect the environment.

Initiative taken by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar ahead of World Environment Day

  • As a part of World Environment Day celebrations, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the #SelfiewithSapling campaign and planted saplings in the premises of Environment Ministry, Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • He was accompanied by Minister of State in the Environment Ministry Shri Babul Supriyo, renowned cricketer Shri Kapil Dev, Bollywood actors Shri Jackie Shroff and Shri Randeep Hooda and noted singer Smt. Malini Awasthi.
  • He also planted a sapling in the premises of Films Division in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The event witnessed the participation of the top celebrities from the Film Industry.
  • The ministry will soon launch an initiative called School Nursery across the country in which school kids will plant a seed, nurture the sapling and on his/her annual result would take the plant to be a trophy.

Gujarat launched world’s first PM emissions trading scheme
On June 5, 2019, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the world’s first Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) for Particulate Matter(PM) to reduce air pollution. It is aimed to reduce particulate pollutants PM2.5 and PM10 and incentivize the industrial units which cap their emissions. These industrial units will be attached to a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System for effective compliance.
Key Points:

  • The Gujarat Pollution Control Board(GPCB) will set a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted by the industrial units. The firms which need to increase their volume of emissions must buy permits from those who require fewer permits.
  • The permits are traded like any other commodity on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
  • In this system, the buyer has to pay a charge for polluting whereas the seller will be rewarded for reduced emissions.
  • The scheme was initiated in Surat by GPCB.
  • ETS was designed with the help of a team of researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the Economic Growth Center at Yale University and The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
  • It will be implemented across 350 industrial units in the city in a phased manner, with around 160 units in the first phase.
  • At present, the government has set a cap on concentration of emissions for each industrial unit at 150 microgramme per cubic metre (ug/m3). It is the 24-hour average for emission standard set by the Central government for industrial units.

Song ‘Hawa Aane De’ launched to spread awareness about Air pollution

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched the song ‘Hawa Aane De’ to spread awareness about Air pollution. It was launched by Secretary, Ministry of Environment C K Mishra in New Delhi. The song is produced by MoEFCC in collaboration with Bhamla Foundation, Mumbai.
  • It is written by Shri Swanand Kirkire, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, Shri Shantanu Mukherjee Shankar Mahadevan & Kapil Sharma and directed by Shri Romanchak Arora.

1 lakh kids under 5 years of age die due to air pollution each year: Study

  • According to CSE’s State of India’s Environment (SoE) Report, air pollution killed one lakh children under the age of five every year in India. It is responsible for 12.5% of all deaths in the country.
  • The report stated that on an average, 8.5 out of every 10,000 children in India die before they turn five, while the risk was higher for girls as 9.6 out of 10,000 girls die before five years of age due to bad air.According to a report by Greenpeace, New Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world.

Book on endangered reptiles of Western Ghats unveiled

  • Third book of the biodiversity series named “Reptiles of the Northern Western Ghats” was launched in an event in Mumbai by Minesh Dave, President Transmission and Distribution in the presence of its co-author and devoted conservationist, Professor Dr Satish Pande, director of Ela Foundation, along with Vivek Vishwasrao, head – Estate (LG), Tata Power.
  • This book covers details of over 123 endangered species of reptiles. It was launched by Tata Power in association with Ela Foundation. It has details regarding different species of snakes, crocodiles, tortoise, lizards and chameleons nestled in one of the world’s important biodiversity hotspots.

President Kovind reaffirmed commitment to cleaner, sustainable planet
President Ram Nath Kovind reaffirmed the commitment to a cleaner and sustainable planet. He stated that living in harmony with nature is a part of the Indian ethos. Along with this, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appealed people to plant trees.

Other Initiatives:

  • Smt. Renuka Singh, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, planted tree sapling on the occasion of World Environment Day in the premises of Chhattisgarh Bhawan, Guest House, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
  • G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Home Affairs, planted sapling at the Border Security Force(BSF) Headquarters, New Delhi.
  • The Indian Navy formulated  Environment  Conservation  Roadmap to reduce energy consumption and diversify its supply. The Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR) has specific action plans. It covers the entire gamut of operations, maintenance, administration and infrastructure, and community.  Navy has pledged 1.5% of its ‘Works’ Budget towards renewable energy generation.
  • A tree bank was inaugurated and around 3,000 saplings were planted at different locations of the Jamshedpur steel city on the occasion of the World Environment Day.The bank has 10,000 saplings of 13 species, including neem, mango, and palm.

Some facts:

  • 92 percent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air.
  • Air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs
  • Ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 percent by 2030.