Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-39] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Cloud seeding; Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); Global Commission on the Economy and Climate; Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning (CAMPA); Important Marine National Park of India; Bioremediation; Global Solar Council; Bioprospecting; SECURE Himalayas; Biosafety Clearing House;
By IASToppers
April 16, 2020

India is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety but did not ratify it. True OR False.

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Answer: False.

Correct statement: India is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and ratified it on January 23, 2003. 

Enrich Your Learning:

Biosafety Clearing House:

  • The Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) is a mechanism set up by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to facilitate the exchange of information on Living Modified Organisms (LMOs).
  • It is about to assist the Parties to better comply with their obligations under the Protocol.
  • Global access to a variety of scientific, technical, environmental, legal and capacity building information is provided in the six official languages of the UN.
  • The BCH is a distributed system, and information in it is owned and updated by the users themselves through an authenticated system to ensure timeliness and accuracy.
  • It was the first Internet-based information-exchange mechanism created that must be used to fulfil certain international legal obligations.

SECURE Himalayas is a project collaboration between which bodies?

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It is a collaboration between the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ministry (MoEFCC) and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 

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SECURE Himalayas:

  • SECURE Himalaya project was launched by the Indian Government to ensure the conservation of forest resources, land and biodiversity.
  • Objective:to secure people’s livelihood, restore, conserve and use sustainably the high range ecosystems of the Himalayas.
  • It covers the high Himalayan Ecosystem spread over Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The project is implemented in specific landscapes such as:
  • Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley in Sikkim
  • Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand
  • Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh
  • Changthang in Jammu and Kashmir

What is Bioprospecting?

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Biodiversity prospecting or bioprospecting is the systematic search for biochemical and genetic information in nature in order to develop commercially-valuable products for pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetic and other applications.

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  • Bioprospecting activities must comply with the definition of utilization of genetic resources of the Nagoya Protocol or as stated in the national law or policy. The Nagoya Protocol applies to the utilization of genetic resources and their derivatives.
  • Bioprospecting can only be carried out in countries that have a national law or policy to regulate access to genetic resources and Access and Benefit Sharing, which may or may not be compliant with the Nagoya Protocol.


  • It creates an incentive to monitor and preserve biodiversity in order to avoid the risk of losing economic opportunities from competitors or extinction;
  • It promotes technology and knowledge transfer among countries (North-South and South-South) along with foreign direct investment;
  • Local populations will become increasingly aware of the potential economic value of natural habitats, providing incentives to the domestic population for biodiversity conservation;
  • It promotes innovation, helping countries to develop new pharmaceutical products. It also favours employment opportunities related to natural products;
  • It helps to preserve traditional culture and habits by rediscovering ancient native practices.


  • Bioprospecting is time-consuming and high risk in terms of expected returns;
  • Even the most advanced legal frameworks often fail to offer sufficient protection to traditional knowledge;
  • The Nagoya Protocol coverage is still limited, increasing the risks of biopiracy from non-signature countries.

Pranav R Mehta has become the first Indian president of which organisation?

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Global Solar Council.

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Global Solar Council:

  • It is a non-profit body based in Washington D.C. and representing national, regional and international associations as well as leading solar sector corporations.
  • It was founded in 2015, offers programs in regulatory policy, trade policy, new market opening and jobs & skills training.
  • Aim:to enable solar energy to deliver on the promise of clean & distributed power, economic development and access to opportunity.
  • It is an International Coalition of more than 30 nations (including India), utilising maximum solar energy which have decided to harness the renewable energy for the greater.

Mention the disadvantages of Bioremediation.

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Disadvantages of Bioremediation:

  • It is limited to those compounds that are biodegradable.
  • It is difficult to generalise from bench and pilot-scale studies to full-scale field operations.
  • It takes longer than other treatment options, such as excavation and removal of soil or incineration.

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  • Bioremediation is the use of living microorganisms to degrade the environmental contaminants into less toxic forms.
  • It uses naturally occurring bacteria and fungi or plants to degrade or detoxify substances hazardous to human health and/or the environment.

In situ Bioremediation:

  • When the detoxification of waste is done at the original site of the contamination is called in situ Bioremediation.
  • It is mainly used to treat contaminations in soil and ground water. 

 Ex situ Bioremediation:

  • When the detoxification of waste is done away from the original site of the contamination is called Ex situ Bioremediation.
  • In this process, the contaminants are unearthed from the original site and then treated in the controlled environment. For Example: composting, soil bio-piles etc.

Advantages of Bioremediation:

  • It is natural process and it requires acceptable waste treatment process for contaminated substance such as soil.
  • It is useful for the complete removal of contaminants.
  • It is less expensive than the other mechanism or technologies that are used for the removal of hazardous waste.

Which is the biggest nesting ground for olive Ridley Turtles in the world?

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Answer: Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha.

Enrich Your Learning:

Important Marine National Park of India:

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park:

  • It is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
  • It is the first national marine park of India with 42 islands on Jamnagar coast in the Marine National Park.
  • Popular islands:Poshitra, Pirotan, Karubhar and Narara.
  • Flora and Fauna:Coral Lichen, Sea Slug, Painted Storks, Shelled Mollusks, Octopus. This national park is the 1stmarine wildlife sanctuary and the 1st marine national park in India.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park:

  • It is a national park of India on the Andaman Islands.
  • Most of the coral reefs in the park are fringing reefs and the park is an important breeding ground for turtles.
  • It is also Known as Wandoor National Park. Jolly Buoy and Red skin Islands are famous islands out of the 15 islands in this national park. This National park is covered with Tropical Forest.

Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Gahirmatha is the first and the only marine sanctuary of Orissa, number of marvellous creatures including Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate here in huge numbers.
  • Gahirmatha Beach separates the Bhitarkanika Mangroves from the Bay of Bengal and is the world’s most important nesting beach for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park:

  • It consists of 21 small islands and coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean of Tamil Nadu.
  • The park has a high diversity of plants and animals in its marine and shore habitats.
  • Dugong (Sea Cow), a vulnerable marine mammal is also found here.

Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • It is the only marine sanctuary located in Malvan Taluka of Sindhudurg district in Konkan region of Maharashtra.
  • The Malvan Wildlife Sanctuary includes Padamged Island and other submerged rocky structures.
  • It is rich in Salt that is why named as Malvan.

What is the mandate of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning (CAMPA)?

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  • Lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA.
  • Make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans.
  • Provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.

Enrich Your Learning:

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning (CAMPA):

  • CAMPA funds are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
  • In 2009, the Supreme Court permitted release of Rs. 1000 crore every year to States/UTs for compensatory afforestation and other activities.
  • The fund is utilized as per the provisions of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016. These include catchment area treatment, wildlife management, forest fire-prevention, soil and moisture conservation work in the forest etc.
  • CAMPA funds is to be kept in interest-bearing nonlapsable Public Account. These funds cannot be used for payment of salary, travelling allowances etc. of forest officers.

The New Climate Economy (NCE) is the flagship project of___________. (a) Stockholm Environment Institute OR (b) Global Commission on the Economy and Climate?

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Answer: Global Commission on the Economy and Climate

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Global Commission on the Economy and Climate:

  • It is a major international initiative to examine how countries can achieve economic growth while dealing with the risks posed by climate change.
  • The Commission comprises former heads of government and finance ministers and leaders in the fields of economics and business.
  • It was commissioned by seven countries – Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as an independent initiative to report to the international community.
  • The New Climate Economy (NCE) is the Commission’s flagship project. It provides independent and authoritative evidence on the relationship between actions which can strengthen economic performance and those which reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.

What do Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aim?

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NDCs aim to fulfil the most ambitious objectives of the Paris Agreement which is to keep the increase in global temperature to well below 2°C with respect to the pre-industrial era and limiting it to 1.5°C.

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Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):

  • NDCs are the documents, must prepared by the country parties to the Paris Agreement, to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions.
  • NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissionsand adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • NDCs are submitted every five years to the UNFCCC secretariat, with the next round of NDCs being submitted by 2020.

From INDC to NDC

  • The acronym, INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions)emerged at Conference of the parties (COP) 19 in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Countries were urged to determine independently what contribution they could make to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The initiative was so welcome that, most of the countries presented their contributions, detailing GHG reduction goals.
  • However, some report revealed that the sum of the contributions of all the nations did not reach the objectiveof keeping earth well below a 2°C increase in global warming.
  • Hence, INDC was converted to mandatory Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

What is cloud seeding? 

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Cloud seeding, also known as weather modification technique, is the process of spreading either dry ice, or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.

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Concept of cloud seeding:

  • In this process, either silver iodide, potassium iodide or dry ice (solid carbon dioxide)are spread onto the clouds causing rainfall. Liquid propane, which expands into a gas, has also been used.
  • Since most rainfall starts through the growth of ice crystals from super-cooled cloud droplets (droplets colder than the freezing point, 32 deg. F or 0 deg. C) in the upper parts of clouds, the silver iodide particles are meant to encourage the growth of new ice particles.
  • Cloud-seeding is a technique which is regularly used in China and the United Arab Emirates. However, the increase of rain is far from guaranteed.

How it works?

  • Among the problems for successful precipitation in rain-bearing clouds are that water droplets formed in the clouds are much smaller.
  • Droplets formed in the clouds are blown away in the wind even before they have the time to reach earth.
  • Moreover, small droplets do not have the energy to collide and form large droplets that can come down as rain.
  • By introducing impurities such as Silver Iodide, Potassium Chloride and others, the objective is to ensure that the size of the droplets is large enough to fall down as rain.

Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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