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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Disaster Management

Why in news?

  • India had one in five of all internal displacements caused by disasters across the world in 2019, mostly caused by floods, cyclones and drought, according to the Down to Earth’s State of the Environment report released in June 2020.
  • The “State of India’s Environment in Figures” is an annual quantified statement of environmental statistics and analysis put together by Down To Earth magazine, which Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish.

The Report on aftermath of the Pandemic

  • The report said that the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has affected almost 1.6 billion informal economy workers, accounting for 76% of informal employment worldwide, 265 million people are at risk of starvation and poverty rate is due to climb.
  • Containment measures for the COVID-19 pandemic would reduce global GDP by 2 per cent per month, or an annual rate of 24 per cent, predicts intergovernmental economic body OECD.

The Report on the Disasters and Internal Displacements

  • Flooding caused by the south-west monsoon led to over 20 lakh displacements. Similar displacements during Cyclone Fani followed by the Cyclones Vayu and Bulbul were observed.
  • Drought conditions, which mar several states along with migrations for work also take place

The Report on Environmental changes

  • It notes that there were 747 more tigers in 2018 than in 2014, yet net area for tiger conservation shrunk.

The Report on Water Resources in India

  • Forest cover has shrunk in 38% of districts, while five out of 21 river basins are now in a state of absolute water scarcity.
  • The report shows that more than 57% of India’s groundwater is contaminated with nitrate, fluoride and arsenic.
  • Groundwater is used in 80% rural and 50% urban households.

Other Highlights in the report

  • 19 major extreme weather events also claimed over 1200 lives last year.
  • There were more than 50 lakh internal displacements in India last year, the highest in the world. (50 Lakh refers to the number of movements, not people, as individuals can be displaced several times.)
  • According to the report India continues to face major challenges in achieving 9 of the 17 goals which is pushing down its global ranking on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) preparedness.

-Source: Down to Earth magazine, Hindustan Times, Livemint

December 2023