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World Environment Day and India’s First Biospheres

Context:

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June every year to encourage awareness and environmental protection. In a remarkable initiative to combat deforestation and restore biodiversity, two environmentalists have spearheaded the creation of India’s first biospheres within tiger reserve

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Facts About World Environment Day
  2. India’s First Biosphere in a Tiger Reserve

Key Facts About World Environment Day

Establishment and Purpose

  • Established by: The United Nations Assembly in 1972.
  • Historical Context: The first day of the Stockholm Conference on the human environment.
  • Annual Celebration: World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year with a specific theme and slogan focusing on major environmental issues.

Recent Hosts and Themes

  • WED 2024 Host: Saudi Arabia.
  • India’s Role: Hosted the 45th celebration in 2018 under the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

Key Initiatives

  • UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Initiated in 2021, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, including forests, farmlands, mountains, and seas.
  • 2024 Theme: Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.
  • Significant Milestone: 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Significance of Land Restoration
  • Combats Environmental Issues: Addresses land degradation, drought, and desertification.
  • Economic Benefits: Each dollar invested can yield up to USD 30 in benefits from healthy ecosystems.
  • Socioeconomic Impact: Creates jobs, reduces poverty, and improves livelihoods.
  • Climate Resilience: Helps communities better withstand extreme weather events.
  • Carbon Storage: Increases carbon storage in soil and slows the pace of warming.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: Restoring just 15% of degraded land could prevent a significant portion of expected species extinction.

India’s First Biosphere in a Tiger Reserve

  • Initiative by Environmentalists: Jai Dhar Gupta and Vijay Dhasmana have created India’s first biosphere in a tiger reserve.
  • Name and Location: The Rajaji Raghati Biosphere (RRB) is located within the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand.
Project Scope:
  • Area: The biosphere covers a 35-acre private forest.
  • Goals: It aims to identify and revive rare and endangered species of native trees while protecting the area from poaching and mining.
  • Previous Land Condition: The land designated for the RRB was previously barren and degraded.
  • Future Development: They are also developing a second biosphere above the Koyna River in the buffer zone of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve near Pune, Maharashtra, along the Western Ghats.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB

 

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