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- The Army has received a request from Kaziranga authorities for building three Bailey bridges within the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in India.
- The bridges are sought to replace wooden structures in flood-prone vulnerable pockets of the park, which is a UN World Heritage Site, and provide faster movement for forest guards in strategic locations.
- The proposed locations for the Bailey bridges are at Mihi in Kohora, Kathparaghat in Bagori, and Rongamotia in the Agoratoli sector of the park. The bridges would be 4 meters wide and between 30 to 100 meters in length.
- The bridges are considered a permanent solution to the communication problem faced during floods, as wooden structures are often washed away during monsoons in the inaccessible areas of the park.
- The bridges are expected to improve connectivity and coordination among forest guards manning the anti-poaching camps, which currently face challenges due to flooded areas.
- Kaziranga National Park has a total of 223 anti-poaching camps, many of which are inundated during floods. The Bailey bridges would provide a shorter route to these vulnerable pockets and facilitate better patrolling and conservation efforts.
- The Eastern Command chief, Lt. Gen. Rana Pratap Kalita, has stated that the Army will work out the feasibility of the proposal and find a way to proceed with the construction of the Bailey bridges.
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA) in India, enacted 50 years ago, has been credited with the success of wildlife conservation in the country, including the recovery of tiger populations through Project Tiger.
- The preliminary report of the 2023 tiger census in India indicates that tiger populations are slipping away in some regions, including Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, the Eastern ghats, and the Northeastern forests, leading to loss of genetic diversity and long-term population viability.
- Reintroduction of tigers from central Indian forests, where populations are thriving, has been used as a tool to address population reduction in some regions, but it may homogenize tiger genetic structure across the country, and thus needs to be planned carefully to maintain genetic diversity.
- The concept of the tiger as an “umbrella species” has been used in India’s conservation efforts, with the idea that saving the tiger would mean saving the entire ecosystem. However, the focus has often been on boosting tiger numbers rather than addressing habitat and prey abundance, resulting in unintended consequences such as changes in ecosystem dynamics and species composition.
- Manipulation of ecosystems to support high densities of the tiger’s principal prey species, such as the cheetal, has resulted in some tiger reserves becoming unsuitable for other endangered species that depend on different habitat types or prey.
- Excessive provisioning of water during the dry season in some tiger reserves has led to reduced natural water sources and changes in natural water dynamics, affecting other species and overall ecosystem health.
- There is a need for proper scientific oversight in conservation practices in India, with a focus on maintaining habitat diversity, prey abundance, and genetic diversity of tiger populations, rather than just boosting tiger numbers.
- Conservation amnesia, where shifting baselines and selective reporting of tiger population numbers may lead to inaccurate assessments of conservation success, needs to be addressed to ensure that long-term conservation goals are met.
- Future reintroduction efforts and conservation planning should prioritize maintaining genetic diversity, habitat diversity, and prey abundance to ensure the long-term survival of tiger populations and overall ecosystem health in India.
- G-7 countries commit to carbon-free electricity production by 2035 and accelerating coal phase-out, with a focus on solar and wind energy investments.
- Proposal for a 2030 deadline for coal phase-out was shot down, allowing for continued investment in gas as a stopgap measure for energy shortfalls.
- Recognition of developing countries’ need for finance, technology, and assistance for transitioning away from fossil fuels.
- Reaffirmation of commitment to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
- Emphasis on transparency and accountability, with updates on approach to implementation to be provided by the end of 2023.
- Mixed reactions from climate change experts, with calls for stronger and bolder action from the G-7 countries to meet climate commitments and demonstrate them in practice.
- Legalisation of same-sex marriage in India is expected to have a positive impact on the mental health of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
- The study found that 95% of the respondents welcomed the legalisation of marriage for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
- Legal recognition of same-sex marriages is expected to improve wellbeing, legal safety, and access to legal rights for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
- Decriminalisation of Section 377 by the Supreme Court in India had a positive impact on the mental health of LGBTQIA+ individuals, according to the study.
- 93% of the respondents believed that legalisation of same-sex marriage would improve mental health outcomes, including reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts among LGBTQIA+ youth and families.
- Legal recognition of same-sex marriages would bring visibility to the lived experiences of queer couples and provide a sense of legitimacy and social support.
- The study highlights that LGBTQIA+ individuals have the right to be with whom they love, have children, cohabit, and own assets together, just like any other couple.
- Legalisation of same-sex marriage in India is seen as a step towards achieving marriage equality and promoting acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals in society.
- Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva discussed joint mediation for Russia’s war in Ukraine with China and the United Arab Emirates during an official visit to these countries.
- President Lula accused the U.S. and Europe of prolonging the conflict in Ukraine.
- He suggested the formation of a “political G-20” involving countries like China, UAE, and others to try to end the war in Ukraine.
- President Lula criticized President Putin of Russia and President Zelensky of Ukraine for not taking initiatives to stop the war.
- He also expressed dissatisfaction with the dominance of the U.S. dollar in global trade and called for a new currency for transactions between BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
- President Lula spoke with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Chinese President Xi Jinping about forming a group of countries to mediate the conflict in Ukraine, similar to the G-20 group of advanced economies.
Source: The Hindu Epaper
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