The BJP-led Manipur government has been accused of breaching the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and misleading the high court while pushing for development projects worth Rs2,000 crore in and around Loktak lake. The water body is one of India’s largest freshwater lakes and the government was allegedly pushing for eco-tourism and inland-waterways mega-projects. Experts had spoken out against these projects saying they would damage the lake’s ecosystem and threaten the livelihood of 3 lakh people, most of whom belong to the indigenous communities. The litigation records came to the fore just as the state was to go to polls on February 28 and March 5.
India looks get tech support from Malaysia to increase its palm oil plantations
India will seek technical assistance from Malaysia to expand its palm oil plantations. The country is looking to reduce its dependence on the import of oilseeds. Malaysia is the second-largest producer of palm oil, the largest being Indonesia. The central government had also introduced the National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) last year to boost domestic production. Experts, however, had criticised the move, calling it ecologically destructive.
States demand central govt set up environment council similar to GST council
State governments in India are demanding the setting up of an environmental council, along the lines of the GST council, to help keep track of climate action across levels. This idea was mooted by states at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS). They argued that implementation of climate action plans often falls on states, therefore it was important to have a body that included representatives from the central government as well as states and Union Territories. Maharashtra’s environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said that through this body, targets and policies can be set at a national level and implemented at the state level.
Climate change could jeoaprdise global fishery agreements
As oceans warm up, researchers have observed a general poleward shift of fish populations around the world. A new study flags the likelihood of dramatic changes in in fish stocks by as early as 2030. Depletion and atypical migration of fish populations could further lead to international disputes in exclusive economic zones- areas of exclusive fishing rights which fall within 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) of a country’s coast. According to the study, climate change will force 23% of shared fish stocks to move from their historical habitats and migration routes by 2030, putting fishery agreements at under considerable strain. This prportion could rise to 45% by the end of the century if GHG emissions are not cut urgently.