UN climate summit adopts 'loss and damage' fund

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

The UN's COP27 climate summit approved on 20 November 2022 the creation of a special fund to cover the damages suffered by vulnerable nations battered by the impacts of global warming. The two-week talks have whiplashed between fears the process could collapse, to hopes of a major breakthrough on a fund for climate "loss and damage".

More about the fund

  1. The plenary, however, still has to approve a range of decisions and the final COP27 statement covering a host of other contentious issues, including a call for a "rapid" reduction in emissions in order to meet the aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. The session took a break as Switzerland requested more time to review the text.
  2. An informal coalition of "high ambition" countries called for strong language on cutting emissions, moving away from planet-heating fossil fuels and to reaffirm the 1.5C goal.
  3. The latest draft calls for "accelerating efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies".
  4. 'Historic' deal - Conversely the deal on loss and damage -- which barely made it onto the negotiation agenda -- gathered critical momentum during the talks.
  5. Developing nations relentlessly pushed for the fund during the summit, finally succeeding in getting the backing of wealthy polluters long fearful of open-ended liability.
  6. With around 1.2C of warming so far, the world has seen a cascade of climate-driven extremes in recent months, shining a spotlight on the plight of developing countries faced with escalating disasters, as well as an energy and food price crisis and ballooning debt.
  7. The World Bank estimated that devastating floods in Pakistan this year caused $30 billion in damage and economic loss.

Flashback

  1. The fund will be geared towards developing nations "that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change" -- language that had been requested by the EU.
  2. The EU demanded the wording with the aim of ensuring that wealthier developing countries such as China, which has grown into the world's second biggest economy, are not beneficiaries of the fund.
  3. The Europeans had also wanted a broad funder base to cough up cash -- code for China and other better-off emerging countries.
  4. Scientists say limiting warming to 1.5C is a far safer guardrail against catastrophic climate impacts, with the world currently far off track and heading for around 2.5C under current commitments and plans.

NCPCR launches 'GHAR'

GS Paper - 2 (Social Issues)

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights launched a web portal on 20 November 2022 for digital tracking and monitoring of children who are in need of protection and have to be repatriated to another country, state or district. The portal - “GHAR - Go Home and Re-Unite” will be a platform for information on children from every district to smoothen the process of their repatriation and restoration.

More about GHAR

  1. The launch of the portal, on “World Children’s Day” also saw the release of a detailed protocol for “restoration and repatriation of children” and training modules for the child welfare committees (CWCs). The portal will enable digital transfer of cases of children to the authorities concerned.
  2. In a video message, women and child development minister Smriti Irani asserted on the significant role of CWCs in ensuring child protection and appealed to all CWCs and district child protection officers to do their best to implement the Juvenile Justice Act and Rules, 2021 and 2022.

Why a protocol and portal is required

  1. The WCD highlighted that it had been seen that many children, who were brought before the juvenile justice boards and the CCW, were found to be belonging to some other place but it was difficult to repatriate them because of the absence of information on their native place with the authorities.
  2. The protocol and the portal are being cited as a step to address the challenges in repatriation which arose primarily due to lack of convergence and information-sharing between authorities.
  3. The NCPCR sees the protocol as a step to significantly reduce the number of children languishing in child care Institutions (CCIs).
  4. The GHAR portal and the protocols will ensure the rights of children related to restoration and repatriation are realised.
  5. The protocol lays down that when a child expresses his or her unwillingness to be restored to the family, the CWC will interact with the child to find out the reasons and record them. No child will be coerced to go back to the family.

 


Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Sighted

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • On the serene surface of sea waters, the turtle surveying teams spotted hundreds of mating pairs along the Gahirmatha coast in Odisha.
  • Pairs of Olive Ridley sea turtles have begun emerging on the sea waters off Gahirmatha along the Odisha coast, marking the commencement of the annual mass nesting of these endangered marine species.
  • Gahirmatha in Kendrapara district, 150 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, is the world’s largest rookery for Olive Ridley sea turtles.

Govt. Efforts

  • Forest personnel on patrolling drives have sighted pairs of mating turtles.
  • For undisturbed breeding of the aquatic animals, prohibition on sea fishing continues to remain in force in the marine sanctuary.

Alternative Breeding Point

  • Apart from Gahirmatha, these threatened aquatic animals turn up at the Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district and the Devi river mouth in Puri district for mass nesting.

Approach of Breeding

  • After the end of the mating season, most of the male turtles usually return leaving behind the female turtles to lay their eggs.
  • The female turtles virtually invade the nesting beaches usually in the dead of the night for laying eggs, the phenomenon otherwise described as ‘arribada’.
  • The turtles then leave the nesting ground to stride into the deep seawater
  • Hatchlings emerge from these eggs after 45-60 days
  • It is a rare natural phenomenon where the babies grow without their mother.

Protection Scenario

  • An estimated eight lakh female turtles had turned up to dig pits and lay millions of eggs on the nesting beaches in Odisha in February-March this year.
  • The ban on sea fishing remains in force throughout the year in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary as the seawater here is the most conducive habitat for these delicate marine species.
  • A rise in the mortality rate of mating turtles along the coastal water surface led to the clamping of prohibition as the gill nets used by the trawls prove to be messengers of death for breeding turtles.

International Protection

  • The Olive Ridley sea turtles, accorded a Schedule-1 animal category under the Wildlife (Protection) Act for their highly threatened status, get entangled in the nets for prolonged periods and die of asphyxiation.
  • The turtles also perish in large numbers after getting hit by the fast-moving propeller of the fishing trawlers.
  • The rate of mortality of these endangered species is quite high.
  • An Olive Ridley sea turtle usually lays about 120 to 150 eggs from which hatchlings emerge after about 45 to 60 days.
  • Eggs are also washed away by sea waves during high tide.

Indian neighbours have received $15 billion in soft loans

GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

According to former foreign secretary and G-20 top coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the amount of India's soft loans to its neighbours has climbed from roughly $3 billion to approximately $15 billion over the past eight years.

  1. Mr. Shringla claimed that India had drastically underinvested in its outreach to its neighbours and farther east.
  2. "Our lines of credit granted to our local neighbourhood have grown from $3 billion in 2014 to about $15 billion now, which is a significant statistic in this regard.

A Line of Credit (LOC): What Is It?

  1. A line of credit (LOC) is a predetermined borrowing amount that may be accessed whenever necessary. Up until the cap is reached, the borrower is free to withdraw money as needed.
  2. In the event of an open line of credit, money can be borrowed once more as it is repaid.
  3. An LOC is an agreement that sets the maximum loan amount that a customer can borrow between a financial institution—typically a bank—and the consumer.
  4. The maximum amount (or credit limit) stipulated in the agreement may never be exceeded by the borrower while drawing money from the LOC.