Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 07 September 2023

IPBES report on Biodiversity loss

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

In the most extensive study on invasive species carried out till date, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in its new publication – the “Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control’’ – has found that there are 37,000 alien species, including plants and animals, that have been introduced by many human activities to regions and biomes around the world, including more than 3,500 invasive alien species and that invasive alien species have played a key role in 60% of global plant and animal extinctions recorded.

Highlight of the report

  • The report, which was released on 4 September 2023, said that invasive alien species are one of the five major direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, alongside land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organismsclimate change, and pollution.
  • The report has noted that the number of alien species (species introduced to new regions through human activities) has been rising continuously for centuries in all regions, but are now increasing at unprecedented rates, with increased human traveltrade and the expansion of the global economy.
  • Not all alien species establish and spread with negative impacts on biodiversity, local ecosystems and species, but a significant proportion do – then becoming known as invasive alien species.
  • About 6% of alien plants22% of alien invertebrates14% of alien vertebrates; and 11% of alien microbes are known to be invasive, posing major risks to nature and to people, the IPBES has said.
  • The report further noted that many invasive alien species have been intentionally introduced for their perceived benefits, “without consideration or knowledge of their negative impacts’’ – in forestryagriculturehorticultureaquaculture, or as pets.
  • Nearly 80% of the documented impacts of invasive species on nature’s contribution to people are negative.
  • The water hyacinth is the world’s most widespread invasive alien species on land. Lantana, a flowering shrub, and the black rat are the second and third most widespread globally. The brown rat and the house mouse are also widespread invasive alien species.
  • The report said that the annual costs of invasive alien species have at least quadrupled every decade since 1970, as global trade and human travel increased. In 2019, the global economic cost of invasive alien species exceeded $423 billion annually.
  • These trends are projected to accelerate as the global economy expands, land and seas are used more intensively, and demographic change takes place, the report said.
  • Invasive alien specieslike Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegyptii spread diseases such as malariaZika and West Nile Fever, while others also have an impact on livelihood such as the water hyacinth in Lake Victoria in East Africa led to the depletion of tilapia, impacting local fisheries.
  • The IPBES report has further warned thatwarming temperatures and climate change could favour the “expansion of invasive species’’.


  • The IPBES released its report following a week- long plenary from 28th August, with representatives of the 143 member States which have approved the report.
  • IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body established to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, working in a similar way to the IPCC, which is the UN’s climate science body.
  • The study, which has taken place over a period of four years, has been by 86 leading experts from 49 countries, drawing on more than 13,000 references.

G20 Summit in New Delhi

GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

India will soon host the annual G20 summit in New Delhi, marking the end of its year as the President of the global forum. The G20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis, to allow Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. Since then, it has evolved its own unique structures and a rotational presidency system to further dialogue among countries on a range of issues, such as health and tourism.

What are some other notable groupings that India is a part of?

World Bank Group

  • The World Bank is a developmental institution established with the aim of eradicating poverty and improving living standards for vulnerable people, by promoting sustainable development through loansguaranteesrisk management products, and advisory services. It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
  • The member countries are jointly responsible for how the institution is financed and how its money is spent.

It further includes:

  • The International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or the World Bank - IBRD was established in 1945 and has 189 members at present.  Its aim is to promote sustainable development, through loans, guarantees, etc. The IBRD is owned by the member countries whose voting power is linked to its capital subscription based on the country’s relative economic strength.
  • The International Development Association (IDA) - IDA was established in 1960 and currently has 174 member countries. IDA is the concessional arm of the World Bank and plays a key role in supporting the Bank’s poverty reduction mission.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) - Established in 1956, it is owned by 186 member countries, a group that collectively determines the policies. It works in more than 100 developing countries, allowing companies and financial institutions in emerging markets to create jobsgenerate tax revenues, and improve corporate governance and environmental performance.
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) - In 1988, an international convention established MIGA and it now has 182 countries with its membership. MIGA was created to complement public and private sources of investment insurance against non-commercial risks in developing countries.
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) - ICSID is an autonomous international institution established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID or the Washington Convention) with over 160 member States, but this is the only World Bank institution that does not have India as a signatory to it.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established along with the World Bank at the Conference of 44 nations held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, in July 1944.
  • It was created to promote international monetary cooperation, for the balanced growth of international tradepromote exchange stability and to help establish a multilateral system of payments.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • India became a member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a founding member in 1966.
  • The Bank is engaged in promoting the economic and social progress of its developing member countries (DMCs) in the Asia Pacific Region.
  • The main instruments that it uses to do this are loans and equity investments, providing technical assistance for development projects and programs, along with other advisory services, loan guaranteesgrants and policy dialogues.

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

  • The WTO began on 1 January 1995, but its trading system is half a century older. Since 1948, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provided the rules for a global system and was later replaced by the WTO.
  • India has been a member since its inception. WTO also serves as a forum for its members to negotiate trade agreements and resolve the trade problems they face with each other.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialised agency of the United Nations, was one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference in Rome.
  • The conference was organised by the United Nations in response to the food crises of the early 1970s, when global food shortages were causing widespread famine and malnutrition.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  • Established in 1991 on the eve of the 1992 Rio Summit, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) provides grant funds to developing countries for projects and activities that aim to protect the global environment.
  • This is to cover areas like biodiversityclimate changeinternational watersozone depletionland degradation, primarily desertificationdeforestation and persistent organic pollutants.

African Development Bank (AfDB)

  • The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) comprises (i) the African Development Bank, (ii) the African Development Fund and (iii) the Nigeria Trust Fund. It was established in 1963 with membership being open only to regional countries, initially. 
  • To mobilise external resources for the development of Regional Member Countries, AFDB extended its membership.

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