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Here are the topics covered for 27th October 2023:
GS- 3: Disaster Risks Report 2023, Disasters and Food Security, Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II project, India’s New EV Charging Standard: A Step Towards a More Sustainable Future
Facts for Prelims: First joint naval exercise India and EU, OECD
Disaster Risks Report 2023
- The release of the Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023 has drawn global attention by highlighting the world’s interdependence and emphasizing the urgent need for immediate action to avert potential catastrophic consequences.
Major Findings of the Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023:
- The United Nations Interconnected Disaster Risks Report is an annual scientific publication issued by the United Nations University- Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), first published in 2021.
- The report analyzes specific disaster instances each year and elucidates their interconnectedness with both each other and human activities.
- It demonstrates how seemingly stable systems can gradually deteriorate until they reach critical thresholds, leading to catastrophic outcomes.
- It introduces the concept of “risk tipping points,” moments when socio-ecological systems can no longer buffer risks, resulting in an increased risk of catastrophic impacts.
Key Environmental Tipping Points Highlighted:
- The report underscores that the world is approaching six significant environmental tipping points:
- Groundwater Depletion
- Accelerating Species Extinctions
- Mountain Glacier Melting
- Space Debris
- Unbearable Heat
- Uninsurable Future
- Major Drivers of Increasing Disaster Risks:
- Environmental Degradation
- Inadequate and Inefficient Infrastructure
- Poor Land Use Planning
- Water Management Issues
- Global Interconnectedness
- Recommendations for Mitigating Disaster Risk:
- Initiatives for Disaster Risk Reduction:
- Global Initiatives:
- Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
- The Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)
- International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (October 13th)
- Green Climate Fund’s Sectoral Guide on Climate Information & Early Warning Systems
- India’s Initiatives:
- Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Society (CDRIS)
- National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP)
Disasters and Food Security
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published a report titled ‘The Impact of Disaster on Agriculture and Food Security,’ highlighting the significant increase in extreme disaster events over the last five decades.
Key Highlights of the Report:
The magnitude of Agricultural Losses:
- Over the past 30 years, disaster events have caused an estimated USD 3.8 trillion in losses to crops and livestock production.
- This translates to an annual average loss of approximately USD 123 billion, equivalent to about 5% of the global agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- Agriculture is highly exposed and vulnerable to disaster risk due to its heavy reliance on natural resources and climate conditions.
- Lower and lower-middle-income countries bear the highest relative impact, with losses of up to 15% of their agricultural GDP.
- Small Island Developing States (SIDS) also experience significant losses, amounting to nearly 7% of their agricultural GDP.
- Major agricultural products like cereals, fruits, vegetables, and sugar crops show increasing trends in losses, with millions of tonnes lost annually.
- Meats, dairy products, and eggs also face substantial losses.
- Small-scale farmers, particularly those practising Rain-Fed agriculture, are the most vulnerable to disaster impacts.
- Investment in farm-level disaster risk reduction practices can reduce losses and enhance resilience, performing 2.2 times better than previous practices.
- Asia experiences the largest share of total economic losses, followed by Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
- However, the percentage of agricultural added value affected by losses is smaller in Asia compared to Africa.
Increasing Frequency of Disasters:
- Disaster events have been on the rise, increasing from 100 per year in the 1970s to around 400 events per year worldwide in the past two decades.
- These events are becoming more frequent, intense, and complex, with climate-induced disasters expected to have worsening impacts.
- Emphasize proactive and timely interventions based on hazard forecasts to reduce disaster risks in agriculture.
- Every USD 1 invested in anticipatory action can yield up to USD 7 in benefits by avoiding agricultural losses.
- Prioritize three key areas: improving disaster impact data, developing multi-sectoral and multi-hazard risk reduction strategies, and increasing investments in agricultural resilience to enhance livelihoods.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
- FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to leading international efforts to combat hunger.
- It was founded in 1945 and celebrates World Food Day on October 16th to mark its anniversary.
- FAO is based in Rome, Italy, and works alongside the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
- The organization is involved in various initiatives and publications related to agriculture, food security, and nutrition.
- The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA)
- The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO)
- The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI)
- The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA)
- The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO)
- Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
- Monitoring of Desert Locust situations worldwide
- The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for food standards
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was adopted by the FAO in 2001.
The Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II project
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, has approved the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II – Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) for a 13 GW Renewable Energy Project in Ladakh.
- The Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II project is an ambitious project to transmit 13 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy from central and western India to the southern and eastern parts of the country. The project is expected to help India reduce its carbon emissions and achieve its renewable energy targets.
- The project will involve building a network of transmission lines and substations to connect renewable energy generation plants in states such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh to the southern and eastern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
benefits of the Green Energy Corridor Phase-II project:
- Reduced carbon emissions: The project will help India to reduce its carbon emissions by transmitting renewable energy to areas where it is needed most.
- Increased renewable energy capacity: The project will help India achieve its target of 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
- Improved energy security: The project will improve India’s energy security by diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on imported fossil fuels.
- Economic growth and job creation: The project is expected to boost economic growth and create jobs in the renewable energy sector. It is estimated that the project will create over 10,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs.
- The GEC Phase-II project is a significant step forward in India’s transition to clean energy. It is a project that will benefit the country both economically and environmentally.
- This project, targeted for completion by FY 2029-30, involves substantial investments and cutting-edge technology to harness Ladakh’s renewable energy potential and transmit it across challenging terrains.
- The project, along with the ongoing Intra-State Transmission System Green Energy Corridor Phase-II (InSTS GEC-II), underscores India’s commitment to transitioning to a green and resilient energy future.
India’s New EV Charging Standard: A Step Towards a More Sustainable Future
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has recently approved a groundbreaking charging connector standard for Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs), including scooters, bikes, and rickshaws.
India’s New EV Charging Standard – ISI7017 (Part 2/Sec 7): 2023:
- Developed through a collaboration between NITI Aayog, the Department of Science and Technology, Ather Energy, and other stakeholders.
- This standard uniquely combines alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging for LEVs.
- Akin to global electric car standards, it enhances interoperability and compatibility among different EV models and charging infrastructure providers.
Challenges of Diverse Charging Standards in India:
- Unlike some other countries, India’s EV manufacturers are not bound by a specific charging standard, leading to varied standards for EVs from different companies.
- For example, Ola Electric, Ather Energy, and Ultraviolette Automotive employ distinct charging standards for their EVs.
Charging Standards Worldwide:
- China: Utilizes the GB/T national standard for EV charging connectors, creating a dense network of charging stations.
- United States: Collaborative efforts between EV manufacturers like Ford and General Motors aim to establish common standards.
- Europe: Dominated by the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, supported by the European Union for uniformity.
- Japan: Employs the CHAdeMO standard, though it’s being phased out in North America in favour of more common standards.
Government Initiatives to Promote EV Adoption:
- FAME Scheme II: Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles.
- NEMMP: National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
- National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.
- Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.
- Vehicle Scrappage Policy.
- Go Electric Campaign.
- Global EV30@30 Campaign.
- MoP Guidelines: The Ministry of Power’s guidelines on charging infrastructure mandate one charging station within a 3 km grid and every 25 km on both sides of highways.
- MBBL Amendment: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs amended the Model Building Bye-laws, in 2016 to require 20% of parking space for EV charging facilities in residential and commercial buildings.
Fact for Prelims:
First joint naval exercise India and EU
- In an effort to enhance naval maritime security cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea, joint activities were conducted by ships from India and the European Union (EU).
- The first-ever joint naval exercise took place in the Gulf of Guinea, following the third meeting of the EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue in Brussels.
- The exercise involved the Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha, an offshore patrol vessel, and ships from three EU member states: France, Spain, and Italy.
- It involved various activities, including tactical manoeuvres, boarding exercises, and knowledge-sharing sessions.
- The Gulf of Guinea is a strategically important region that has been plagued by piracy, maritime crime, and illegal fishing.
- The exercise also reflected the growing strategic partnership between India and the EU. The two sides have been deepening their cooperation in various areas, including trade, investment, defence, and security.
- The OECD, or the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, is an intergovernmental economic organization that was established with the aim of promoting economic advancement and global trade.
- It primarily consists of high-income economies with a notably high Human Development Index (HDI), classifying them as developed nations.
- The OECD was founded in 1961, and its headquarters are located in Paris, France. It currently comprises 38 member countries.
- India is not a member of the OECD; however, it holds a significant role as a key economic partner in various contexts.
- The OECD publishes various reports and indices, including “Government at a Glance” and the “OECD Better Life Index,” which provide valuable insights and assessments on different aspects of member countries’ economies and well-being.