The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently published the State of the World’s Forests 2022 (SOFO 2022). (FAO).
The India State of Forest Report-2021 was published in January 2022 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
At the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, 140 countries pledged to end forest loss by 2030 while also supporting restoration and sustainable production and consumption.
The bi-annual report is widely regarded as one of the most important stocktakes on forest ecosystems.
The SOFO 2022 edition investigates the potential of three forest pathways for achieving green recovery and addressing multifaceted planetary crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss.
Stopping deforestation and preserving forests
Rehabilitating degraded lands and expanding agroforestry
Building green value chains and using forests sustainably
Deforestation has resulted in the loss of 420 million hectares (mha) of forests between 1990 and 2020, despite the fact that forests cover 4.06 billion ha of the earth’s geographical area.
Despite a slowing rate of deforestation, 10 million hectares of forest were lost each year between 2015 and 2020.
Between 2016 and 2050, an estimated 289 mha of forests would be deforested in the tropics alone, resulting in the emission of 169 GtCO2e if no additional action is taken.
The total amount of greenhouse gases is expressed in billions of tonnes of global annual CO2 equivalent emissions (GtCO2e/year).
Infectious Diseases on the Rise: Forests have been linked to 15% of the 250 emerging infectious diseases.
Examples include Covid-19, drug-resistant infections (antimicrobials), and the Zika virus.
Deforestation and land-use change are responsible for 30% of new diseases reported since 1960.
Poverty Increase: The cost of global pandemic prevention strategies based on reducing illegal wildlife trade, avoiding land-use change, and increasing surveillance was estimated to be between USD22 billion and USD31 billion.
Following Covid-19, approximately 124 million more people fell into extreme poverty, which may have long-term implications for wood-based fuel (such as firewood and charcoal) due to an increase in wood-based fuel use in some countries during the pandemic.
Consumption of Natural Resources: The world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, increasing competition for land as demand for food rises by 35 to 56 percent by the 2050s.
Due to population growth and affluence, annual global consumption of all natural resources is expected to more than double from 92 billion tonnes in 2017 to 190 billion tonnes in 2060.
Annual biomass extraction is expected to increase from 24 billion tonnes in 2017 to 44 billion tonnes by 2060.
Demand for forest-based biomass is expected to increase further, owing primarily to construction and packaging.
It is estimated that more than half of global GDP (USD 84.4 trillion in 2020) is moderately (USD 31 trillion per year) or highly (USD 13 trillion per year) dependent on ecosystem services, including those provided by forests.
Ecosystem services enable human life by providing nutritious food and clean water, regulating disease and climate, assisting in crop pollination and soil formation, and providing recreational, cultural, and spiritual benefits.
Conservation, Restoration, and Agroforestry: Forest protection, such as stopping illegal wildlife trade and avoiding land-use change, can help prevent the next pandemic, and the cost is a fraction of the damage caused by a true pandemic.
Agroforestry has the potential to significantly increase biodiversity, food security, and crop production.
Sustainable Use: Supply chains that include forest products are another way to make sustainable development a reality, especially since the world’s population is expected to double by 2060, while demand for natural resources is expected to double to 190 billion metric tonnes.
A significant increase in funding will be required, specifically a threefold increase by 2030.
Forest establishment and maintenance, for example, could cost USD 203 billion per year by 2050.
Supporting Local Producer Organizations: It is also critical to support local producer organisations and protect land tenure rights in order for small communities and Indigenous groups to continue managing their forests in a sustainable manner.
Governments can do this by granting smallholders long-term rights to their tree products, which would help de-risk agroforestry while also formalising the recognition of customary land rights.
FAO is a United Nations specialised agency that leads international efforts to end hunger.
Every year on October 16th, World Food Day commemorates the anniversary of the FAO’s founding in 1945.
It is one of the United Nations food aid organisations based in Rome (Italy). The World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are its sister organisations (IFAD).
The Union Territory of Ladakh had the highest sex ratio at birth in the country in 2020, according to the recently released annual report on Vital Statistics based on the 2020 Civil Registration System Report (CRS).
The Registrar General of India issued the report.
The number of females born per thousand males is referred to as the sex ratio at birth. It is an important indicator for mapping a population’s gender gap.
The Registrar General of India was established by the Government of India in 1961 as part of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
It organises, conducts, and analyses the results of India’s demographic surveys, such as the Census of India and the Linguistic Survey of India.
A civil servant with the rank of Joint Secretary is usually appointed to the position of Registrar.
In India, the Civil Registration System (CRS) is a unified process of continuous, permanent, mandatory, and universal recording of vital events (births, deaths, stillbirths) and their characteristics. The data generated by a comprehensive and up-to-date CRS is critical for socioeconomic planning.
Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) in India became mandatory with the enactment of the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD), Act 1969, and is done according to the location of the event.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) 2020-21 annual report, the Central government intends to revamp the Civil Registration System (CRS) to enable real-time birth and death registration with minimal human interaction, regardless of location.
The Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD Act) was enacted in 1969 to promote uniformity and comparability in the registration of births and deaths throughout the country, as well as the compilation of vital statistics based on such registrations.
Registration of births, deaths, and stillbirths became mandatory in India with the passage of the Act.
Births and deaths are registered in the country by functionaries appointed by state governments.
The directorates of Census Operations are subordinate offices of the Office of the Registrar General, and they are in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Act in their respective states and Union Territories.
Highest Sex Ratio (SRB) at Birth: Ladakh (1104) reports it in 2020, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (1011), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (984), Tripura (974), and Kerala (969).
In 2019, Arunachal Pradesh had the highest sex ratio at birth (1024), followed by Nagaland (1001), Mizoram (975), and the A&N Islands (965).
The information on sex ratio at birth was “not available” in Maharashtra, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi.
Manipur (880), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (898), Gujarat (909), Haryana (916) and Madhya Pradesh are the top five states with the lowest sex ratio at birth in 2020. (921).
Gujarat (901), Assam (903), Madhya Pradesh (905) and Jammu and Kashmir had the lowest sex ratios in 2019. (909).
The registered birth rate decreased in Nagaland, Puducherry, Telangana, Manipur, Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Mizoram, and Chandigarh.
The registered birth rate increased in Lakshadweep, Bihar, Haryana, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Nagaland, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Assam all had higher death rates in 2020 than in 2019.
With an increase of 18.3%, Bihar had the highest death rate increase, followed by Maharashtra (16.6%) and Assam (14.7%).
Meanwhile, death rates in states such as Manipur, Chandigarh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Arunachal Pradesh, and Kerala fell in 2020 compared to 2019.
Infant Deaths: According to the report, 1,43,379 infant deaths were documented in 2020, with the rural area accounting for only 23.4 percent of all registered infant deaths and the urban area accounting for 76.6 percent.
Due to non-reporting of child deaths to Registrars, especially in cases of domiciliary events, non-registration of infant deaths in rural regions was a source of worry.
The United States and 60 other partner countries have signed the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet,” a political declaration.
Large nations such as India, China, and Russia are not included in this declaration.
India likewise refused to ratify the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, which was signed in 2001.
The Declaration intends to develop “an integrated communications system for all humanity” in an era of “state-sponsored or authorised malevolent action.”
The Declaration is an inclusive initiative, and the Declaration’s partners will continue to reach out to other nations to invite them to participate.
All partners will work together to achieve the vision of an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet by reaching out to the private sector, international organisations, the technical community, academia, and civil society, as well as other relevant stakeholders around the world.
The Declaration and the ideas that guide it are not legally obligatory.
It should serve as a resource for public policymakers, people, corporations, and civil society organisations.
The goal is to strengthen key democratic ideals, fundamental freedoms, and human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Internet should function as a single, decentralised network of networks where digital technologies are used responsibly, preventing undue discrimination between persons and allowing for contestability of online platforms and fair economic rivalry.
Human rights will be protected, a single global internet will be promoted, trust and inclusivity will be promoted, and a multistakeholder approach to internet development will be protected.
Some authoritarian governments have recently increased their suppression of Internet freedoms, the use of digital tools to violate human rights, the growing influence of cyberattacks, the distribution of illicit content and disinformation, and the excessive concentration of economic power.
Countries such as Russia and China have acted to limit freedom of expression, ban independent news sites, meddle with elections, propagate disinformation, and deny their citizens other human rights, as part of a global trend of developing digital authoritarianism.
In 2021, a total of 182 internet crackdowns were recorded around the world.
Jammu and Kashmir was the site of 85 of India’s 106 shutdowns.
During protests, 18 countries stopped mobile internet, including India.
From 29 in 2020 to 34 in 2021, the number of countries that will shut down the internet has climbed.
In Anuradha Bhasin vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India held in 2020 that an indefinite restriction of internet services would be unlawful, and that orders to shut down the internet must meet the requirements of necessity and proportionality.
In Faheema Shirin vs. State of Kerala, the Kerala High Court ruled the right to Internet access to be a basic right under Article 21 of the Constitution, as part of the right to privacy and the right to education.
Fireflies light up the jungles of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, an uncommon sight.
Fireflies light up through a chemical reaction that occurs inside their bodies. Bioluminescence is the name for this form of light generation.
Light is formed when oxygen, calcium, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the chemical luciferin interact in the presence of luciferase, a bioluminescent enzyme.
Unlike a light bulb, which emits a lot of heat in addition to light, a firefly’s light is “cold light,” meaning it emits little heat.
This is required because if the light-producing organ of a firefly became as hot as a light bulb, the firefly would perish.
By providing oxygen to the other chemicals needed to make light, a firefly can control the start and stop of the chemical process, and hence the start and stop of its light emission.
The light organ lights up when oxygen is accessible, and it turns off when oxygen is not available.
Insects don’t have lungs; instead, they use a complicated system of tracheoles to carry oxygen from the outside to the inside cells.
Because nitric oxide gas is essential for firefly flash regulation, some firefly species are able to maintain a high flash rate.
In other words, no nitric oxide is created when the firefly light is turned off.
Because nitric oxide binds to mitochondria, oxygen may flow into the light organ and interact with the other chemicals needed to produce the bioluminescent reaction.
Because nitric oxide degrades quickly, once the chemical is no longer generated, the oxygen molecules are retained by the mitochondria and are no longer available for light production.
Due to an abnormally protracted series of heatwaves that began in late March, April 2022 was the hottest in northwest India in 122 years, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The lack of rainfall in northern India is the primary cause of the extreme heat.
Normally, times of extreme heat are interspersed by intermittent showers, but this was not the case in March and April.
Ironically, April experienced the most intense rainfall since 2018, however it was mostly in the south and north-east of the country.
Temperature differential between the northernmost sections of the planet and the latitudes travelling through West Asia create rain-bearing western disturbances.
Rainfall is weaker when gradients are modest. The Pacific Ocean’s cooler-than-normal temperatures failed to boost rainfall in north India in March and April.
In addition, some portions of eastern India had higher humidity and hotter temperatures, resulting in a phenomenon known as “wet bulb” temperature.
At its mildest, ‘wet bulb’ temperature can cause extreme discomfort, and at its worst, it can cause dehydration and death.
When the highest temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius and is at least 4.5 degrees above average, a heatwave is proclaimed.
If the temperature deviates from normal by more than 6.4 degrees, a severe heatwave is proclaimed.