News: World Wildlife Fund(WWF) has released the Water Risk Filter analysis report.
- Water Risk Filter: It is an online tool co-developed by the WWF that helps evaluate the severity of risk places faced by graphically illustrating various factors that can contribute to water risk.
- Water Risk: 100 cities that hold importance in national as well as global economies and are home to 350 million people are set to face the greatest rise in water risks by 2050.
- Global List: Egypt’s Alexandria tops the list and is followed by Mecca in Saudi Arabia, China’s Tangshan, Saudi Arabia’s Dammam and Riyadh. China accounts for almost half the cities.
- Indian Cities: India has 30 cities in the list.Jaipur(45th) topped the list of Indian cities followed by Indore(75th) and Thane.Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi also featured on the list.
- Multi Stakeholder engagement and ownership involving local communities could be the key in creating and conserving sustainable water infrastructure and rejuvenating urban freshwater systems.
- Urban planning and wetland conservation needs to be integrated to ensure zero loss of freshwater systems in urban areas.
- Improving urban water infrastructure and cutting water consumption will help reduce water risks
- Nature based solutions including restoring degraded watersheds, reconnecting rivers to their floodplains and restoring or creating urban wetlands are critical.
- WWF: It is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Headquarters:Gland, Switzerland.
News: Indian Naval Ship Airavat has arrived in Sudan with food aid as part of Mission Sagar-2.
- Mission Sagar: It was launched by the Indian government to provide assistance to friendly foreign countries to overcome natural calamities and the coronavirus pandemic.
- Mission Sagar-I: It was undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines.
- Mission Sagar-II: As part of Mission Sagar-II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea.
- Security and Growth of All in the Region(SAGAR) in the Indian Ocean(SAGAR): The term was coined by the Indian Prime Minister in 2015.It is basically a maritime initiative which gives priority to Indian Ocean region for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in Indian Ocean region.
- Objectives: The initiative aims at a) enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories & interests b) deepening economic and security cooperation in the littoral and c) action to deal with natural disasters and maritime threats like piracy,terrorism.
News: A study has found that asteroid 16 Psyche could be made entirely of metal and is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion — more than the entire economy of Earth.
- 16 Psyche: It is an asteroid which orbits between Mars and Jupiter.
- Where is it located? It is located around 370 million kilometres away from Earth in the asteroid belt.
- When was it discovered? It was first discovered in 1853 and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.
- What is it made of? Unlike most asteroids that are made up of rocks or ice, scientists believe that Psyche is a dense and largely metallic object thought to be the core of an earlier planet that failed in formation.
News: UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere(MAB) programme has included Panna Biosphere Reserve to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
- Panna Biosphere Reserve: It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
- Vegetation: Panna is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants as well as other non-timber forestry products such as Kattha, gum and resins.
- Significance: It is a critical tiger habitat area and hosts the Panna Tiger Reserve, as well as the World Heritage site of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
- MAB programme: It is an intergovernmental scientific programme launched in 1971 by UNESCO to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.
- Under the programme, UNESCO has established the World Network of Biosphere Reserves(WNBR).Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments.If selected by UNESCO, they are included in the WNBR.
- There are 12 biosphere reserves of India which have been recognized internationally under Man and Biosphere(MAB) Reserve program.These are: 1) Nilgiri(First one to be included) 2) Gulf of Mannar 3) Sunderban 4) Nanda Devi 5) Nokrek 6) Pachmarhi 7) Similipal 8) Achanakmar – Amarkantak 9) Great Nicobar 10) Agasthyamala 11) Khangchendzonga (2018) and 12) Panna(2020).
News: The 206th Session of the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU) will be held from 1st to 4th November,2020.
- Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU): It was established in 1889 as a global organization of national parliaments.
- Aim: To promote parliamentary dialogue world-wide and works for peace and cooperation among the people.
- Members: It consists of 179 Member Parliaments and 13 Associate Members.
- Significance: IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
News: Typhoon Goni has made a landfall in the eastern Philippines.
- Typhoon Goni: It is a tropical cyclone that recently made landfall as an extremely powerful Category 5–equivalent super typhoon in the Philippines.
- Tropical Cyclone: They are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall and storm surges.
- Wind Direction: The winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Different Names: Tropical Cyclones are known by different names in different regions:
- Cyclones in Indian Ocean
- Hurricanes in Atlantic
- Typhoons in Western Pacific in South China Sea
- Willy-Willies in Western Australia.
- Conditions: The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones are:
- Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C;
- Presence of the Coriolis force;
- Small variations in the vertical wind speed;
- A pre-existing weak- low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation and
- Upper divergence above the sea level system.