1 . Solution (a)

The UNCCD COP 14 took place in september 2019. The Conference adopted the “Delhi Declaration” in which parties expressed commitment for a range of issues, including gender and health, ecosystem restoration, taking action on climate change, private sector engagement, Peace Forest Initiative and recovery of 26 million hectares of degraded land in India.

UNCCD is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21.

It was adopted in Paris, France in June 1994 and entered into force in December 1996.

It is the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.

The Convention is based on the principles of participation, partnership and decentralization—the backbone of Good Governance and Sustainable Development.

It has 197 parties, making it near universal in reach.

India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation. A 2016 report by the Indian Space Research Organisation found that about 29% of India’s land (in 2011-13) was degraded, this being a 0.57% increase from 2003-05.

2 . Solution (b)

A team of scientists at Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research has unraveled the genomic diversity associated with aggressiveness of two Indian strains of Rhizoctonia solani, the fungal pathogen that causes the dreaded Sheath Blight disease in rice.

Sheath Blight disease is a major issue in rice cultivation.

It can cause up to 60 per cent reduction in rice yield.

3 . Solution (b)

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an international body set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), which was signed in Washington, D.C. in, 1946 to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”.

In 1982 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling. Currently, Japan, Canada, and a number of other nations oppose this moratorium.

The IWC allows non-zero whaling quotas for aboriginal subsistence and also member nations may issue ‘Scientific Permits’ to their citizens. Japan has issued such permits since 1986, Norway and Iceland whale under objection to the moratorium and issue their own quotas.

In 1994, the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary was created by the IWC.

4 . Solution (d)

5 .Solution (a)

Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve 

It extends across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

About 68.1% of this reserve lies in the Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh. The other major portions of the reserve are in the Anuppur (16.20%) and Dindori (15.70%) districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The protected area of the Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bilaspur district within the Biosphere Reserve.

The topography of the biosphere reserve varies from the lowland rice fields in Bilaspur and Anuppur and the wheat fields in Dindori to the hills of the Maikal range of Satpuras.

The topography of the soil in the Amarkantak plateau is bauxite rocks.

The area of the Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve is considered to be one of the major watersheds of peninsular India. It separates the rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The reserve is also the source of three major river systems: the Narmada, the Johilla and the Son River.

Maikal hill ranges together with Vindhya and Satpura lie within the Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve.

The forest area of the reserve has tropical deciduous vegetation and it can be classified into Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous and Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous forests.

6 .Solution (c)

Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) is basically a tiger protection force named after the rhino since the threat of poaching is more for the one-horned herbivore.
This force has been raised at the initiative of National Tiger Conservation Authority for the conservation and protection of  one horned rhinos from poachers.
Recently, an 82-member Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) was deployed in Kaziranga National Park .

7 .Solution (b)

There are five key intervention areas under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan
1. Water conservation and rainwater harvesting
2. Renovation of traditional and other water bodies
3. Reuse
4. Borewell recharge structures
5. Watershed development and intensive Afforestation

8 .Solution (b)

Akademik Lomonosov is the first Russian floating nuclear power station.

It is the world’s northernmost nuclear power plant.

Akademik Lomonosov is deployed at Pevek, in the Chukotka region in Russia’s Far East.

9 .Solution (c)

The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) was established as an autonomous Research and Development Institution under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
With a mission mandate that is quite challenging, the Centre is designated as the nodal organization for the co-ordination and implementation of the Indian Antarctic Programme, including the maintenance of India‘s permanent station in Antarctica.

10 .Solution (d)

It projects that India would lose 5.8% of working hours in 2030 due to global warming.

In an absolute term India is expected to lose equivalent of 34 million full-time jobs in 2030 in productivity due to global warming.

The projections by ILO are based on a global temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius by end of 21st century and labour force trends.