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Climate change caused Earth's axis to meander 10 metres in 120 years: Studies

Two NASA-funded studies have shown that melting ice, dwindling groundwater, and rising seas, a result of climate change, has also led to the Earth's axis to meander 10 metres in the last 120 years. In the first study, published in Nature Geoscience, researchers analysed polar motion across 12 decades. The scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland attributed 90 per cent of recurring fluctuations in polar motions between 1900 and 2018 to changes in groundwater, ice sheets, glaciers, and sea levels. The remainder mostly resulted from Earth's interior dynamics, like the wobble from the tilt of the inner core concerning the bulk of the planet, they said. Changes caused due to Earth's rising temperatures "are strong drivers of the changes we’re seeing in the planet’s rotation," said Surendra Adhikari, a co-author of both papers and a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. The second study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that since 2000, days have been lengthening by 1.33 milliseconds. This change is attributed to the accelerated melting of glaciers and ice sheets due to human-caused greenhouse emissions. The lengthening of days could decelerate by 2100 if emissions are significantly reduced. However, if emissions continue to rise, the effect could reach 2.62 milliseconds per century, surpassing the influence of the Moon's tidal pull, which has been increasing Earth's day length by 2.4 milliseconds per century, the scientists said. Also Read: UNESCO designates 11 new biosphere reserves in 11 countries: Find details here This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 July,2024 03:40 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Wearing long pants on a trek protect your legs from any external factors like insects or plants that may make you uncomfortable. Photo Courtesy: Jack & Hill Adventures

Mid-Day Premium Travel tips: Dos and Don'ts for going on a monsoon trek

It is that time of the year when people set out for treks because of the pleasant weather. The fact that many people haven’t been able to go on them in the last two years is all the more reason that many of them will be planning to go this season. While going on treks in lush green surroundings, peaks and trails around is definitely fun, experts say one very important aspect that people forget is the planning phase before setting out. It is also the reason why there are many accidents that occur during this time. “There are a lot more accidents during the monsoon because the amount of people trekking in Maharashtra during the season is far more than the rest of the year. It is also the riskiest and challenging times because of the calamities and higher footfall during this time,” explains Shannon Fernandes, founder of Vagabond Experiences, a city-based travel and experiences company, which has been conducting them since 2014 in different parts of the country. While the chances of accidents happening cannot be completely avoided, they can certainly be reduced by simply following a general to-do list. Mid-day Online spoke to Johann Daniels and Fernandes, the founders of two city-based trekking groups to understand the many challenges while trekking, especially during the monsoon. They also suggest a check-list for people who are planning to go on a trek so that they do their best to avoid any unfortunate incidents while simply wanting to have a good time during the season.Avoid going on a solo trekWhile solo trips have become a trend over the years, experts say it is not the best idea to go on a solo trek because in case there is an accident, there will be nobody for immediate help in the middle of the trail. “If you go on a solo adventure and something happens to you, who is going to take care of you?” asks Johann Daniels, founder of Jack & Hill Adventures, a city-based adventure tour company. The fact that the risk level is really high is why Daniels, who has been a part of the trekking industry for 14 years, suggests going with companions because anything can happen even on an easy route or a path that one is familiar with. “A safe number would be at least two people to go along with you. So, if there is an incident then one person can help you, while the other person goes to get help.” Fernandes agrees with Daniels. In fact, he believes that even if one is the most experienced trekker, they should never trek solo. It is also the reason why he says it is important to do every trek with a guide because what may seem easy to people may actually be difficult especially for people who don’t trek that often. He says, “I’ve been trekking since 2012 and I still do not do a trek that I have not done before without a guide. There is no sense because it's really not fun to get lost, especially in the jungle that has wild animals.” So, he advises going on the trek with a local guide. “It's ideal to have a local guide with you, especially because you're not going to lose your way. If a route is blocked by a tree or a landslide. they know other routes because they have experience and are usually from the base village,” he explains. Research and know your landscapeWhile people want to go on different kinds of treks and some of the most famous peaks, one aspect of trekking that is often neglected by amateurs is checking the landscape one is going to trekking through. Daniels shares, “People go into terrains or places when they don't even understand the landscape, they have probably just seen a video online where the person in the video is explaining it to them but that isn’t enough.” So, it is important to research and understand your landscape before setting out on a trek, even if it seems like the easiest route. “You should read multiple articles about it to understand where to get out of, if you have an incident and what patch on the route,” he adds. Plan and prepareWhile researching about the terrain is an important part of planning and preparing for the trek, it is also important to remember to prepare how to treat an injury. “If you have an injury, you need to know where you need to head to because when the incident happens, it will be difficult for people to think. “The most common way to approach a trek would be to simply say, ‘We’ll go and figure it out’ but the ideal methodology would be to find out everything – check the weather updates,” he adds. Fernandes adds that in case of monsoon, it is important to check beforehand that there is no forecast of heavy downpour. “Even though the trekking experience itself is actually really nice, it's not about how difficult it gets but it's about what happens to the route during that time like a landslide or the rivers start flooding. During the monsoons in Maharashtra, you have to cross streams and that could be difficult to cross, especially if you have no guidance,” he explains. Planning your trek also means knowing your physical capabilities of doing the trek and thus opting to do the hike accordingly. Carry little but essentialsWhile most people go on a day hike during the monsoons, Daniels advises that one should travel light and not carry essential things so that your hike gets easier because your bag has less weight and you will not be as tired. He explains, “Two of your biggest essentials are food and water and that is what you should have sufficiently. Sometimes you can also add a little surplus for when you lose the trail for two hours and for that you may need more energy and hydration.” While two litre is ideal, it is important to carry a minimum of a litre and then refill later along the way. Home-cooked food is better to avoid trash in the locality. At the same time, Fernandes adds that one should also ask general questions to be aware of where to get food and water in case you have underestimated your consumption; checking about the wildlife, safety and difficulty level of the trek is also necessary to be on the safe side. Along with food and water, it is also ideal to carry a cap in case it turns out to be sunny on the day of the trek and a raincoat because of the season and the possibility of feeling cold. However, Daniels says not to carry umbrellas because it would be a safety risk on a trek, especially if it is windy.|Also Read: Ditching jeans this monsoon? Experts share tips on styling different types of bottom wear Make a First aid kitWhile going on a trek, it is necessary to carry a medical kit because it is always possible to get an injury while hiking. “One of the most common injuries are ankle sprains so prepare for that. Carrying a crepe bandage along with a small medical kit help. Also, it is important for people to stay hydrated,” Daniels explains. Fernandes adds that having people on the trek who have medical knowledge is always helpful. Even if one doesn’t, they can easily sign up a basic course available in the city because that will always come in handy as a life skill. Carry ID and inform people about your locationCarrying personal identification is important so that people with you have all the details including name, emergency contact number, blood group and in case you have any medical conditions, that are necessary to know about in case of an unfortunate incident. Apart from having them on you, Daniels suggests informing people where you are going, with whom you are going and when should they be expecting you, so in case there is a delay, your loved ones know they have to get in touch with somebody who is with you. “Personally, I share my GPS location with my family for an extreme layer in case network is bad,” he adds. While we may not always have network going into the new area, Fernandes suggests sharing the phone number of the guide because they will definitely have connectivity. Wear proper footwearWearing a proper pair of shoes is the most important yet the most underrated aspect of trekking because a lot of people don’t invest in good footwear for the trek. “People generally tend to get an old pair of shoes for their hike because they think it's going to get dirty. The problem with that is that these shoes are generally in bad condition and are already worn out and when you put them on a hike, you're really putting them through hell,” explains Daniels. “At least three out of 10 times, I will have people in running shoes, whose soles are completely coming off and then we have to like figure out how they're going to do the rest of the hike,” he adds. So, the city-based hiker says it is important for people to check their shoes before leaving the house so that they don’t open up while they are on the trek. He also recommends getting full-ankle shoes to avoid spraining one’s ankle. Even if one isn’t a frequent trekker and so doesn’t want to invest in proper gear, Fernandes has a solution. There are plenty of other options. “There are many renting companies now for you to rent from. People also underestimate the power of borrowing. Till date, if I think it's something I will use once a year, I just don't buy it. I have another friend who has it and we all circulate it amongst us.” Wear clothes that dry fastPeople should wear dry-fit clothes when going on a hike because that will help the clothes dry faster. However, it is not ideal to wear jeans because once they get wet, they get heavy, tight and uncomfortable making it difficult to move freely, especially while making bigger leaps. Cotton is also not advisable as it soaks water and may make it difficult to hike. “Be conscious about the clothes you wear so that it doesn’t shock the community who live on the route of your trek because they aren’t used to seeing people as much since they live remotely in the forest,” he explains. At the same time, it is important to not play loud music or litter the place so that their home isn’t a mess. While Daniels is personally comfortable with wearing shorts because he doesn’t mind the scratches and brushing with plants, Fernandes vows by long pants. “The long pants are not to keep your legs dry but actually to make sure that there aren’t any external factors like insects or plants that make you uncomfortable that are a problem to you. So, they are essential especially when you don’t know the flora and fauna of the area,” he adds. Invest in a trekking poleLast but not the least is investing in a trekking pole. One of the other aspects of trekking, says Fernandes, that people often take for granted is the use of the poles and their subsequent benefit. “If one has expendable income, then it is a good idea to invest in trekking poles because it saves a lot of energy and makes a huge difference to the trekking experience,” he adds, while say it is multi-purpose and should be one that people should invest in and it is important because all that matters is one’s own trekking experience.

19 July,2024 12:32 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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MP's Indore sets world record by planting 11 lakh saplings in one day

Madhya Pradesh's Indore has set a new world record by planting more than 11 lakh saplings within 24 hours. This achievement not only reinforces Indore's reputation as the country's cleanest city but also demonstrates a significant commitment to environmental sustainability. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav received the official certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records. "Indore is now number one in the world. Heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to my brothers and sisters of Indore for creating history on the plantation following our achievements in cleanliness. Thanks to your participation, Indore, the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh and the cleanest city in our country, has set a world record by planting more than 11 lakh saplings in a single day," CM Yadav said in a post on X. He added, "Inspired by our esteemed Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and with the honourable presence of Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah ji, Madhya Pradesh has proudly achieved this remarkable feat, conveying a powerful message of nature conservation and dedicated service to Mother Earth." Guinness World Record's consultant, Nishchal Barot, remarked that the previous record was held by Assam, where 926,000 saplings were planted in a single day. "The title of this Guinness World Record is 'Most trees planted by a team within 24 hours'. We started this record on July 13 at 7:03 pm, and it continued until today at 7:03 pm. The good thing is that Indore broke the old record at 5:00 pm. Assam held the old record for planting 926,000 saplings in 24 hours. The numbers will be released later. However, we have handed the certificate of the new world record to CM Mohan Yadav," he said. The plantation site, Revati Range, was divided into 9 zones and 100 sub-zones. The mega plantation drive was monitored through 100 cameras, and it took around 46 days for the administration to prepare for this drive. Earlier on Saturday, Urban Administration Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya addressed a press conference to share information about the upcoming world record and the preparations made for the mega plantation drive on Sunday. Urban Administration Minister Vijayavargiya and Indore Mayor Pushyamitra Bhargava congratulated the citizens, along with BSF soldiers and over 200 social, educational, religious, and business organisations that participated in the plantation drive. "The vision for planting 11 lakh saplings was conceived on May 27. After 46 days of hard work and a dedicated team, we have reached this significant milestone today," Vijayavargiya said.  (With inputs from ANI) This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

15 July,2024 10:42 AM IST | Mumbai | ANI
Get ready to witness incredible activities at Pet Fed, including a Police Dog Show, Training Masterclasses and more

Gear up for India’s biggest pet festival - Pet Fed 2023

India’s most anticipated pet extravaganza, Pet Fed, is all set to make a grand return, promising an extraordinary experience for pet lovers and their furry companions. As the proud holder of the Limca World Record for the "Biggest Dog Carnival," Pet Fed is gearing up for its 8th edition, and this year's celebration is going to be bigger and better than ever before. Pet Fed will be taking the festivities to six major cities across the country, creating a platform for pets and their humans to come together for a memorable celebration of their unique bond. Here's the lineup: Bengaluru on 25th & 26th November at Jayamahal Palace Grounds Delhi on 16th & 17th December at NSIC Grounds, Okhla Mumbai on 13th & 14th January at Nesco Grounds, Goregaon Pune Express on 10th & 11th February at Westend Mall, Aundh Chandigarh on 24th & 25th February at Elante Mall Hyderabad on 16th & 17th March at DSL Virtue Mall Get ready for an enchanting experience as Pet Fed promises to take you and your pets on an unforgettable journey filled with exhilarating activities, fun stalls, and enlightening workshops. With over 100 stalls showcasing the latest in pet products and services, along with numerous activities and workshops, you and your pets are in for a treat. The festival, spread across a magnificent 3-acre space, offers ample room for pets to frolic, play, and interact freely. Pet Fed is known for its inclusivity, welcoming not only proud pet parents but also those who are yet to welcome a furry friend into their lives. It's a world filled with thousands of pets, where you can experience the joy, love, and boundless compassion that animals bring to our lives. The visionary behind this pet phenomenon is Akshay Gupta, whose passion for pets has driven the growth and success of Pet Fed. He envisions Pet Fed as a haven for pet lovers and their beloved companions, providing meticulously planned, unique experiences that leave a lasting impact. Speaking about the upcoming event, Akshay Gupta said, "In our journey of growth over the years, we've not only expanded in scale but also in the quality of experiences we offer at Pet Fed. Every pet owner, pet enthusiast, and cherished furry companion who joins us at this festival holds a special place in our hearts. Our mission is to ensure they leave with unforgettable memories. With this upcoming edition of Pet Fed, we are poised to raise the bar even higher. We are excited to provide the ever-growing community of pet lovers and their beloved pets with the perfect haven to come together and partake in a series of meticulously planned, unique experiences." Get ready to witness incredible activities at Pet Fed, including a Police Dog Show, Training Masterclasses, Hygiene Masterclasses, Pet Keeping Masterclasses, Pet’s Got Talent, a Fashion Show, International Cat Show, Agility Area, Kids Carnival Area, Free Microchipping for Cats, and Free Entry for Indie Pets.

12 July,2024 07:04 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Beyond the smog: Proactive policy moves to address Mumbai's air quality concerns

In the face of Mumbai's deteriorating Air Quality Index, it is imperative that we acknowledge the urgency of the situation. Poor air quality poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of our citizens but also undermines the city's overall sustainability. To tackle this problem effectively, there are no short-term solutions, we need a comprehensive approach that addresses various aspects of urban life. The primary cause of declining air quality is closely tied to climate change and rise of carbon emissions. To mitigate this, a critical long-term solution is to initiate education and awareness campaigns at the grassroots level. Climate change education is crucial, as studies indicate that providing climate education to 16 percent of high school students could lead to a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. This is a significant step, especially given India's demographic dividend, which demands the active involvement of the younger generation in climate action. In line with this goal, organisations like 1M1B are working towards making climate education and green skilling an integral part of the mainstream curriculum. This approach goes beyond mere volunteering and aims to instill a mindset of sustainability in the next generation. “We have already established partnerships, with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, with the commitment to engage a million young people in climate action. Our efforts encompass a wide range of initiatives, including addressing water quality, pollution control, ocean conservation, plastic waste reduction, and promoting sustainable fashion,” shares Manav Subodh, the founder of 1M1B (One Million for One Billion) Recognising the significance of small businesses in the urban landscape, 1M1B has set a target to involve 1,000 small businesses in climate change initiatives. By connecting young individuals with these businesses as green interns, the aim is to facilitate the adoption of energy-saving technologies and practices, particularly among smaller enterprises. In addition to this, they support entrepreneurial students in launching sustainable businesses that contribute to solving environmental challenges. For instance, projects like 3D printing of coral reefs for ocean restoration, lake conservation efforts, plastic waste reduction schemes, and sustainable fashion awareness campaigns. These projects strategically align with creating a circular economy, emphasising resource sustainability and waste reduction. Moreover, nurturing and empowering local role models among young individuals can lead to a positive impact at the grassroots level. These emerging leaders are not only raising awareness but also acting on a global stage, including platforms like the United Nations. This year 45 top young innovators from India will be showcasing their work at the 1M1B Youth summit at the UN Headquarters in New York. Ultimately, the overarching objective is to make climate action and sustainability a central focus in addressing the issue of air quality comprehensively. By fostering youth engagement and mainstreaming climate initiatives, a culture of change can be induced that transforms Mumbai into a cleaner, more sustainable city.

12 July,2024 06:55 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
 Saakshi Teckchandani (23), founder of Planet for Plants and Animals (PPAIndia), organised ‘Vriksharopan’ – a tree-plantation campaign along the shores of Carter Road

Mid-Day Premium Bandra's green revolution: Youth battle air quality crisis by planting trees

They say that youth is insane. Perhaps that’s why they are the harbingers of change. A youth-led initiative has blossomed in the heart of Bandra as Mumbai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) dipped to a concerning ‘poor’ category last week. In a bid to promote environmental well-being, residents joined hands to spearhead a plantation drive on the Carter Road Promenade. Starting out with phase 1 of the drive, 53 saplings were planted at the seashore alongside Bandra Bay. Saakshi Teckchandani (23), founder of Planet for Plants and Animals (PPAIndia), organised ‘Vriksharopan’ – the tree-planting campaign along with Trivankumar Karnani, 120 students from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and the Rotary Club of Bandra. A recurring drive, it saw wide participation from not just youth but senior citizens as well. Students from 'Kshamta', a social and environment welfare group from NMIMS With a roster of 20 volunteers from schools and colleges, the team at PPAIndia is injecting renewed vigour into a cause that promises future outcomes. What inspired them, we ask Saakshi? She tells Midday: “While commuting to my college via Bandra Worli Sea Link – I saw the skyline laden with haze, with only a silhouette of the city visible. That was the tipping point.”   Participation across diverse groups  Young leaders initiated the plantation drive, but it garnered support from older residents who are well aware of how trees reduce the urban heat island effect. Even though they couldn’t be physically present owing to their age – they extended support by sponsoring saplings that found a home along the promenade. Rahul Rohra (40), General Secretary of the Rotary Club of Bombay Bandra tells Midday: “Each tree we plant is an act of defiance against man-made disasters that pollute our air. As we stood on the shores of Carter Road, I couldn't help but think of the kind of world we'll leave behind for future generations. It's our responsibility, as individuals and as a community, to counteract the effects of pollution and tree planting is our way of reclaiming clean air for our beloved Bandra.” “We became the foot and fingers of the elderly who cheered us while we planted the saplings,” shares Trivan – the young advocate with the Bombay High Court and founder of Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF) that works in the field of citizen welfare and public interest. Advocate Trivankumar karnani - Founder, MNCDF Vinammra Agarwal, an MBA student in his early twenties was seen in action, leading a pack of volunteers from NMIMS. He is the General Secretary of the social responsibility forum ‘Kshamta’ (at NMIMS) which works diligently towards social and environmental causes. The students united to take a step towards climate mitigation which is aimed to clear the air pollutants, absorb CO2 and release oxygen. The act of planting trees cannot be overstated in its importance. Trees play a vital role in purifying the air by absorbing toxins and carbon dioxide while providing us with shade. Moreover, they enrich the soil, making it more fertile for agricultural purposes. “It's crucial to remember that trees don't require us for their existence, but rather, it's we who are reliant on trees for our survival,” says Agarwal. For the follow-up and post-plantation care, the team has tied up with local vendors who keep a watch, and water the saplings. Through this approach, the initiative gains a bigger momentum with involvement spanning diverse age groups and society's various strata, informs Trivan. Mumbai’s worsening AQI Like Saakshi, many Mumbaikars were engulfed in a blanket of dense smog as the AQI worsened for the second consecutive row this year. The coastal region has traditionally enjoyed the benefits of sea breezes that helped preserve its air quality. However, over the past year, this geographical advantage has shown signs of diminishing. In Vile Parle, the AQI had crossed the mark of 400 in the previous week indicating choking levels of air pollution. With a rise in PM 2.5 and O3 levels in the air – children and senior citizens face significant threats owing to weaker immunity systems. “If this continues, – we will be breathing hazardous toxins in a few years,” Saakshi voices her concerns. While the air quality has improved to a moderate level, experts argue that it continues to present a health risk for vulnerable groups. According to meteorologists, the pollutants continue to loom in the air due to calmer winds. These pollutants include tropospheric ozone – a greenhouse gas that is also responsible for rising temperatures across the city. Some of the world’s top 50 most polluted cities are in India. Pic/Satej Shinde Picture this – Amid an apocalypse in Mumbai, an indefinite onslaught of air pollution has left the city choking for breath. With clean air in scarcity, Mumbaikars are left with no choice but to wear oxygen cylinders and ration their breaths. It’s this fear that provoked the youth of Bandra to take matters into their own hands and respond to the rising air pollution.   Challenges from red tape  Saakshi opines that there are policies in place that are not being implemented strategically. There are multiple hurdles at the bureaucratic and administrative levels when it comes to implementing green initiatives. “Government departments are not interested in supporting such programs unless there is a political benefit attached,” reveals Trivan. Recollecting her experience with the Garden Department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Sakshi shares that they already have so much on their plate that it becomes difficult for them to entertain another issue. “Environmental issues often take a back seat due to the inadequacy of a proper response escalation system,” informs Saakshi. But the climate-forward duo is result-oriented. “Aise nahi to vaise, humko acha kaam karna hai so we find a way” says Trivan who is also the project head at PPAIndia. He reverberates passion as he regales us over his maneuvering efforts with government bodies.   Planting eco-consciousness in the minds of Mumbaikars  In 2021, the team planted a sapling in Khar which has now blossomed into a tree. Within two years, the tree is releasing oxygen and absorbing toxins from the air, thereby contributing to a cleaner, healthier surrounding. Encouraged by the results, the team intends to expand the mission pan-India with the help of localised partners. It is a striking argument for those who perceive tree planting to be a lengthy procedure that could demand 20 years or more to exhibit its effects.  Saakshi established PPAIndia with Trivan as the project head in 2020. Both of them were united by their joint commitment to instill eco-consciousness within the local community. They have partnered with multiple schools and colleges on initiatives like urban forestation, beach and mangrove land clean-ups, waste collection drives, pet welfare and more. The next plantation drive is coming up on November 25 at Priyadarshini Park, Nepean Sea Road. It will be in collaboration with Raksha Education Center as part of a larger mission to fight against the worsening impacts of air quality in Mumbai. Saakshi makes an appeal for the residents to show support and join them in developing an eco-conscious attitude towards the environment.  

12 July,2024 06:52 PM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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100 live turtles recovered from Ghaziabad, UP police nabs smuggler

100 live turtles were confiscated by the Uttar Pradesh Police after they nabbed a smuggler who deals in the smuggling of turtles and other extinct species on Tuesday. Bheem (38), who resided in the Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the police from Geeta Colony yesterday afternoon after he was identified as a suspected smuggler by an informer. Police confiscated a total of 100 live turtles, which include 50 Indian-roofed turtles, 45 black-spotted pond turtles, three Indian Eye Turtles (Schedule-I) and two Indian soft shield turtles (Schedule-I). On Tuesday, the police at Geeta Colony Police Station received secret information regarding the arrival of a smuggler of banned turtles in that area. After verifying the information, at about 1:15 pm, a person was noticed coming on a scooty carrying a big bag from Shakarpur. The informer identified the scooty driver as the suspect smuggler and at that instance, the suspect was apprehended. Upon searching the bag, the police found several live turtles. On inquiry, the accused could not give any satisfactory answer regarding the possession of such turtles and bearing the sensitivity of the matter, the accused with the bag containing turtles was brought to the police station. On being thoroughly checked, a total of 100 live turtles were recovered from the bag and a case under the Wild Life Protection Act and 11(A) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was registered at Geeta Colony Police Station. The information was later also passed on to the officials of the Wildlife Department. Upon further interrogation, the accessed Bheem disclosed that he, along with his associate, Ravi Bhatnagar, have been smuggling turtles and other extinct species as per the demand of customers for a long time. As per his disclosure, Bheem procures the species of turtle from the Ganga River stretched in the Garhmukteshwar area called Garh Ganga and from the subsidiary rivers. He further disclosed that recently a case was registered against his associate Ravi Bhatnagar regarding the smuggling of turtles at the Nandgram Police Station in Ghaziabad. The search for co-associate Ravi is also going on. Also read: July begins with healthy rainfall, sowing status better than last year: Report atOptions = { 'key' : 'c3d6d131da6e3ad89e4d3fdf2a921462', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 60, 'width' : 468, 'params' : {} };

11 July,2024 09:28 AM IST | Mumbai | PTI
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UNESCO designates 11 new biosphere reserves in 11 countries: Find details here

UNESCO has recently approved the designation of 11 new biosphere reserves in 11 countries, including Belgium and Gambia for the first time and two transboundary biosphere reserves. The other new biosphere reserves are located in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mongolia, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Slovenia and Spain. Biosphere reserves are sites for implementing different approaches to sustainable development and interaction between social and ecological environment. Each biosphere reserve promotes innovative local sustainable development solutions, protects biodiversity, and addresses climate disruption. They also support local and indigenous communities through practices such as agro-ecology, water management, and the generation of green income.  According to the statement by UNESCO, with these new biosphere reserves covering a total area of 37,400 square km, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves now totals 759 sites in 136 countries. These additions were decided during the 36th session of the International Co-ordinating Council, the governing body of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme. The 11 newly designated biosphere reserves are: Kempen-Broek Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Belgium, Kingdom of the Netherlands) Kempen-Broek offers a captivating blend of natural wonders and human history. Once expansive wetlands have been transformed into farmlands since the 19th century but the area retains remnants of its marshes, punctuated by ponds, open marshlands and bog forests. Spanning 264 square km, the biosphere reserve is home to approximately 75,000 people, with tourism and agriculture being its economic pillars. It is the first biosphere reserve to be designated in Belgium and is shared with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Darién Norte Chocoano Biosphere Reserve (Colombia) Amidst the vibrant Darien ecoregion, within the Biogeographic Chocó, lies a biodiversity bridge connecting the fauna and flora of North and South America, with emblematic species like the majestic harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) and the colourful poison dart frogs. Encompassing a sprawling mosaic of ecosystems ranging from lush tropical rainforests to marine areas along the Gulf of Urabá, it covers a vast territory spanning 3016 km square, almost 40 per cent of which consists in marine areas. The biosphere reserve has a diverse population of 24,287, predominantly composed of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Colombian origins. Madre de las Aguas Biosphere Reserve (Dominican Republic) Madre de las Aguas Biosphere Reserve is a sprawling expanse that encompasses 11 provinces and 35 municipalities, sheltering a population of 472,526 and spanning 9,374 square km. This territory is characterized by its diverse topography, which has been sculpted by the Cordillera Central. An array of natural wonders ranging from plateaus to cascading waterfalls form an intricate tapestry of landscapes. This biosphere reserve features four distinct ecosystems which harbour 88 avian species, 20 of which are endemic and 17 under threat. Also Read: To travel or not? Decoding the overtourism and irresponsible tourism catastrophe Niumi Biosphere Reserve (Gambia) Stretching along the north bank of the Gambia River, the biosphere reserve lies adjacent to Senegal’s Delta de Saloum Biosphere Reserve in the north. Within its boundaries, mangroves dominate the coastal areas and riverbanks, whereas, downstream, striking red limestone formations punctuate tropical forests and open savannah woodland. The biosphere reserve safeguards some of West Africa's last pristine mangrove forests, alongside the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve and various State forests. With a sprawling expanse of 1937 square km, the biosphere reserve is home to approximately 178,000 people.  Colli Euganei Biosphere Reserve (Italy) This landscape in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy is defined by no fewer than 81 volcanic hills, including the towering Monte Venda which rises amidst thermal spas and verdant plains adorned with olive groves and vineyards. Spanning 15 municipalities, the area is rich in both natural and cultural heritage. The region's volcanic history and thermal waters contribute to its allure, making it the largest thermal basin in Europe. With a total area of 341 square km, the biosphere reserve hosts a population of 111,368. Julian Alps Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Italy, Slovenia) This transboundary biosphere reserve is the result of the merger of two Slovenian and Italian biosphere reserves which had been designated in 2003 and 2019, respectively. The transboundary biosphere reserve spans 2671 square km, encompassing core areas of 735 square km, buffer zones spanning 438 square km and transition areas totalling 1497 square km which are home to 109,060 inhabitants across 20 municipalities. The area boasts a patchwork of alpine mountains and karst plateaux dotted by waterfalls and pristine lakes. The rich biodiversity includes brown bears, lynxes, otters and wildcats. Khar Us Lake Biosphere Reserve (Mongolia) Situated in the expansive western expanse of Mongolia, Khar Us Lake Biosphere Reserve occupies a vast depression within the Great Lake basin spanning 14153 square km in the Khovd Province. Its diverse ecosystems encompass aquatic realms, deserts, high mountain terrain and steppe landscapes, each contributing to the region's ecological richness. The biosphere reserve has a core area of 703 square km, a buffer zone of 7800 square km and a transition area of 5650 square km. Apayaos Biosphere Reserve (Philippines) This biosphere reserve in the Province of Apayao is divided into two distinct regions: the Upper Apayao sports rugged terrain with towering peaks, plateaus and valleys, whereas the Lower Apayao features flatlands adorned with rolling hills and plateaus. Stretching 180 km, the majestic Apayao River serves as a vital watershed, nurturing 18 tributaries across the province. Apayaos is a name that encompasses both the people and diverse flora and fauna living in the area. There are various ethnolinguistic groups and ten Indigenous Cultural Communities whose traditions and laws are deeply intertwined with the land and its resources. The population of 124,366 engages primarily in rice and corn cultivation. However, ecotourism is progressing in the province. The biosphere reserve spans 3960 square km. Changnyeong Biosphere Reserve (Republic of Korea) Located in the central northern region of Gyeongsangnam-do Province, Changnyeong Biosphere Reserve forms a tapestry of biodiversity and cultural heritage. Encompassing habitats ranging from the lush forests of Mount Hwawang to the sprawling Upo Wetland and agricultural croplands, the region's diverse landscapes spans 531 square km. Notably, Upo Wetland stands as a testament to successful conservation efforts, exemplified by the restoration of the endangered crested ibis (Nipponia nippon) since 2008. Changnyeong-gun County was recognized as a Ramsar Wetland City in 2018. Val d'Aran Biosphere Reserve (Spain) Nestled at the western frontier of the Catalan Pyrenees, the biosphere reserve spans approximately 632 square km, serving as Catalonia's sole north-facing valley. Its unique position as a watershed between the Mediterranean and Atlantic realms means that it features diverse climatic and biological landscapes. It is also a bastion of Occitan cultural and linguistic heritage. Home to 9983 inhabitants, the Val d'Aran has historically thrived on activities ranging from agriculture and crafts to trade. Lately, the re-introduction of brown bears has raised concerns among local livestock farmers. Irati Biosphere Reserve (Spain) Irati Biosphere Reserve is located within the mid-mountain expanse of the western Pyrenees. A haven for biodiversity, its expansive forests are dominated by beech and beech-fir, making it the second-largest beech forest in Europe. Encompassing the picturesque valleys of Salazar and Aezkoa in the northeastern reaches of Navarre, it spans 537 square km and is home to 2435 inhabitants.

09 July,2024 03:32 PM IST | Morocco | mid-day online correspondent
Pic/Kirti Surve

Heavy rain brings Mumbai to halt, road & rail traffic hit, schools shut

Overnight heavy rain pounded large parts of Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) hitting suburban and long-distance trains, roads and highways while stranding lakhs of commuters trooping out to work on the first working day of the week and all schools were shut for the morning session, officials said here on Monday.  atOptions = { 'key' : 'd0ddb8ef8f1a62a8cdd22fac27fc5ea7', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; In just six hours, many areas in the city recorded more than a staggering 200 mm - 300 mm rainfall from 1 a.m. till 7 a.m., according to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the downpour continued with a forecast of heavy rain for the next two days. As Mumbai slept, the skies opened up for the first major downpour of the current monsoon, and most citizens woke up to waterlogged roads, railway tracks, flooded low-lying areas, water in homes, shops or offices, blocked subways and many places rendered inaccessible to commute. The earliest of the commuters before dawn encountered either delays or cancellations of suburban local trains -- the city’s lifeline which transports over 8.50 million people daily -- with huge crowds waiting at almost all the railway stations dotting the Central Railway and Western Railway networks sprawling Mumbai plus Thane, Palghar and Raigad (MMR). Besides, important trains that ferry thousands of commuters on the Mumbai-Gujarat, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Kolhapur sectors, were also hit by cancellations or massive delays or getting stranded at stations en route. In Mumbai, several subways, including Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandival and Dahisar were flooded with 3-5 feet of water, and east-west traffic was halted. Railway tracks were flooded near Kalyan, Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Thane, Bhandup, Kurla, Sion and Wadala hitting suburban trains. Several housing complexes were waterlogged in Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Santacruz, Sion, Wadala, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, and other places. Scores of big and small vehicles were either stuck or submerged partly-fully in different areas of the city, tree falls and other minor incidents, though there are no reports of any casualties so far. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever atOptions = { 'key' : 'd0ddb8ef8f1a62a8cdd22fac27fc5ea7', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} };

09 July,2024 09:04 AM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Image for representational purposes only. File/Pic

July begins with healthy rainfall, sowing status better than last year: Report

Signalling a normal monsoon ahead, The cumulative rainfall reached 1 per cent above the long-term average (as on July 6) while weekly rainfall (as on July 3) was 32 per cent above the long-term average in the country, a report showed on Monday.  atOptions = { 'key' : 'd0ddb8ef8f1a62a8cdd22fac27fc5ea7', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; Spatial divergence has reduced with most of the country receiving healthy rains during the last week. North and West India (3 per cent), Central India (-6 per cent), East and North East India (0 per cent ), and the southern peninsula (13 per cent) have now all had normal rains so far, according to the report by Emkay Global Financial Services. “With June having ended in deficit, it is imperative that July sees healthy rainfall and the month has begun on a promising note,” said Madhavi Arora, Lead Economist, Emkay Global Financial Services. While sowing was delayed, it has now picked up and is better than last year. “Total area under sowing (24.1 million hectare), as on June 28, is sharply higher (33 per cent YoY) than last year. This is mainly due to accelerated sowing of pulses and oilseeds,” the report noted. Rice sowing area is the same as last year thus far whereas sugarcane is better. Among non-food crops, cotton sowing is much higher. Overall area under sowing is at 22 per cent of normal area sown, compared with 18.6 per cent at the same point in 2023. “July is extremely important in this regard with nearly 80 per cent of sowing activity completed by the end of the month,” said Arora. We also published this earlier Heavy rain brings Mumbai to halt, road & rail traffic hit, schools shut Overnight heavy rain pounded large parts of Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) hitting suburban and long-distance trains, roads and highways while stranding lakhs of commuters trooping out to work on the first working day of the week and all schools were shut for the morning session, officials said here on Monday.  In just six hours, many areas in the city recorded more than a staggering 200 mm - 300 mm rainfall from 1 am till 7 am, according to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the downpour continued with a forecast of heavy rain for the next two days. As Mumbai slept, the skies opened up for the first major downpour of the current monsoon, and most citizens woke up to waterlogged roads, railway tracks, flooded low-lying areas, water in homes, shops or offices, blocked subways and many places rendered inaccessible to commute. The earliest of the commuters before dawn encountered either delays or cancellations of suburban local trains -- the city’s lifeline which transports over 8.50 million people daily -- with huge crowds waiting at almost all the railway stations dotting the Central Railway and Western Railway networks sprawling Mumbai plus Thane, Palghar and Raigad (MMR). Besides, important trains that ferry thousands of commuters on the Mumbai-Gujarat, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Kolhapur sectors, were also hit by cancellations or massive delays or getting stranded at stations en route. In Mumbai, several subways, including Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandival and Dahisar were flooded with 3-5 feet of water, and east-west traffic was halted. Railway tracks were flooded near Kalyan, Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Thane, Bhandup, Kurla, Sion and Wadala hitting suburban trains. Several housing complexes were waterlogged in Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Santacruz, Sion, Wadala, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, and other places. Scores of big and small vehicles were either stuck or submerged partly-fully in different areas of the city, tree falls and other minor incidents, though there are no reports of any casualties so far. Also read: Heavy rains lash Mumbai, several areas inundated; trains disrupted, holiday for schools, colleges declared This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever atOptions = { 'key' : 'd0ddb8ef8f1a62a8cdd22fac27fc5ea7', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} };

09 July,2024 09:02 AM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Image for representational purposes only (Photo Courtesy: iStock)

Maruti Suzuki sends 2 million vehicles via Railways to promote green logistics

In a bid to help the government towards its net zero emissions target by 2070, Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said it surpassed 2 million cumulative vehicle dispatches using Railways as part of its ‘green logistics’ goals. The company has rapidly scaled up its vehicle dispatches through Railways from 65,700 units in FY 2014-15 to 447,750 units in FY 2023-24. The feat makes Maruti Suzuki India’s first automobile company to attain this eco-milestone. Today, the company dispatches vehicles to 20 destinations, serving over 450 cities using Indian Railways. “Through our sustained efforts in green logistics, we have achieved outstanding results including cumulative reduction of 10,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions and 270 million litres of cumulative fuel savings,” said Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited. With the automaker’s production capacity nearly doubling from about 2 million units to 4 million units by FY2030-31, “we plan to augment the use of Railways in vehicle dispatches, close to 35 per cent over the next 7-8 years,” Takeuchi added. Earlier this year, under the ‘PM Gati Shakti’ programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first automobile in-plant railway siding at Maruti Suzuki’s Gujarat facility. This facility has a capacity to dispatch 300,000 vehicles per annum. The next in-plant railway siding is in progress at the Manesar facility and will be operational soon, according to the company. “We stand committed to the government of India’s net zero emissions target by 2070,” Takeuchi added. Also Read: To travel or not? Decoding the overtourism and irresponsible tourism catastrophe This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 July,2024 01:36 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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