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55                                                                                                                                                                       
5. ENVIRONMENT 
5.1. PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT  
Why in news? 
Recently, India Extended support for protecting Antarctic environment and for designating East Antarctica and Weddell 
Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  
More on news 
• India also urged the Commission for the 
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India 
remains associated with the formulation, 
adaptation, and implementation mechanisms of 
these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in future. 
o Designating East Antarctica and the Weddell 
Sea as the MPAs are essential to regulate 
illegal unreported and unregulated fishing 
(IUUF). 
o MPAs provides protection for all or part of its 
natural resources, certain activities within an 
MPA are limited or prohibited to meet 
specific conservation, habitat protection, 
ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries 
management objectives. 
• CCAMLR, with an aim to conserve marine life, came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), 
which is at the heart of Antarctic Treaty 1959.  
o It is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the 
entire  Antarctic marine ecosystem. 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 
• An MPA is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters 
- similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by 
local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  
• MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and 
mitigation. 
o As of March 2021, the World Database on Protected Areas reported that only 7.65% of the global seas had been 
covered. 
o This is far from the commitments of States made in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi 
Target 11 of 10% MPA coverage by 2020, and even further from the recommendations made at the IUCN World Parks 
Congress 2014 that at least 30% no-take MPA coverage worldwide is needed.   
About Antarctica 
• Antarctica is not a country. It has no government and no indigenous population. Instead, the entire continent is set 
aside as a scientific preserve.  
• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had 
been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. 
o These 12 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, 
USSR (now Russia) the UK, and the US. 
o The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54 (including India). 
o The Treaty entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.  
Page 2


 
55                                                                                                                                                                       
5. ENVIRONMENT 
5.1. PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT  
Why in news? 
Recently, India Extended support for protecting Antarctic environment and for designating East Antarctica and Weddell 
Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  
More on news 
• India also urged the Commission for the 
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India 
remains associated with the formulation, 
adaptation, and implementation mechanisms of 
these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in future. 
o Designating East Antarctica and the Weddell 
Sea as the MPAs are essential to regulate 
illegal unreported and unregulated fishing 
(IUUF). 
o MPAs provides protection for all or part of its 
natural resources, certain activities within an 
MPA are limited or prohibited to meet 
specific conservation, habitat protection, 
ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries 
management objectives. 
• CCAMLR, with an aim to conserve marine life, came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), 
which is at the heart of Antarctic Treaty 1959.  
o It is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the 
entire  Antarctic marine ecosystem. 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 
• An MPA is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters 
- similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by 
local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  
• MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and 
mitigation. 
o As of March 2021, the World Database on Protected Areas reported that only 7.65% of the global seas had been 
covered. 
o This is far from the commitments of States made in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi 
Target 11 of 10% MPA coverage by 2020, and even further from the recommendations made at the IUCN World Parks 
Congress 2014 that at least 30% no-take MPA coverage worldwide is needed.   
About Antarctica 
• Antarctica is not a country. It has no government and no indigenous population. Instead, the entire continent is set 
aside as a scientific preserve.  
• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had 
been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. 
o These 12 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, 
USSR (now Russia) the UK, and the US. 
o The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54 (including India). 
o The Treaty entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.  
 
56                                                                                                                                                                       
o It is also the 
foundation of a rules-
based international 
order for a continent 
without a permanent 
population. 
• The treaty is framed to 
ensure ‘in the interests of 
all mankind that 
Antarctica shall continue 
forever to be used 
exclusively for peaceful 
purposes and shall not 
become the scene or 
object of international 
discord.’ 
o To this end it 
prohibits military 
activity, except in 
support of science; 
prohibits nuclear 
explosions and the 
disposal of nuclear 
waste; promotes 
scientific research and 
the exchange of data; 
and holds all 
territorial 
claims in 
abeyance. 
• The Protocol on 
Environmental 
Protection to the 
Antarctic Treaty 
was signed in 
Madrid in 1991 and 
entered into force 
in 1998.  
o Its purpose was 
to enhance 
protection of 
the Antarctic 
environment 
and dependent 
and associated 
ecosystems. 
Challenges faced by the Antarctica 
• Territorial dispute between parties: Argentina and the UK, for instance, have overlapping claims to territory on the 
continent. When combined with their ongoing dispute over the nearby Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, their Antarctic 
relationship remains frosty. 
Page 3


 
55                                                                                                                                                                       
5. ENVIRONMENT 
5.1. PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT  
Why in news? 
Recently, India Extended support for protecting Antarctic environment and for designating East Antarctica and Weddell 
Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  
More on news 
• India also urged the Commission for the 
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India 
remains associated with the formulation, 
adaptation, and implementation mechanisms of 
these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in future. 
o Designating East Antarctica and the Weddell 
Sea as the MPAs are essential to regulate 
illegal unreported and unregulated fishing 
(IUUF). 
o MPAs provides protection for all or part of its 
natural resources, certain activities within an 
MPA are limited or prohibited to meet 
specific conservation, habitat protection, 
ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries 
management objectives. 
• CCAMLR, with an aim to conserve marine life, came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), 
which is at the heart of Antarctic Treaty 1959.  
o It is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the 
entire  Antarctic marine ecosystem. 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 
• An MPA is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters 
- similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by 
local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  
• MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and 
mitigation. 
o As of March 2021, the World Database on Protected Areas reported that only 7.65% of the global seas had been 
covered. 
o This is far from the commitments of States made in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi 
Target 11 of 10% MPA coverage by 2020, and even further from the recommendations made at the IUCN World Parks 
Congress 2014 that at least 30% no-take MPA coverage worldwide is needed.   
About Antarctica 
• Antarctica is not a country. It has no government and no indigenous population. Instead, the entire continent is set 
aside as a scientific preserve.  
• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had 
been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. 
o These 12 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, 
USSR (now Russia) the UK, and the US. 
o The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54 (including India). 
o The Treaty entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.  
 
56                                                                                                                                                                       
o It is also the 
foundation of a rules-
based international 
order for a continent 
without a permanent 
population. 
• The treaty is framed to 
ensure ‘in the interests of 
all mankind that 
Antarctica shall continue 
forever to be used 
exclusively for peaceful 
purposes and shall not 
become the scene or 
object of international 
discord.’ 
o To this end it 
prohibits military 
activity, except in 
support of science; 
prohibits nuclear 
explosions and the 
disposal of nuclear 
waste; promotes 
scientific research and 
the exchange of data; 
and holds all 
territorial 
claims in 
abeyance. 
• The Protocol on 
Environmental 
Protection to the 
Antarctic Treaty 
was signed in 
Madrid in 1991 and 
entered into force 
in 1998.  
o Its purpose was 
to enhance 
protection of 
the Antarctic 
environment 
and dependent 
and associated 
ecosystems. 
Challenges faced by the Antarctica 
• Territorial dispute between parties: Argentina and the UK, for instance, have overlapping claims to territory on the 
continent. When combined with their ongoing dispute over the nearby Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, their Antarctic 
relationship remains frosty. 
 
57                                                                                                                                                                       
• Assertive China: China is spending huge amount 
of money, every year, on Antarctica. There is 
considerable speculation as to China’s interests 
in Antarctic resources, especially fisheries and 
minerals, and whether China may seek to exploit 
weaknesses in the treaty system to secure access 
to those resources.  
• Climate change: Climate change has the 
potential to cause significant biophysical change 
to Antarctica through changing patterns of sea 
ice formation and destabilization of ice sheets.  
• Changing circumstances: Tourism, rise in IUU 
(i.e., illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, 
biological prospecting (commercialization of 
knowledge gained from research with regard to 
bio-organisms) etc. are gaining momentum. All 
these together may put threat to the fragile 
ecosystem of Antarctica.  
• Conflict with the provisions of other laws: Since 
the conclusion of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, 
international law underwent profound changes.  
o For example, under the United Nations 
Convention on the Law of the Sea (also known 
as UNCLOS), 1982 an International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been founded which is responsible for granting 
permits for the exploitation of mineral resources from the deep seabed. The question has therefore arisen 
whether the ISA could grant permits for mineral exploitation of the deep seabed in the Antarctic region, despite 
the Madrid Protocol, which prohibits mineral exploitation in the Antarctic. 
Way ahead 
• Effective implementation of the Treaty: To resolve this situation, firstly, the Antarctic Treaty Members must 
pressure every member state to the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) to implement the rules of the ATS in a strict 
manner. New, more stringent environmental protection regulations will be of no avail if they are not properly 
implemented. 
• New regulation based on scientific findings: For this, scientists will have to learn how to translate scientific findings 
into policy-relevant information. This will be a CONDITION SINE QUA NON for a performant environmental 
protection system. 
• A dedicated tourism convention for the region: This convention could serve to reaffirm the philosophic base of the 
Antarctic Treaty, namely international cooperation in scientific research, and in doing so combat the 
commercialization of the Antarctic region. 
• Behavioral change. People need to be taught how fragile the Antarctic environment and ecosystem are. They need 
to understand the problems posed by cumulative impacts.  
5.2. CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR COASTAL CITIES 
Why in news? 
Amid warnings of climate change leading to extreme weather events like high-intensity floods and landslides in the 
city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is drafting a Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in a bid to tackle 
climate challenges. 
 
 
India’s endeavor in Antarctica  
• India signed Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and soon received 
consultative status.  
• The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic 
Treaty (the Environmental Protocol or Madrid Protocol) 
entered into force for India in 1998.  
• India is also a member of Council of Managers of National 
Antarctic Programme (COMNAP), Scientific Committee of 
Antarctica Research (SCAR) and Commission for Conservation 
of Antarctic Marine Living Recourses (CCAMLR).  
• India’s Research stations: Maitri at Schirmacher Hills, Bharati 
at Larsemann Hills (Dakshin Gangotri was the first Indian base 
established in 1984).  
• The Antarctic operations of India are currently funded from 
the budget allocated to the Ministry of Earth Sciences under 
relevant head.  
• The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021 
o The Bill aims at having India’s own national measures 
for protecting the Antarctic environment and 
dependent and associated ecosystem. 
o Provides a regulatory framework for India’s Antarctic 
activities and protection of the Antarctic environment 
as per the Antarctic Treaty, and the CCAMLR. 
Page 4


 
55                                                                                                                                                                       
5. ENVIRONMENT 
5.1. PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT  
Why in news? 
Recently, India Extended support for protecting Antarctic environment and for designating East Antarctica and Weddell 
Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  
More on news 
• India also urged the Commission for the 
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India 
remains associated with the formulation, 
adaptation, and implementation mechanisms of 
these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in future. 
o Designating East Antarctica and the Weddell 
Sea as the MPAs are essential to regulate 
illegal unreported and unregulated fishing 
(IUUF). 
o MPAs provides protection for all or part of its 
natural resources, certain activities within an 
MPA are limited or prohibited to meet 
specific conservation, habitat protection, 
ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries 
management objectives. 
• CCAMLR, with an aim to conserve marine life, came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), 
which is at the heart of Antarctic Treaty 1959.  
o It is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the 
entire  Antarctic marine ecosystem. 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 
• An MPA is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters 
- similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by 
local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  
• MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and 
mitigation. 
o As of March 2021, the World Database on Protected Areas reported that only 7.65% of the global seas had been 
covered. 
o This is far from the commitments of States made in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi 
Target 11 of 10% MPA coverage by 2020, and even further from the recommendations made at the IUCN World Parks 
Congress 2014 that at least 30% no-take MPA coverage worldwide is needed.   
About Antarctica 
• Antarctica is not a country. It has no government and no indigenous population. Instead, the entire continent is set 
aside as a scientific preserve.  
• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had 
been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. 
o These 12 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, 
USSR (now Russia) the UK, and the US. 
o The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54 (including India). 
o The Treaty entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.  
 
56                                                                                                                                                                       
o It is also the 
foundation of a rules-
based international 
order for a continent 
without a permanent 
population. 
• The treaty is framed to 
ensure ‘in the interests of 
all mankind that 
Antarctica shall continue 
forever to be used 
exclusively for peaceful 
purposes and shall not 
become the scene or 
object of international 
discord.’ 
o To this end it 
prohibits military 
activity, except in 
support of science; 
prohibits nuclear 
explosions and the 
disposal of nuclear 
waste; promotes 
scientific research and 
the exchange of data; 
and holds all 
territorial 
claims in 
abeyance. 
• The Protocol on 
Environmental 
Protection to the 
Antarctic Treaty 
was signed in 
Madrid in 1991 and 
entered into force 
in 1998.  
o Its purpose was 
to enhance 
protection of 
the Antarctic 
environment 
and dependent 
and associated 
ecosystems. 
Challenges faced by the Antarctica 
• Territorial dispute between parties: Argentina and the UK, for instance, have overlapping claims to territory on the 
continent. When combined with their ongoing dispute over the nearby Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, their Antarctic 
relationship remains frosty. 
 
57                                                                                                                                                                       
• Assertive China: China is spending huge amount 
of money, every year, on Antarctica. There is 
considerable speculation as to China’s interests 
in Antarctic resources, especially fisheries and 
minerals, and whether China may seek to exploit 
weaknesses in the treaty system to secure access 
to those resources.  
• Climate change: Climate change has the 
potential to cause significant biophysical change 
to Antarctica through changing patterns of sea 
ice formation and destabilization of ice sheets.  
• Changing circumstances: Tourism, rise in IUU 
(i.e., illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, 
biological prospecting (commercialization of 
knowledge gained from research with regard to 
bio-organisms) etc. are gaining momentum. All 
these together may put threat to the fragile 
ecosystem of Antarctica.  
• Conflict with the provisions of other laws: Since 
the conclusion of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, 
international law underwent profound changes.  
o For example, under the United Nations 
Convention on the Law of the Sea (also known 
as UNCLOS), 1982 an International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been founded which is responsible for granting 
permits for the exploitation of mineral resources from the deep seabed. The question has therefore arisen 
whether the ISA could grant permits for mineral exploitation of the deep seabed in the Antarctic region, despite 
the Madrid Protocol, which prohibits mineral exploitation in the Antarctic. 
Way ahead 
• Effective implementation of the Treaty: To resolve this situation, firstly, the Antarctic Treaty Members must 
pressure every member state to the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) to implement the rules of the ATS in a strict 
manner. New, more stringent environmental protection regulations will be of no avail if they are not properly 
implemented. 
• New regulation based on scientific findings: For this, scientists will have to learn how to translate scientific findings 
into policy-relevant information. This will be a CONDITION SINE QUA NON for a performant environmental 
protection system. 
• A dedicated tourism convention for the region: This convention could serve to reaffirm the philosophic base of the 
Antarctic Treaty, namely international cooperation in scientific research, and in doing so combat the 
commercialization of the Antarctic region. 
• Behavioral change. People need to be taught how fragile the Antarctic environment and ecosystem are. They need 
to understand the problems posed by cumulative impacts.  
5.2. CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR COASTAL CITIES 
Why in news? 
Amid warnings of climate change leading to extreme weather events like high-intensity floods and landslides in the 
city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is drafting a Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in a bid to tackle 
climate challenges. 
 
 
India’s endeavor in Antarctica  
• India signed Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and soon received 
consultative status.  
• The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic 
Treaty (the Environmental Protocol or Madrid Protocol) 
entered into force for India in 1998.  
• India is also a member of Council of Managers of National 
Antarctic Programme (COMNAP), Scientific Committee of 
Antarctica Research (SCAR) and Commission for Conservation 
of Antarctic Marine Living Recourses (CCAMLR).  
• India’s Research stations: Maitri at Schirmacher Hills, Bharati 
at Larsemann Hills (Dakshin Gangotri was the first Indian base 
established in 1984).  
• The Antarctic operations of India are currently funded from 
the budget allocated to the Ministry of Earth Sciences under 
relevant head.  
• The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021 
o The Bill aims at having India’s own national measures 
for protecting the Antarctic environment and 
dependent and associated ecosystem. 
o Provides a regulatory framework for India’s Antarctic 
activities and protection of the Antarctic environment 
as per the Antarctic Treaty, and the CCAMLR. 
 
58                                                                                                                                                                       
What is Climate Action Plan? 
• A climate action plan is a detailed and strategic framework for measuring, planning, and reducing greenhouse gas 
(GHG) emissions and related climatic impacts and provides preventative measures to address the negative 
outcomes of climate change.  
o The plan demonstrates how the city will adapt and improve its resilience to climate hazards that impact the city 
as well as risks that may increase in the coming years. 
 
Need of a Climate Action Plan for Coastal Cities 
• Coastal flooding and sea level rise: Coastal cities are exposed to storm surges, erosion, and saltwater intrusion. 
Climate change and sea level rise will likely exacerbate these hazards. Sea level rise could erode and inundate 
coastal ecosystems and eliminate wetlands.  
• Extreme weather events: Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that both the number and 
intensity of cyclones have increased in the Arabian Sea since the 1980s, threatening the densely populated coastal 
areas.  
o For instance, Cyclone Tauktae impacted all five states (Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat), 
islands and territories (Lakshadweep, etc.) on the west coast. 
Page 5


 
55                                                                                                                                                                       
5. ENVIRONMENT 
5.1. PROTECTING THE ANTARCTIC ENVIRONMENT  
Why in news? 
Recently, India Extended support for protecting Antarctic environment and for designating East Antarctica and Weddell 
Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  
More on news 
• India also urged the Commission for the 
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(CCAMLR) member countries to ensure that India 
remains associated with the formulation, 
adaptation, and implementation mechanisms of 
these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in future. 
o Designating East Antarctica and the Weddell 
Sea as the MPAs are essential to regulate 
illegal unreported and unregulated fishing 
(IUUF). 
o MPAs provides protection for all or part of its 
natural resources, certain activities within an 
MPA are limited or prohibited to meet 
specific conservation, habitat protection, 
ecosystem monitoring, or fisheries 
management objectives. 
• CCAMLR, with an aim to conserve marine life, came into force in 1982, as part of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), 
which is at the heart of Antarctic Treaty 1959.  
o It is an international treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to preserve species diversity and stability of the 
entire  Antarctic marine ecosystem. 
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 
• An MPA is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters 
- similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by 
local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.  
• MPAs and their network offer nature-based solution to support global efforts towards climate change adaptation and 
mitigation. 
o As of March 2021, the World Database on Protected Areas reported that only 7.65% of the global seas had been 
covered. 
o This is far from the commitments of States made in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi 
Target 11 of 10% MPA coverage by 2020, and even further from the recommendations made at the IUCN World Parks 
Congress 2014 that at least 30% no-take MPA coverage worldwide is needed.   
About Antarctica 
• Antarctica is not a country. It has no government and no indigenous population. Instead, the entire continent is set 
aside as a scientific preserve.  
• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had 
been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. 
o These 12 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, 
USSR (now Russia) the UK, and the US. 
o The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 54 (including India). 
o The Treaty entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations.  
 
56                                                                                                                                                                       
o It is also the 
foundation of a rules-
based international 
order for a continent 
without a permanent 
population. 
• The treaty is framed to 
ensure ‘in the interests of 
all mankind that 
Antarctica shall continue 
forever to be used 
exclusively for peaceful 
purposes and shall not 
become the scene or 
object of international 
discord.’ 
o To this end it 
prohibits military 
activity, except in 
support of science; 
prohibits nuclear 
explosions and the 
disposal of nuclear 
waste; promotes 
scientific research and 
the exchange of data; 
and holds all 
territorial 
claims in 
abeyance. 
• The Protocol on 
Environmental 
Protection to the 
Antarctic Treaty 
was signed in 
Madrid in 1991 and 
entered into force 
in 1998.  
o Its purpose was 
to enhance 
protection of 
the Antarctic 
environment 
and dependent 
and associated 
ecosystems. 
Challenges faced by the Antarctica 
• Territorial dispute between parties: Argentina and the UK, for instance, have overlapping claims to territory on the 
continent. When combined with their ongoing dispute over the nearby Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, their Antarctic 
relationship remains frosty. 
 
57                                                                                                                                                                       
• Assertive China: China is spending huge amount 
of money, every year, on Antarctica. There is 
considerable speculation as to China’s interests 
in Antarctic resources, especially fisheries and 
minerals, and whether China may seek to exploit 
weaknesses in the treaty system to secure access 
to those resources.  
• Climate change: Climate change has the 
potential to cause significant biophysical change 
to Antarctica through changing patterns of sea 
ice formation and destabilization of ice sheets.  
• Changing circumstances: Tourism, rise in IUU 
(i.e., illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, 
biological prospecting (commercialization of 
knowledge gained from research with regard to 
bio-organisms) etc. are gaining momentum. All 
these together may put threat to the fragile 
ecosystem of Antarctica.  
• Conflict with the provisions of other laws: Since 
the conclusion of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, 
international law underwent profound changes.  
o For example, under the United Nations 
Convention on the Law of the Sea (also known 
as UNCLOS), 1982 an International Seabed Authority (ISA) has been founded which is responsible for granting 
permits for the exploitation of mineral resources from the deep seabed. The question has therefore arisen 
whether the ISA could grant permits for mineral exploitation of the deep seabed in the Antarctic region, despite 
the Madrid Protocol, which prohibits mineral exploitation in the Antarctic. 
Way ahead 
• Effective implementation of the Treaty: To resolve this situation, firstly, the Antarctic Treaty Members must 
pressure every member state to the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) to implement the rules of the ATS in a strict 
manner. New, more stringent environmental protection regulations will be of no avail if they are not properly 
implemented. 
• New regulation based on scientific findings: For this, scientists will have to learn how to translate scientific findings 
into policy-relevant information. This will be a CONDITION SINE QUA NON for a performant environmental 
protection system. 
• A dedicated tourism convention for the region: This convention could serve to reaffirm the philosophic base of the 
Antarctic Treaty, namely international cooperation in scientific research, and in doing so combat the 
commercialization of the Antarctic region. 
• Behavioral change. People need to be taught how fragile the Antarctic environment and ecosystem are. They need 
to understand the problems posed by cumulative impacts.  
5.2. CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR COASTAL CITIES 
Why in news? 
Amid warnings of climate change leading to extreme weather events like high-intensity floods and landslides in the 
city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is drafting a Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in a bid to tackle 
climate challenges. 
 
 
India’s endeavor in Antarctica  
• India signed Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and soon received 
consultative status.  
• The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic 
Treaty (the Environmental Protocol or Madrid Protocol) 
entered into force for India in 1998.  
• India is also a member of Council of Managers of National 
Antarctic Programme (COMNAP), Scientific Committee of 
Antarctica Research (SCAR) and Commission for Conservation 
of Antarctic Marine Living Recourses (CCAMLR).  
• India’s Research stations: Maitri at Schirmacher Hills, Bharati 
at Larsemann Hills (Dakshin Gangotri was the first Indian base 
established in 1984).  
• The Antarctic operations of India are currently funded from 
the budget allocated to the Ministry of Earth Sciences under 
relevant head.  
• The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021 
o The Bill aims at having India’s own national measures 
for protecting the Antarctic environment and 
dependent and associated ecosystem. 
o Provides a regulatory framework for India’s Antarctic 
activities and protection of the Antarctic environment 
as per the Antarctic Treaty, and the CCAMLR. 
 
58                                                                                                                                                                       
What is Climate Action Plan? 
• A climate action plan is a detailed and strategic framework for measuring, planning, and reducing greenhouse gas 
(GHG) emissions and related climatic impacts and provides preventative measures to address the negative 
outcomes of climate change.  
o The plan demonstrates how the city will adapt and improve its resilience to climate hazards that impact the city 
as well as risks that may increase in the coming years. 
 
Need of a Climate Action Plan for Coastal Cities 
• Coastal flooding and sea level rise: Coastal cities are exposed to storm surges, erosion, and saltwater intrusion. 
Climate change and sea level rise will likely exacerbate these hazards. Sea level rise could erode and inundate 
coastal ecosystems and eliminate wetlands.  
• Extreme weather events: Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that both the number and 
intensity of cyclones have increased in the Arabian Sea since the 1980s, threatening the densely populated coastal 
areas.  
o For instance, Cyclone Tauktae impacted all five states (Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat), 
islands and territories (Lakshadweep, etc.) on the west coast. 
 
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• Increased food insecurity: Climate change in coastal cities is causing reduced crop nutrition and yields, fish 
depletion and the loss of plant and insect species. (refer infographic) 
 
• Biological hazards: Particularly vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Higher temperatures, and prolonged wet 
conditions which affect coastal cities disproportionately, are more favourable for the mosquitos, rodents and other 
animals that carry vector-borne diseases.  
• To prevent destruction of life and property:  Natural disasters and shoreline erosion are two of the main threats 
that coastal communities face. Such communities are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and tsunamis, and as 
more people move to the coast, the potential of such events causing catastrophic loss of life and property damage 
also rises. 
Government Initiatives towards Climate Action Plans  
• In 2009 the Government of India directed all state governments and union territories to prepare State Action Plans on 
Climate Change (SAPCC), consistent with the strategy outlined in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).  
o Odisha Climate Change Action Plan: Odisha is one of the first states in India to prepare a comprehensive SAPCC. The 
adaptation strategy is aimed at reducing vulnerability and achieving resilience.  
o Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP): It will look at climate resilience with mitigation and adaptation strategies. 
o Gujarat climate change action plan: It aims to build a sustainable and climate-resilient future. 
• National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM): It was established by Ministry of Environment, Forest and 
Climate Change (MoEF&CC) at Chennai to promote integrated and sustainable management of the coastal and marine 
areas in India for the benefit and wellbeing of the traditional coastal and island communities. 
• National Coastal Mission (NCM): In 2019, MoEF&CC proposes to establish NCM under NAPCC that will address the impact of 
climate change on coastal and marine ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities in coastal areas through a combination 
of adaptation and mitigation measures. The NCM will include all Phases of ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) 
Project. 
o ICZM is a dynamic, multidisciplinary, and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. 
Despite these efforts, coastal cities remain highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This can be seen by the 
damage caused by the recent cyclones on the eastern coast of India.  
What can be done to create an effective climate action plan for coastal cities?  
• Proper implementation and funding support: Climate action plans for coastal city level should have clear short and 
long term implementable action and have necessary financial, institutional and policy support.  
• Guiding Principles for Coastal City Climate Action Planning: It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt 
low emission development trajectories (mitigation), as well as adapt to the impacts of climate change (adaptation) 
and build local climate resilience. (refer infographic) 
Read More
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FAQs on Environment: September 2021 Current Affairs - Environment & Additional Topics for State PSC Exams - BPSC (Bihar)

1. What are the current environmental issues in September 2021?
Ans. The current environmental issues in September 2021 include climate change, deforestation, air pollution, plastic pollution, and water scarcity. These issues have significant impacts on the environment and require urgent attention and action.
2. How is climate change affecting the environment in September 2021?
Ans. Climate change is affecting the environment in various ways in September 2021. Rising temperatures are causing the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, leading to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires are becoming more frequent and intense. Climate change also disrupts ecosystems, threatens biodiversity, and affects agriculture and food production.
3. What are the efforts being made to combat deforestation in September 2021?
Ans. In September 2021, several efforts are being made to combat deforestation. These include the implementation of stricter regulations and policies to prevent illegal logging, promoting sustainable forest management practices, and increasing awareness about the importance of forests. International collaborations and initiatives like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) aim to provide financial incentives for countries to reduce deforestation and enhance forest conservation.
4. How is plastic pollution being addressed in September 2021?
Ans. Plastic pollution is being addressed in September 2021 through various measures. Many countries and cities are implementing bans or restrictions on single-use plastics like plastic bags and straws. Governments and organizations are promoting recycling and waste management programs to reduce plastic waste. Additionally, awareness campaigns and educational initiatives are raising public consciousness about the environmental impacts of plastic pollution and encouraging sustainable alternatives.
5. What steps are being taken to address water scarcity in September 2021?
Ans. In September 2021, several steps are being taken to address water scarcity. Governments and organizations are investing in water infrastructure development, including building dams, reservoirs, and desalination plants. Water conservation measures such as promoting efficient irrigation techniques, rainwater harvesting, and water recycling are being encouraged. Education and awareness campaigns are also highlighting the importance of water conservation practices at the individual and community levels.
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