Environment: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

UPSC Mains: International Relations, Social Issues & others

UPSC : Environment: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


	
																																																																													
5.	ENVIRONMENT	
5.1.	SUSTAINABLE	FOOD	SYSTEMS	
Why in news? 
India held the first National Dialogue on agri-food systems (at Delhi) for exploring national pathways towards 
creating sustainable and equitable food systems. 
More on news 
• The dialogue was conducted as consultative 
processes precursor to first ever UN Food 
Systems Summit to be held in September 
2021 to strategize the actions for change in 
global Agri-food systems.  
• The Summit will focus on pathways to shape 
food systems nationally and globally to 
accelerate progress in the Sustainable 
Development Goals 2030. 
• The Summit is planned to be participatory and 
consultative for 5 Action Tracks:  
o Action Track 1: Ensure safe and nutritious 
food for all 
o Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable 
consumption patterns 
o Action Track 3: Boost nature-positive 
production 
o Action Track 4: Advance Equitable 
Livelihoods 
o Action Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities to shock and stress 
• India has volunteered to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the Summit. But India’s 
participation is has been in other areas as well.  
About Sustainable Food Systems 
• Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in 
the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that 
originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. 
o It also involves economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. 
• Food system is composed of sub-systems (e.g., farming system, waste management system, input supply 
system, etc.) and interacts with other key systems (e.g., energy system, trade system, health system, etc.) 
• A structural change in the food system can originate from a change in another system; for example, a policy 
promoting more biofuels will have a significant impact on the food system. 
• A sustainable food system (SFS) is a 
food system that delivers food 
security and nutrition for all in such 
a way that: 
o It is profitable throughout 
(economic sustainability) 
o It has broad-based benefits for 
society (social sustainability) 
o It has a positive or neutral impact 
on the environment 
(environmental sustainability)  
o Need of future generations are 
not compromised. 
International efforts on Sustainable Food Systems 
• FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) 
o It was started in 2011 with support from Government of 
Switzerland. 
o Its objective is to : 
ü Spearhead efforts to improve resource use efficiency. 
ü Reduce the pollution intensity of food systems from 
production to consumption. 
ü Address issues of food and nutrition security. 
• Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) 
o It is a self-governing coalition composed of over 30 
organizations established to transform the global food and land 
use systems. 
o It was established in 2017 at United Nations General Assembly. 
Page 2


	
																																																																													
5.	ENVIRONMENT	
5.1.	SUSTAINABLE	FOOD	SYSTEMS	
Why in news? 
India held the first National Dialogue on agri-food systems (at Delhi) for exploring national pathways towards 
creating sustainable and equitable food systems. 
More on news 
• The dialogue was conducted as consultative 
processes precursor to first ever UN Food 
Systems Summit to be held in September 
2021 to strategize the actions for change in 
global Agri-food systems.  
• The Summit will focus on pathways to shape 
food systems nationally and globally to 
accelerate progress in the Sustainable 
Development Goals 2030. 
• The Summit is planned to be participatory and 
consultative for 5 Action Tracks:  
o Action Track 1: Ensure safe and nutritious 
food for all 
o Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable 
consumption patterns 
o Action Track 3: Boost nature-positive 
production 
o Action Track 4: Advance Equitable 
Livelihoods 
o Action Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities to shock and stress 
• India has volunteered to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the Summit. But India’s 
participation is has been in other areas as well.  
About Sustainable Food Systems 
• Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in 
the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that 
originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. 
o It also involves economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. 
• Food system is composed of sub-systems (e.g., farming system, waste management system, input supply 
system, etc.) and interacts with other key systems (e.g., energy system, trade system, health system, etc.) 
• A structural change in the food system can originate from a change in another system; for example, a policy 
promoting more biofuels will have a significant impact on the food system. 
• A sustainable food system (SFS) is a 
food system that delivers food 
security and nutrition for all in such 
a way that: 
o It is profitable throughout 
(economic sustainability) 
o It has broad-based benefits for 
society (social sustainability) 
o It has a positive or neutral impact 
on the environment 
(environmental sustainability)  
o Need of future generations are 
not compromised. 
International efforts on Sustainable Food Systems 
• FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) 
o It was started in 2011 with support from Government of 
Switzerland. 
o Its objective is to : 
ü Spearhead efforts to improve resource use efficiency. 
ü Reduce the pollution intensity of food systems from 
production to consumption. 
ü Address issues of food and nutrition security. 
• Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) 
o It is a self-governing coalition composed of over 30 
organizations established to transform the global food and land 
use systems. 
o It was established in 2017 at United Nations General Assembly. 
	
Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems in India  
• Scarcity of Land: Scarcity of land combined with poverty and inability to take risks, lack of access to credit and 
inputs and poor market access, severely limit the sustainability of food and agriculture systems. 
• Low productivity of agriculture: Capital formation in the agriculture sector is low (15-19% of GDP) in 
comparison with other sectors (approx. 40% of GDP).  
• Green House Gas Emissions from agriculture: Majority of agricultural GHG emissions occur at the primary 
production stage and are generated through the production and use of agricultural inputs - water, fertilisers, 
and pesticides.  
• Stubble Burning: Burning of crop residue causes damage to micro-organisms present in the upper layer of 
the soil as well as its organic quality. It also contributes to environmental pollution. 
• Low water use efficiency: The overall irrigation project efficiency in developed countries is 50 – 60% as 
compared to only 38% in India. 
• Outdated legacy incentives and policy support 
o Subsidies on irrigation water and power have led to overexploitation of groundwater. 
o Fertiliser subsidies, particularly urea, have led to imbalanced application of nutrients in the crop cycle, 
besides degrading the soil. 
o Policy biased in favour of rice and wheat, at the 
opportunity cost of many nutritious and climate-
resilient crops. 
Way forward 
• Sustainable farming practices: A crop management 
system that promotes the use of organic manures, 
bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides and judicious use of 
agrochemicals.  
• Effective implementation of land use policy 
measures: Revisiting the legislation on the ceiling on 
land holdings, tenancy etc. from the perspective of 
livelihood and sustainable food and nutrition security 
is necessary. 
• Adoption of modern irrigation methods: Promotion of water efficient technologies such as sprinkler and drip 
irrigation can increase the efficiency of surface water use in agriculture. 
• Crop diversification: To tackle the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition, diversifying existing 
cropping systems to more nutritious and environment-friendly crops is need of the hour. 
• Adoption of technology: E.g., Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) machine can uproot the stubble and also sow seeds 
in the area cleared. The stubble can then be used as mulch for the field. 
• Research and Innovation: It will play a key role in achieving the goal of sustainable and nutritious food systems 
by development of suitable crop varieties with desired traits like yield, climate-resilience and nutritional 
qualities.  
• Consumer Behaviour: For crop diversification to succeed, healthy and diversified diets need to be 
incorporated and promoted in the menu of Indian consumer. Post-COVID-19, this positive trend for healthier 
foods is expected to further rise. 
5.2.	THE	SECOND	WORLD	OCEAN	ASSESSMENT	
Why in News? 
Recently, United Nation released the Second World Ocean Assessment. 
About the World Ocean Assessment 
• Concerned by the declining state of the ocean the United Nations General Assembly, established the regular 
process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. 
• The first World Ocean Assessment was completed in 2015. 
o It concluded that many parts of the ocean had been seriously degraded which may produce a destructive 
cycle of degradation. 
India’s initiatives in the direction of Sustainable Food 
Systems  
• National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture 
(NMSA) aims at making agriculture more 
productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate 
resilient by: 
o It was included as one of the 8 missions under 
National Action Plan on Climate Change in 
2008 and operationalized from 2014-15. 
• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) 
aims to Introduce sustainable water conservation 
practices, among others. 
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which aims 
promotion of commercial organic production 
through certified organic farming. 
Page 3


	
																																																																													
5.	ENVIRONMENT	
5.1.	SUSTAINABLE	FOOD	SYSTEMS	
Why in news? 
India held the first National Dialogue on agri-food systems (at Delhi) for exploring national pathways towards 
creating sustainable and equitable food systems. 
More on news 
• The dialogue was conducted as consultative 
processes precursor to first ever UN Food 
Systems Summit to be held in September 
2021 to strategize the actions for change in 
global Agri-food systems.  
• The Summit will focus on pathways to shape 
food systems nationally and globally to 
accelerate progress in the Sustainable 
Development Goals 2030. 
• The Summit is planned to be participatory and 
consultative for 5 Action Tracks:  
o Action Track 1: Ensure safe and nutritious 
food for all 
o Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable 
consumption patterns 
o Action Track 3: Boost nature-positive 
production 
o Action Track 4: Advance Equitable 
Livelihoods 
o Action Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities to shock and stress 
• India has volunteered to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the Summit. But India’s 
participation is has been in other areas as well.  
About Sustainable Food Systems 
• Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in 
the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that 
originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. 
o It also involves economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. 
• Food system is composed of sub-systems (e.g., farming system, waste management system, input supply 
system, etc.) and interacts with other key systems (e.g., energy system, trade system, health system, etc.) 
• A structural change in the food system can originate from a change in another system; for example, a policy 
promoting more biofuels will have a significant impact on the food system. 
• A sustainable food system (SFS) is a 
food system that delivers food 
security and nutrition for all in such 
a way that: 
o It is profitable throughout 
(economic sustainability) 
o It has broad-based benefits for 
society (social sustainability) 
o It has a positive or neutral impact 
on the environment 
(environmental sustainability)  
o Need of future generations are 
not compromised. 
International efforts on Sustainable Food Systems 
• FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) 
o It was started in 2011 with support from Government of 
Switzerland. 
o Its objective is to : 
ü Spearhead efforts to improve resource use efficiency. 
ü Reduce the pollution intensity of food systems from 
production to consumption. 
ü Address issues of food and nutrition security. 
• Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) 
o It is a self-governing coalition composed of over 30 
organizations established to transform the global food and land 
use systems. 
o It was established in 2017 at United Nations General Assembly. 
	
Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems in India  
• Scarcity of Land: Scarcity of land combined with poverty and inability to take risks, lack of access to credit and 
inputs and poor market access, severely limit the sustainability of food and agriculture systems. 
• Low productivity of agriculture: Capital formation in the agriculture sector is low (15-19% of GDP) in 
comparison with other sectors (approx. 40% of GDP).  
• Green House Gas Emissions from agriculture: Majority of agricultural GHG emissions occur at the primary 
production stage and are generated through the production and use of agricultural inputs - water, fertilisers, 
and pesticides.  
• Stubble Burning: Burning of crop residue causes damage to micro-organisms present in the upper layer of 
the soil as well as its organic quality. It also contributes to environmental pollution. 
• Low water use efficiency: The overall irrigation project efficiency in developed countries is 50 – 60% as 
compared to only 38% in India. 
• Outdated legacy incentives and policy support 
o Subsidies on irrigation water and power have led to overexploitation of groundwater. 
o Fertiliser subsidies, particularly urea, have led to imbalanced application of nutrients in the crop cycle, 
besides degrading the soil. 
o Policy biased in favour of rice and wheat, at the 
opportunity cost of many nutritious and climate-
resilient crops. 
Way forward 
• Sustainable farming practices: A crop management 
system that promotes the use of organic manures, 
bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides and judicious use of 
agrochemicals.  
• Effective implementation of land use policy 
measures: Revisiting the legislation on the ceiling on 
land holdings, tenancy etc. from the perspective of 
livelihood and sustainable food and nutrition security 
is necessary. 
• Adoption of modern irrigation methods: Promotion of water efficient technologies such as sprinkler and drip 
irrigation can increase the efficiency of surface water use in agriculture. 
• Crop diversification: To tackle the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition, diversifying existing 
cropping systems to more nutritious and environment-friendly crops is need of the hour. 
• Adoption of technology: E.g., Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) machine can uproot the stubble and also sow seeds 
in the area cleared. The stubble can then be used as mulch for the field. 
• Research and Innovation: It will play a key role in achieving the goal of sustainable and nutritious food systems 
by development of suitable crop varieties with desired traits like yield, climate-resilience and nutritional 
qualities.  
• Consumer Behaviour: For crop diversification to succeed, healthy and diversified diets need to be 
incorporated and promoted in the menu of Indian consumer. Post-COVID-19, this positive trend for healthier 
foods is expected to further rise. 
5.2.	THE	SECOND	WORLD	OCEAN	ASSESSMENT	
Why in News? 
Recently, United Nation released the Second World Ocean Assessment. 
About the World Ocean Assessment 
• Concerned by the declining state of the ocean the United Nations General Assembly, established the regular 
process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. 
• The first World Ocean Assessment was completed in 2015. 
o It concluded that many parts of the ocean had been seriously degraded which may produce a destructive 
cycle of degradation. 
India’s initiatives in the direction of Sustainable Food 
Systems  
• National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture 
(NMSA) aims at making agriculture more 
productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate 
resilient by: 
o It was included as one of the 8 missions under 
National Action Plan on Climate Change in 
2008 and operationalized from 2014-15. 
• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) 
aims to Introduce sustainable water conservation 
practices, among others. 
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which aims 
promotion of commercial organic production 
through certified organic farming. 
	
• The second World Ocean Assessment provides an update to the first Assessment. 
Key Findings 
• Key Drivers: Drivers that 
have the greatest 
influence on the marine 
environment and its 
sustainability are: 
o Population growth 
and demographic 
changes: The extent 
to which an increasing 
global population 
places pressure on the 
marine environment 
varies,	depending on a 
range of factors, 
including where and 
how people live, their 
consumption patterns and technologies used to produce energy, food and materials, provide transport 
and manage waste. 
o Economic activity: As the global population has grown, demand for goods and services has increased, with 
associated increases 
in energy 
consumption and 
resource use.  
o Technological 
advances: 
Innovations have 
enabled outcomes for 
the marine 
environment that are 
both positive (such as 
increasing efficiencies 
in energy generation) 
and negative (such as 
overcapacity in 
fisheries).	 
o Changing governance structures and geopolitical instability: Improved methods of cooperation and 
implementation of effective policies across some regions have contributed to reducing some pressures on 
the ocean. 
o Climate change: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, causing further long-
term climate changes, with widespread effects throughout the ocean that will persist for centuries and 
affect the ocean. 
• Trends in the physical and chemical state of the ocean: The assessment discusses key trends in marine 
environment such as: 
o Decrease in dissolved oxygen concentrations for most ocean regions mostly due to temperature-driven 
solubility decrease. 
o Expansion of oxygen-depleted zones. 
o Total sea ice extent has been declining rapidly in the Arctic, but trends are insignificant in the Antarctic. 
o Global warming is affecting many circulation systems: The impacts of ocean circulation changes include 
a regional rise in sea levels, changes in the nutrient distribution and carbon uptake of the ocean and 
feedbacks with the atmosphere, such as altering the distribution of precipitation. 
o Marked pattern of salinity changes: with surface and subsurface patterns providing clear evidence of a 
water cycle amplification over the ocean.  
Page 4


	
																																																																													
5.	ENVIRONMENT	
5.1.	SUSTAINABLE	FOOD	SYSTEMS	
Why in news? 
India held the first National Dialogue on agri-food systems (at Delhi) for exploring national pathways towards 
creating sustainable and equitable food systems. 
More on news 
• The dialogue was conducted as consultative 
processes precursor to first ever UN Food 
Systems Summit to be held in September 
2021 to strategize the actions for change in 
global Agri-food systems.  
• The Summit will focus on pathways to shape 
food systems nationally and globally to 
accelerate progress in the Sustainable 
Development Goals 2030. 
• The Summit is planned to be participatory and 
consultative for 5 Action Tracks:  
o Action Track 1: Ensure safe and nutritious 
food for all 
o Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable 
consumption patterns 
o Action Track 3: Boost nature-positive 
production 
o Action Track 4: Advance Equitable 
Livelihoods 
o Action Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities to shock and stress 
• India has volunteered to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the Summit. But India’s 
participation is has been in other areas as well.  
About Sustainable Food Systems 
• Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in 
the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that 
originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. 
o It also involves economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. 
• Food system is composed of sub-systems (e.g., farming system, waste management system, input supply 
system, etc.) and interacts with other key systems (e.g., energy system, trade system, health system, etc.) 
• A structural change in the food system can originate from a change in another system; for example, a policy 
promoting more biofuels will have a significant impact on the food system. 
• A sustainable food system (SFS) is a 
food system that delivers food 
security and nutrition for all in such 
a way that: 
o It is profitable throughout 
(economic sustainability) 
o It has broad-based benefits for 
society (social sustainability) 
o It has a positive or neutral impact 
on the environment 
(environmental sustainability)  
o Need of future generations are 
not compromised. 
International efforts on Sustainable Food Systems 
• FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) 
o It was started in 2011 with support from Government of 
Switzerland. 
o Its objective is to : 
ü Spearhead efforts to improve resource use efficiency. 
ü Reduce the pollution intensity of food systems from 
production to consumption. 
ü Address issues of food and nutrition security. 
• Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) 
o It is a self-governing coalition composed of over 30 
organizations established to transform the global food and land 
use systems. 
o It was established in 2017 at United Nations General Assembly. 
	
Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems in India  
• Scarcity of Land: Scarcity of land combined with poverty and inability to take risks, lack of access to credit and 
inputs and poor market access, severely limit the sustainability of food and agriculture systems. 
• Low productivity of agriculture: Capital formation in the agriculture sector is low (15-19% of GDP) in 
comparison with other sectors (approx. 40% of GDP).  
• Green House Gas Emissions from agriculture: Majority of agricultural GHG emissions occur at the primary 
production stage and are generated through the production and use of agricultural inputs - water, fertilisers, 
and pesticides.  
• Stubble Burning: Burning of crop residue causes damage to micro-organisms present in the upper layer of 
the soil as well as its organic quality. It also contributes to environmental pollution. 
• Low water use efficiency: The overall irrigation project efficiency in developed countries is 50 – 60% as 
compared to only 38% in India. 
• Outdated legacy incentives and policy support 
o Subsidies on irrigation water and power have led to overexploitation of groundwater. 
o Fertiliser subsidies, particularly urea, have led to imbalanced application of nutrients in the crop cycle, 
besides degrading the soil. 
o Policy biased in favour of rice and wheat, at the 
opportunity cost of many nutritious and climate-
resilient crops. 
Way forward 
• Sustainable farming practices: A crop management 
system that promotes the use of organic manures, 
bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides and judicious use of 
agrochemicals.  
• Effective implementation of land use policy 
measures: Revisiting the legislation on the ceiling on 
land holdings, tenancy etc. from the perspective of 
livelihood and sustainable food and nutrition security 
is necessary. 
• Adoption of modern irrigation methods: Promotion of water efficient technologies such as sprinkler and drip 
irrigation can increase the efficiency of surface water use in agriculture. 
• Crop diversification: To tackle the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition, diversifying existing 
cropping systems to more nutritious and environment-friendly crops is need of the hour. 
• Adoption of technology: E.g., Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) machine can uproot the stubble and also sow seeds 
in the area cleared. The stubble can then be used as mulch for the field. 
• Research and Innovation: It will play a key role in achieving the goal of sustainable and nutritious food systems 
by development of suitable crop varieties with desired traits like yield, climate-resilience and nutritional 
qualities.  
• Consumer Behaviour: For crop diversification to succeed, healthy and diversified diets need to be 
incorporated and promoted in the menu of Indian consumer. Post-COVID-19, this positive trend for healthier 
foods is expected to further rise. 
5.2.	THE	SECOND	WORLD	OCEAN	ASSESSMENT	
Why in News? 
Recently, United Nation released the Second World Ocean Assessment. 
About the World Ocean Assessment 
• Concerned by the declining state of the ocean the United Nations General Assembly, established the regular 
process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. 
• The first World Ocean Assessment was completed in 2015. 
o It concluded that many parts of the ocean had been seriously degraded which may produce a destructive 
cycle of degradation. 
India’s initiatives in the direction of Sustainable Food 
Systems  
• National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture 
(NMSA) aims at making agriculture more 
productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate 
resilient by: 
o It was included as one of the 8 missions under 
National Action Plan on Climate Change in 
2008 and operationalized from 2014-15. 
• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) 
aims to Introduce sustainable water conservation 
practices, among others. 
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which aims 
promotion of commercial organic production 
through certified organic farming. 
	
• The second World Ocean Assessment provides an update to the first Assessment. 
Key Findings 
• Key Drivers: Drivers that 
have the greatest 
influence on the marine 
environment and its 
sustainability are: 
o Population growth 
and demographic 
changes: The extent 
to which an increasing 
global population 
places pressure on the 
marine environment 
varies,	depending on a 
range of factors, 
including where and 
how people live, their 
consumption patterns and technologies used to produce energy, food and materials, provide transport 
and manage waste. 
o Economic activity: As the global population has grown, demand for goods and services has increased, with 
associated increases 
in energy 
consumption and 
resource use.  
o Technological 
advances: 
Innovations have 
enabled outcomes for 
the marine 
environment that are 
both positive (such as 
increasing efficiencies 
in energy generation) 
and negative (such as 
overcapacity in 
fisheries).	 
o Changing governance structures and geopolitical instability: Improved methods of cooperation and 
implementation of effective policies across some regions have contributed to reducing some pressures on 
the ocean. 
o Climate change: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, causing further long-
term climate changes, with widespread effects throughout the ocean that will persist for centuries and 
affect the ocean. 
• Trends in the physical and chemical state of the ocean: The assessment discusses key trends in marine 
environment such as: 
o Decrease in dissolved oxygen concentrations for most ocean regions mostly due to temperature-driven 
solubility decrease. 
o Expansion of oxygen-depleted zones. 
o Total sea ice extent has been declining rapidly in the Arctic, but trends are insignificant in the Antarctic. 
o Global warming is affecting many circulation systems: The impacts of ocean circulation changes include 
a regional rise in sea levels, changes in the nutrient distribution and carbon uptake of the ocean and 
feedbacks with the atmosphere, such as altering the distribution of precipitation. 
o Marked pattern of salinity changes: with surface and subsurface patterns providing clear evidence of a 
water cycle amplification over the ocean.  
	
o Rise in sea levels: Thermal expansion from a warming ocean and land ice melt are the main causes of the 
accelerating global rise in the mean sea level. 
o Ocean acidification: An increase in atmospheric CO2 levels, and a subsequent increase in carbon in the 
oceans, has changed the chemistry of the oceans to include changes to pH (acidification) and aragonite 
saturation.  
ü Aragonite is a form of calcium carbonate that many marine animals use to build their skeletons and 
shells. 
o Increases in ocean heat content are observed practically throughout the global ocean. 
 
• Suggestions for sustainable use of ocean: 
o Holistic management of ocean resources: through eased capacity in transboundary cooperation, the 
strengthening of science-policy capacity, greater coordination between social and natural sciences and 
between science and civil society, including industry, and the recognition of traditional knowledge, culture 
and social history. 
o Integration of multidisciplinary observation 
systems: for improved monitoring of significant 
changes in physical and biogeochemical 
environments and their impacts on ecosystems and 
society and to gain a much better understanding of 
the effects of pollutants, including anthropogenic 
noise, on the marine environment.  
o Efficient management and governance of marine 
areas: Several key capacity-building and technology-
transfer requirements in this field include- 
ü Training and expertise in marine management 
and governance linked to the relevant science. 
ü Learning within and between nations and 
regions (i.e., knowledge and technology 
transfer).  
o Reduce the input of pollutants into the ocean: in 
particular through the introduction of cleaner 
production, quieter technologies and cheaper and readily deployable wastewater-processing 
technologies.  
Related news: Blue Nature Alliance 
• It is a global partnership founded and led by five 
core partners: Conservation International, The 
Pew Charitable Trusts, The Global Environment 
Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob & 
Melani Walton Foundation. 
• Their aim is to advance Ocean Conservation 
Areas, inclusive of Marine Protected Areas, 
Other Effective Area-based Conservation 
Measures, Indigenous Protected Areas, and 
other innovative place-based interventions 
designed to achieve biodiversity conservation 
outcomes.  
• The alliance is working on large-scale efforts in 
Fiji’s Lau Seascape, Antarctica’s Southern 
Ocean and the Tristan da Cunha island group to 
collectively secure protections over 4.8 million 
square kilometers of the ocean. 
Page 5


	
																																																																													
5.	ENVIRONMENT	
5.1.	SUSTAINABLE	FOOD	SYSTEMS	
Why in news? 
India held the first National Dialogue on agri-food systems (at Delhi) for exploring national pathways towards 
creating sustainable and equitable food systems. 
More on news 
• The dialogue was conducted as consultative 
processes precursor to first ever UN Food 
Systems Summit to be held in September 
2021 to strategize the actions for change in 
global Agri-food systems.  
• The Summit will focus on pathways to shape 
food systems nationally and globally to 
accelerate progress in the Sustainable 
Development Goals 2030. 
• The Summit is planned to be participatory and 
consultative for 5 Action Tracks:  
o Action Track 1: Ensure safe and nutritious 
food for all 
o Action Track 2: Shift to sustainable 
consumption patterns 
o Action Track 3: Boost nature-positive 
production 
o Action Track 4: Advance Equitable 
Livelihoods 
o Action Track 5: Build resilience to vulnerabilities to shock and stress 
• India has volunteered to the Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods for the Summit. But India’s 
participation is has been in other areas as well.  
About Sustainable Food Systems 
• Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in 
the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products that 
originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries. 
o It also involves economic, societal and natural environments in which they are embedded. 
• Food system is composed of sub-systems (e.g., farming system, waste management system, input supply 
system, etc.) and interacts with other key systems (e.g., energy system, trade system, health system, etc.) 
• A structural change in the food system can originate from a change in another system; for example, a policy 
promoting more biofuels will have a significant impact on the food system. 
• A sustainable food system (SFS) is a 
food system that delivers food 
security and nutrition for all in such 
a way that: 
o It is profitable throughout 
(economic sustainability) 
o It has broad-based benefits for 
society (social sustainability) 
o It has a positive or neutral impact 
on the environment 
(environmental sustainability)  
o Need of future generations are 
not compromised. 
International efforts on Sustainable Food Systems 
• FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) 
o It was started in 2011 with support from Government of 
Switzerland. 
o Its objective is to : 
ü Spearhead efforts to improve resource use efficiency. 
ü Reduce the pollution intensity of food systems from 
production to consumption. 
ü Address issues of food and nutrition security. 
• Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) 
o It is a self-governing coalition composed of over 30 
organizations established to transform the global food and land 
use systems. 
o It was established in 2017 at United Nations General Assembly. 
	
Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems in India  
• Scarcity of Land: Scarcity of land combined with poverty and inability to take risks, lack of access to credit and 
inputs and poor market access, severely limit the sustainability of food and agriculture systems. 
• Low productivity of agriculture: Capital formation in the agriculture sector is low (15-19% of GDP) in 
comparison with other sectors (approx. 40% of GDP).  
• Green House Gas Emissions from agriculture: Majority of agricultural GHG emissions occur at the primary 
production stage and are generated through the production and use of agricultural inputs - water, fertilisers, 
and pesticides.  
• Stubble Burning: Burning of crop residue causes damage to micro-organisms present in the upper layer of 
the soil as well as its organic quality. It also contributes to environmental pollution. 
• Low water use efficiency: The overall irrigation project efficiency in developed countries is 50 – 60% as 
compared to only 38% in India. 
• Outdated legacy incentives and policy support 
o Subsidies on irrigation water and power have led to overexploitation of groundwater. 
o Fertiliser subsidies, particularly urea, have led to imbalanced application of nutrients in the crop cycle, 
besides degrading the soil. 
o Policy biased in favour of rice and wheat, at the 
opportunity cost of many nutritious and climate-
resilient crops. 
Way forward 
• Sustainable farming practices: A crop management 
system that promotes the use of organic manures, 
bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides and judicious use of 
agrochemicals.  
• Effective implementation of land use policy 
measures: Revisiting the legislation on the ceiling on 
land holdings, tenancy etc. from the perspective of 
livelihood and sustainable food and nutrition security 
is necessary. 
• Adoption of modern irrigation methods: Promotion of water efficient technologies such as sprinkler and drip 
irrigation can increase the efficiency of surface water use in agriculture. 
• Crop diversification: To tackle the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition, diversifying existing 
cropping systems to more nutritious and environment-friendly crops is need of the hour. 
• Adoption of technology: E.g., Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) machine can uproot the stubble and also sow seeds 
in the area cleared. The stubble can then be used as mulch for the field. 
• Research and Innovation: It will play a key role in achieving the goal of sustainable and nutritious food systems 
by development of suitable crop varieties with desired traits like yield, climate-resilience and nutritional 
qualities.  
• Consumer Behaviour: For crop diversification to succeed, healthy and diversified diets need to be 
incorporated and promoted in the menu of Indian consumer. Post-COVID-19, this positive trend for healthier 
foods is expected to further rise. 
5.2.	THE	SECOND	WORLD	OCEAN	ASSESSMENT	
Why in News? 
Recently, United Nation released the Second World Ocean Assessment. 
About the World Ocean Assessment 
• Concerned by the declining state of the ocean the United Nations General Assembly, established the regular 
process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. 
• The first World Ocean Assessment was completed in 2015. 
o It concluded that many parts of the ocean had been seriously degraded which may produce a destructive 
cycle of degradation. 
India’s initiatives in the direction of Sustainable Food 
Systems  
• National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture 
(NMSA) aims at making agriculture more 
productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate 
resilient by: 
o It was included as one of the 8 missions under 
National Action Plan on Climate Change in 
2008 and operationalized from 2014-15. 
• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) 
aims to Introduce sustainable water conservation 
practices, among others. 
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which aims 
promotion of commercial organic production 
through certified organic farming. 
	
• The second World Ocean Assessment provides an update to the first Assessment. 
Key Findings 
• Key Drivers: Drivers that 
have the greatest 
influence on the marine 
environment and its 
sustainability are: 
o Population growth 
and demographic 
changes: The extent 
to which an increasing 
global population 
places pressure on the 
marine environment 
varies,	depending on a 
range of factors, 
including where and 
how people live, their 
consumption patterns and technologies used to produce energy, food and materials, provide transport 
and manage waste. 
o Economic activity: As the global population has grown, demand for goods and services has increased, with 
associated increases 
in energy 
consumption and 
resource use.  
o Technological 
advances: 
Innovations have 
enabled outcomes for 
the marine 
environment that are 
both positive (such as 
increasing efficiencies 
in energy generation) 
and negative (such as 
overcapacity in 
fisheries).	 
o Changing governance structures and geopolitical instability: Improved methods of cooperation and 
implementation of effective policies across some regions have contributed to reducing some pressures on 
the ocean. 
o Climate change: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, causing further long-
term climate changes, with widespread effects throughout the ocean that will persist for centuries and 
affect the ocean. 
• Trends in the physical and chemical state of the ocean: The assessment discusses key trends in marine 
environment such as: 
o Decrease in dissolved oxygen concentrations for most ocean regions mostly due to temperature-driven 
solubility decrease. 
o Expansion of oxygen-depleted zones. 
o Total sea ice extent has been declining rapidly in the Arctic, but trends are insignificant in the Antarctic. 
o Global warming is affecting many circulation systems: The impacts of ocean circulation changes include 
a regional rise in sea levels, changes in the nutrient distribution and carbon uptake of the ocean and 
feedbacks with the atmosphere, such as altering the distribution of precipitation. 
o Marked pattern of salinity changes: with surface and subsurface patterns providing clear evidence of a 
water cycle amplification over the ocean.  
	
o Rise in sea levels: Thermal expansion from a warming ocean and land ice melt are the main causes of the 
accelerating global rise in the mean sea level. 
o Ocean acidification: An increase in atmospheric CO2 levels, and a subsequent increase in carbon in the 
oceans, has changed the chemistry of the oceans to include changes to pH (acidification) and aragonite 
saturation.  
ü Aragonite is a form of calcium carbonate that many marine animals use to build their skeletons and 
shells. 
o Increases in ocean heat content are observed practically throughout the global ocean. 
 
• Suggestions for sustainable use of ocean: 
o Holistic management of ocean resources: through eased capacity in transboundary cooperation, the 
strengthening of science-policy capacity, greater coordination between social and natural sciences and 
between science and civil society, including industry, and the recognition of traditional knowledge, culture 
and social history. 
o Integration of multidisciplinary observation 
systems: for improved monitoring of significant 
changes in physical and biogeochemical 
environments and their impacts on ecosystems and 
society and to gain a much better understanding of 
the effects of pollutants, including anthropogenic 
noise, on the marine environment.  
o Efficient management and governance of marine 
areas: Several key capacity-building and technology-
transfer requirements in this field include- 
ü Training and expertise in marine management 
and governance linked to the relevant science. 
ü Learning within and between nations and 
regions (i.e., knowledge and technology 
transfer).  
o Reduce the input of pollutants into the ocean: in 
particular through the introduction of cleaner 
production, quieter technologies and cheaper and readily deployable wastewater-processing 
technologies.  
Related news: Blue Nature Alliance 
• It is a global partnership founded and led by five 
core partners: Conservation International, The 
Pew Charitable Trusts, The Global Environment 
Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob & 
Melani Walton Foundation. 
• Their aim is to advance Ocean Conservation 
Areas, inclusive of Marine Protected Areas, 
Other Effective Area-based Conservation 
Measures, Indigenous Protected Areas, and 
other innovative place-based interventions 
designed to achieve biodiversity conservation 
outcomes.  
• The alliance is working on large-scale efforts in 
Fiji’s Lau Seascape, Antarctica’s Southern 
Ocean and the Tristan da Cunha island group to 
collectively secure protections over 4.8 million 
square kilometers of the ocean. 
	
o Regional and international cooperation and improved implementation of international law: as reflected 
in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to safeguard ocean benefits. 
o Adoptiong ecosystem appoach: The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 
requires management grounded in the ecosystem approach in order to achieve the integrated set of global 
priorities and objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. 
ü The ecosystem approach is one of the most significant approaches to ocean management, consisting 
of the environmental, social and economic management of human interactions with oceans and coasts 
at multiple levels (transboundary, regional, national and local). 
Conclusion 
The Assessment proves that to prevent further destruction of oceans, greater cooperative and integrated action 
must be taken by world leaders, through joint research, capacity development and sharing data, information and 
technology. It also calls for coherent overall approach to addressing the cumulative impacts of human behaviour 
on oceans and marine ecosystems. 
5.3.	MARINE	LITTER	
Why in news? 
Countries from across the oceans decided to 
tackle marine plastic litter under the ambitious 
global project called ‘GloLitter Partnerships 
Project’. 
About Marine Litter 
• Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured 
or processed solid material discarded into 
the sea or rivers or on beaches or brought 
indirectly to the sea with rivers, sewage, 
storm water or winds. It is a form of marine 
pollution. 
• At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our 
oceans every year, and make up 80% of all 
marine debris from surface waters to 
deep-sea sediments. 
o A plastic bottle can last up to 450 years 
in the marine environment. 
• Recent research has suggested that the 
amount of discarded plastics will 
outweigh the amount of fish in our oceans 
by 2050. 
Causes of Marine Litter 
• Land-based pollutants: 80% of marine 
pollution originates on land. Main sources 
of marine plastic are urban and storm 
runoff, sewer overflows, tourism and 
recreational use of the coasts, industrial 
activities etc. 
• Consumerism and urbanisation: Rapid urbanisation along the world’s coastlines has seen the growth of 
coastal ‘megacities’ (cities with a population of 10 million or more).  
o According to IUCN, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, half of which is used to design 
single-use items such as shopping bags, cups etc 
• Microplastics: Under the influence of solar UV radiation, wind, currents and other natural factors, 
plastic fragments into small particles, termed microplastics (particles smaller than 5 mm) or nanoplastics 
(particles smaller than 100 nm). 
GloLitter Partnerships Project 
• The Project is implemented by the International Maritime 
Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture 
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with initial 
funding from the Government of Norway via the Norwegian 
Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).  
• The project aims to help the maritime transport and fishing 
sectors move towards a low-plastics future.  
• To achieve this goal, this initiative will assist developing 
countries to apply best practices for prevention, reduction 
and control of marine plastic litter from those sectors. 
• Food and Agricultural Organization is a specialized agency 
of United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat 
hunger. Headquartered in Rome, Italy. 
• International Maritime Organization is United Nations 
specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and 
security of shipping and the prevention of marine and 
atmospheric pollution by ships. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other forms of Marine Pollution 
• Chemical pollution: Chemical pollution is the introduction of 
harmful contaminants. Common man-made pollutants that 
reach the ocean include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, 
detergents, oil, industrial chemicals, and sewage. Crude oil 
lasts for years in the ocean and is difficult to clean up 
• Light pollution: Light pollution penetrates under the water, 
creating a vastly different world for species near urban 
environments. Light disrupts the normal cues associated 
with circadian rhythms. 
• Noise pollution: The increased presence of loud or persistent 
sounds from ships, sonar devices, and oil rigs disrupts natural 
noises in the marine environment. Unnatural noises 
interrupt communication (whales use echolocation), 
disrupting migration, hunting, and reproduction patterns for 
many marine animals. 
Read More
Offer running on EduRev: Apply code STAYHOME200 to get INR 200 off on our premium plan EduRev Infinity!

Related Searches

Important questions

,

ppt

,

Environment: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

,

video lectures

,

MCQs

,

Exam

,

Extra Questions

,

Environment: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

pdf

,

Sample Paper

,

Summary

,

Viva Questions

,

mock tests for examination

,

study material

,

Environment: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

Semester Notes

,

past year papers

,

practice quizzes

,

Free

,

Objective type Questions

;