- CURRENT AFFAIRS – 03/11/2023
- In FSSAI index, nearly all major states slip on food safety compared to 2019
- Biosphere reserves are evolving as pockets of hope
- Understanding worker productivity
- NCERT to add content on electoral literacy in school textbooks
- EU’s Proposed Carbon Tax
- Inadequate Climate Adaptation Funding for Developing Countries: UN Report
- UNESCO names Kozhikode ‘city of literature’
CURRENT AFFAIRS – 03/11/2023
In FSSAI index, nearly all major states slip on food safety compared to 2019
(General Studies- Paper II)
Source : The Indian Express
Four years after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) introduced the State Food Safety Index (SFSI), the 2023 scores indicate a significant decline in food safety performance among 20 large Indian states.
- The Decline in State-Wise Scores:
- 19 out of 20 large states witnessed a drop in their 2023 food safety scores compared to 2019.
- When adjusting for a new parameter introduced in the 2023 index, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower scores in 2023 compared to 2019.
- Maharashtra experienced the steepest fall in scores over five years, scoring 45 out of 100 in 2023 compared to 74 in 2019.
- Bihar scored 20.5 in 2023, a significant decrease from 46 in 2019.
- Gujarat’s score in 2023 dropped to 48.5 from 73 in 2019.
- The task of ensuring food safety falls on each state’s apex food safety authority.
- The State Food Safety Index (SFSI):
- FSSAI has been publishing the SFSI annually on June 7, coinciding with World Food Safety Day.
- The SFSI evaluates states based on five parameters with varying weightages:
- ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’
- ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’
- ‘Training and Capacity Building’
- ‘Consumer Empowerment’
- The most significant drop in scores occurred in the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter, with the average score for all large states decreasing to 7 out of 17 in 2023 from 13 out of 20 in 2019.
- Several states, including Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, scored lower in this parameter.
- Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand also recorded lower scores in the ‘Compliance’ parameter.
- The SFSI evaluates states based on five parameters with varying weightages:
- Historical Trend:
- In 2019, the average score for all large states was 52 out of 100.
- In 2020, it marginally improved to 56 points.
- However, the average score dropped to 51 points in both 2021 and 2022.
- The steepest decline was observed in the 2023 index when the average score fell to 40 points.
- Introduction of ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ Parameter:
- A new parameter, ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank,’ was added to assess each state’s improvement in rank from the previous year.
- Weight adjustments were made to ensure the total score does not exceed 100.
- Comparison of Scores with and without ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’:
- When adjusting 2023 scores to exclude the new parameter, 15 out of 20 states recorded a drop in their scores from 2019.
- Without any adjustment, all large states, except Punjab, experienced a drop in their scores.
- ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ Parameter:
- Given the fourth highest weightage of 17% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
- Measures the availability of testing infrastructure with trained personnel in each state for testing food samples.
- The average score for all states dropped to 7 out of 17 in 2023 from 13 out of 20 in 2019.
- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat experienced significant drops in scores.
- ‘Compliance’ Parameter:
- Given the highest weightage of 28% in 2023 (30% in previous years).
- Measures licensing, registration of food businesses, inspections, special drives, and compliance-related tasks carried out by state food safety authorities.
- Significant variations in scores, with Jharkhand having the lowest and Punjab and Himachal Pradesh having the highest scores.
- A drop in average compliance score for all large states from 16 out of 30 in 2019 to 11 out of 28 in 2023.
- Madhya Pradesh and Bihar saw noticeable declines.
- ‘Consumer Empowerment’ Parameter:
- Given the second highest weightage of 19% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
- Measures state performance in various FSSAI initiatives to empower consumers.
- Bihar recorded a significant drop in scores.
- Tamil Nadu led the parameter with the highest score in 2023.
- ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’ Parameter:
- Given the third highest weightage of 18% in 2023 (20% in previous years).
- Measures the availability of human resources and institutions related to food safety.
- A drop in the average score for all states from 11 out of 20 in 2019 to 7 out of 18 in 2023.
- Top performers like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh also saw reduced scores.
- ‘Training and Capacity Building’ Parameter:
- Given the least weightage of 8% in 2023 (10% in previous years).
- The only parameter showing significant improvement.
- The average score improved from 3.5 out of 10 in 2019 to 5 out of 8 in 2023.
- ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ Parameter:
- Carried a weightage of 10% in 2023.
- 14 out of 20 large states received 0 points for this parameter.
About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is a statutory body established by the Government of India under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- The Food Safety and Standards Act came into effect in 2011.
- FSSAI plays a pivotal role in regulating and supervising food safety and standards in India.
- FSSAI’s primary mandate is to lay down scientific standards for food articles and regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption in India.
- FSSAI is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Regulatory Functions:
- Standard Setting:
- FSSAI sets and promotes standards for food products to ensure their safety and quality.
- These standards cover a wide range of food products, including processed foods, agricultural produce, and food additives.
- Licensing and Registration:
- FSSAI is responsible for licensing and registration of food businesses, which includes manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers.
- These businesses must comply with FSSAI regulations to operate legally.
- Food Safety Monitoring:
- FSSAI conducts inspections, testing, and surveillance to ensure food safety standards are met by food businesses.
- FSSAI has the authority to take enforcement actions, including recalls and product withdrawals, against food businesses that violate food safety regulations.
- Consumer Awareness:
- FSSAI also works to promote consumer awareness about food safety and related issues.
- Standard Setting:
Biosphere reserves are evolving as pockets of hope
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : TH
As urban life becomes more cacophonous, many seek refuge in natural beauty and peaceful settings which results in the surge in single-use plastic waste, especially plastic water bottles, during the tourist season.
- The role of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in addressing these issues and fostering conservation and sustainability is significant.
- World Biosphere Reserve Day: Raising Awareness
- Celebrated annually on November 3, this day is dedicated to increasing awareness of the significance of biosphere reserves.
- Biosphere reserves consist of core, buffer, and transition zones, each serving unique ecological functions.
- UNESCO designates these reserves to promote the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable development, and research.
- These reserves receive support from various United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- There are currently 748 biosphere reserves in 134 countries, with 22 of them being transboundary sites, encouraging international cooperation.
- They impact the lives of more than 250 million people across 134 countries, with India alone hosting 12 such sites.
- The Crucial Role of Biosphere Reserves
- These reserves showcase nature’s remarkable resilience, even in the face of human activity.
- They provide habitats for a diverse range of ecosystems, from lush tropical rainforests to harsh alpine deserts.
- These ecosystems are home to numerous unique and endangered plant and animal species.
- Biosphere reserves ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and offer opportunities for sustainable economic development.
- They have gained newfound importance in the fight against climate change as they serve as critical carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Carbon sinks, including forests and oceans, play a pivotal role in implementing adaptation strategies to combat climate change.
- Local Initiatives and Community Involvement
- In Indian biosphere reserves, such as Sundarban and Gulf of Mannar, local communities are actively involved in conservation efforts.
- Sundarban’s community-managed mangrove forests and Gulf of Mannar’s community-led conservation and eco-tourism initiatives are exemplary.
- Innovative practices, like the introduction of “plastic checkpoints” in the Gulf of Mannar, demonstrate the power of community engagement in sustainability.
- Challenges Faced by Biosphere Reserves
- Biosphere reserves face various threats, including deforestation, invasive species, and changes in land use, such as mining.
- With urbanization and the ever-growing global population, human exploitation of these precious ecosystems continues to rise.
- The SACAM Meeting in Chennai: Fostering Sustainability
- The recent 10th South and Central Asian Biosphere Reserve Network Meeting in Chennai, India, focused on sustainable environmental practices.
- The theme “Ridge to Reef” provided a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration in sustainable practices.
Note: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated November 3rd as the International Day for Biosphere Reserves. The day was celebrated for the first time in 2022.
What is a Biosphere Reserve?
A Biosphere Reserve is an international designation by UNESCO that recognizes and protects significant portions of natural and cultural landscapes, which can encompass terrestrial, coastal, marine ecosystems, or a combination of these, over a substantial geographic area.
- A Biosphere Reserve is not just a protected area; it consists of a multi-zoned landscape that includes three main components: the core zone, buffer zone, and transition zone.
- Core Zone:
- The core zone is the most strictly protected area within the Biosphere Reserve.
- Its primary purpose is to safeguard critical habitats, unique species, and ecosystems.
- Human activities in the core zone are minimal and tightly regulated, and often only scientific research and non-invasive activities are allowed.
- Buffer Zone:
- The buffer zone surrounds the core zone and acts as a protective barrier.
- It helps shield the core zone from external pressures while allowing for sustainable human activities.
- In the buffer zone, human activities such as sustainable agriculture, responsible tourism, and other practices that align with conservation objectives are encouraged.
- Transition Zone:
- The transition zone is the outermost part of the Biosphere Reserve, where regular human activities take place.
- This zone emphasizes socio-cultural and ecological sustainability.
- It often serves as a place for environmental education, research, and community engagement, contributing to the overall objectives of the Biosphere Reserve.
- Conservation of Biodiversity:
- One of the primary purposes of Biosphere Reserves is the conservation of biodiversity.
- These areas protect a wide variety of plant and animal species and their habitats.
- By preserving ecosystems, these reserves help maintain ecological balance and support the survival of numerous species, including those that are endangered or unique to the region.
- Sustainable Development:
- Biosphere Reserves promote sustainable development by encouraging local communities to engage in environmentally friendly practices.
- This may include sustainable agriculture, responsible tourism, and the responsible use of natural resources, allowing communities to thrive while protecting the environment.
- Climate Change Mitigation:
- Many Biosphere Reserves play a role in mitigating climate change.
- They serve as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Protecting forests, wetlands, and other carbon-absorbing ecosystems is crucial for addressing climate change.
- International Network:
- Biosphere Reserves are part of a global network of designated sites.
- UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program coordinates this network, facilitating international cooperation and knowledge exchange.
- Core Zone:
Note: UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program is an intergovernmental scientific program aimed at promoting sustainable development while safeguarding natural ecosystems and biodiversity. It was launched by UNESCO in 1971.
Biosphere Reserves in India
- India currently has 18 notified biosphere reserves covering a total area of 60,000 square kilometers.
- The first biosphere reserve established in India was the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, which spans across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.
UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves: Global
- There are a total of 738 biosphere reserves worldwide, spanning 134 countries.
- These include 22 transboundary sites, which are shared by multiple countries.
- Regional Distribution:
- The highest number of biosphere reserves is found in Europe and North America, followed by Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa and Arab states.
- In South Asia, more than 30 biosphere reserves have been established, with the first one being the Hurulu Biosphere Reserve in Sri Lanka, known for its tropical dry evergreen forest.
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal have yet to establish biosphere reserves.
- Spain, Russia, and Mexico have the highest number of biosphere reserves in their respective countries.
- In September 2021, UNESCO declared the world’s first 5-country biosphere reserve, which spans across Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia.
Understanding worker productivity
(General Studies- Paper II)
Source : TH
Worker productivity, often referred to as labour productivity, is a key economic concept that measures the efficiency of work performed by individuals or groups in an organization or economy.
- It focuses on how efficiently labour resources are utilized to produce goods or services.
- Worker productivity is usually measured as the quantity or value of output produced per unit of labour input, typically expressed as output per hour worked.
- Distinguishing Mental and Manual Work:
- The main conceptual difference between worker productivity and labour productivity is that worker productivity encompasses both mental and manual activities, whereas labour productivity primarily pertains to manual work.
- This differentiation acknowledges that productivity is not limited to physical labour but also includes intellectual and knowledge-based work.
- Measuring Productivity:
- Productivity at the micro level is often measured as the value of output generated per unit of labour time and cost.
- In essence, it quantifies how efficiently workers can produce goods or services within a specific time frame.
- At the macro level, it can be measured in terms of the labour-output ratio or changes in Net Domestic Product (NDP) per worker, assuming a standard working day of 8 hours.
- Challenges in Measuring Intellectual Work:
- In certain service sectors, especially those involving intellectual labour, quantifying the value of output independently can be challenging.
- As a result, worker income is sometimes used as a proxy to suggest productivity.
- In this context, the assertion that increasing total working hours automatically leads to higher productivity is debated.
- It may only hold true if the additional output has no corresponding increase in compensation, which can be perceived as a profit-driven approach at the expense of workers.
- Human Capital and Skill Enhancement:
- A more sophisticated understanding of productivity emphasizes that it is not merely a function of time but also a product of skill.
- Human capital, which encompasses education, training, nutrition, health, and more, plays a crucial role in enhancing worker productivity.
- Investing in human capital enables workers to produce more value within the same time frame.
- Reduced Working Hours and Quality of Life:
- Contrary to the notion that a reduction in working hours hampers productivity, it can actually enhance the leisure and quality of life for workers.
- As productivity is not solely tied to the number of hours worked, but also to the skills and knowledge workers possess, shorter working hours can lead to better quality of life while maintaining or even increasing economic output.
- Relationship Between Worker Productivity and Economic Growth:
- While increased productivity can contribute to economic growth, the relationship is complex and multifaceted.
- Prosperity and economic growth don’t necessarily equate to better living standards for all.
- In India, income distribution analysis from 1980 to 2015 shows that the top income groups experienced significant increases, while the bottom 50% saw relatively modest income growth.
- From 1980 to 2015, the income share of the middle-income and low-income groups in India decreased significantly.
- In contrast, the top 10% income groups saw substantial increases in their income share.
- The top 0.01% and top 0.001% experienced staggering income growth during the same period.
- The disparity in income growth suggests that prosperity for the richest is not always directly linked to their productivity or contributions based on skill and effort.
- This phenomenon can be attributed to hereditary wealth transfers and high executive pay packages that aren’t necessarily tied to productivity.
- Worker Productivity in India:
- Assessing worker productivity by using income as a proxy can lead to misleading conclusions.
- Indians are noted as hard-working employees by various sources, contradicting the notion of low worker productivity.
- India’s position as one of the countries with the lowest average wages globally might reflect factors such as informal employment and unfavourable labour laws rather than low productivity.
- Entrepreneurs and business leaders have a role in enhancing productivity.
- Indian entrepreneurs in sectors like steel and metal may need to address their strategies and focus on high-value manufacturing activities instead of shifting to lower-value activities like mining and smelting.
- Blaming low productivity solely on workers may not be accurate, as entrepreneurial decisions also play a significant role.
- Impact of Informal Labour on Worker Productivity:
- The rise in informal employment, both in the organized and unorganized sectors, has been a significant trend in India’s labour landscape.
- The increase in formalization is often limited to tax compliance and hasn’t necessarily improved labour standards or working conditions.
- The informal labour pool complicates worker productivity calculations because it operates under different conditions and standards than formal employment.
- The presence of Micro-Small-Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the formal manufacturing sector, which often relies on informal labour, can lead to cost-cutting through wage reductions.
- The exploitation of workers in this segment can be driven by the combination of high labour productivity and low wages, leading to high profits.
- Many large-scale corporations also outsource and subcontract production to smaller units, including in the IT sector.
- Comparisons with Japan and Germany:
- Comparisons between India’s economy and those of Japan and Germany may not be apt, as these countries differ significantly in terms of labour force size, technological trajectories, socio-cultural and political structures.
- India’s unique context and challenges require a more tailored approach to economic analysis and policy prescriptions.
- To achieve more sustainable and desirable outcomes, India should focus on enhancing social investments, exploring domestic consumption potential, and prioritizing human-centric development achievements over arbitrary comparisons with other economies.
NCERT to add content on electoral literacy in school textbooks
(General Studies- Paper II)
Source : TH
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India is taking steps to address voter apathy among young citizens by incorporating content on electoral literacy in textbooks.
- The effort extends from classes 6 to 12 in all schools, including a curricular framework for colleges and universities, tailored to various disciplines.
- The initiative is designed to instill electoral literacy and improve voter awareness among young Indians.
- Collaboration between Election Commission and Education Ministry:
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Education Ministry.
- The MoU is part of the ECI’s flagship Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) program, aimed at enhancing voter engagement in schools and colleges.
- The primary goal of the MoU is to combat voter apathy, especially among urban and young Indians.
- Concerns arise from the significant number of electors (297 million out of 910 million) who did not vote in the General Election to the Lok Sabha in 2019.
- Educational Initiatives:
- The initiative involves the orientation and training of teachers to effectively teach electoral literacy in classrooms.
- Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) will be established in schools and colleges to promote voter awareness.
- Activities will be encouraged to engage students in voter education.
- A mechanism is being developed to provide voter ID cards to students immediately after they turn 18.
- The curriculum for adult literacy and basic education will include an electoral literacy section.
- “Democracy Rooms” will be designated in senior secondary schools for displaying voter education materials and conducting Continuous Electoral and Democracy Education (CEDE) activities throughout the year.
EU’s Proposed Carbon Tax
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : TH
The European Union’s proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is met with strong opposition from India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal.
- Goyal deems the CBAM as “ill-conceived” and believes it would have a detrimental impact on the EU’s manufacturing sector.
- India plans to neutralize the CBAM by implementing its own carbon tax if the EU proceeds with its carbon tax plan.
- The CBAM has already begun with reporting requirements for exporters of items like steel.
- Unfair Carbon Pricing:
- It is vied that the CBAM is unfair as carbon pricing cannot be the same in India and Europe due to differing circumstances.
- European producers may shift their production to India to avoid the tax.
- The auto sector in Europe, which relies on steel and aluminium, could be severely affected by the CBAM.
- India’s Competitive Edge:
- There is an opportunity for India to develop a vibrant auto sector as inputs become costlier in Europe, giving India a competitive edge in the global market.
- At the same time, the CBAM could negatively impact Europe’s manufacturing and economy.
- India’s Countermeasure:
- India intends to collect its own carbon tax and use it for its green energy transition.
- The tax revenue could indirectly assist Indian exporters in transitioning to cleaner energy and reducing their carbon footprint.
- This approach would eliminate the need for an additional CBAM tax at the European border.
- Negotiations with the EU:
- India is engaged in ongoing negotiations with the EU about the carbon tax issue.
- The government emphasizes the unfairness of carbon pricing that doesn’t consider the different circumstances in India and Europe.
About the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
- The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a policy initiative proposed by the European Union (EU) as part of its efforts to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
- It is designed to ensure that imported goods into the EU meet the same carbon pricing and emissions reduction standards as goods produced within the EU.
- CBAM is sometimes referred to as a carbon tax on imports.
- Key features of the CBAM include:
- Carbon Pricing:
- Under CBAM, the carbon content of imported goods is assessed, and an equivalent carbon price is applied to them.
- This means that products imported into the EU are subject to a carbon tax based on their carbon footprint.
- Leveling the Playing Field:
- The primary goal of CBAM is to prevent “carbon leakage.”
- Carbon leakage occurs when EU industries move their production outside the EU to avoid the EU’s stricter carbon pricing and emissions regulations.
- By imposing a carbon tax on imports, the EU aims to level the playing field for EU industries and prevent them from relocating to countries with laxer environmental standards.
- Promoting Green Transition:
- The revenue generated from the carbon tax can be used to support the EU’s green energy transition and climate change mitigation efforts.
- Complex Implementation:
- Implementing CBAM is a complex task, as it requires accurately measuring and verifying the carbon content of imported goods.
- This process can vary from product to product and industry to industry.
- Global Trade Implications:
- The introduction of CBAM has raised concerns about its potential impact on international trade and trade relations.
- Some trading partners may view it as a trade barrier or discriminatory measure.
- Adjustment Period:
- The EU plans to implement CBAM gradually, with a pilot phase starting in 2023.
- It is set to become fully operational by 2026.
- Carbon Pricing:
Inadequate Climate Adaptation Funding for Developing Countries: UN Report
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : The Indian Express
Despite the escalating climate risks that necessitate increased adaptation efforts, a new United Nations report highlights a significant shortfall in funding available to developing countries for climate adaptation.
- The report indicates that in 2021, only about $21 billion was allocated to developing countries for adaptation projects, which was a 15% decrease from previous years.
- However, developing countries collectively require at least $215 billion annually throughout this decade to undertake meaningful climate adaptation work, as revealed in the latest edition of the Adaptation Gap Report released by the UN Environment Programme.
- Decline in Funding:
- Climate adaptation funding to developing countries decreased in 2021, with only $21 billion allocated, a 15% drop from previous years.
- The Adaptation Gap Report emphasizes that developing countries need a minimum of $215 billion annually this decade for effective climate adaptation work.
- This assessment highlights a significant gulf between available funding and the requirements for climate adaptation in developing nations.
- Importance of Adaptation:
- Adaptation is crucial for saving lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems, especially in developing countries with low resilience to climate change impacts.
- Various adaptation measures include strengthening coastlines, constructing sea walls, experimenting with temperature-resistant crops, creating climate-resilient infrastructure, securing water sources, and more.
- Under international climate agreements, developed countries are obligated to provide financial support and technology transfer to help developing countries adapt to climate change.
- Developing countries outline their adaptation requirements in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are part of their climate action plans.
- Increasing Gap:
- The Adaptation Gap Report highlights that the disparity between the funding required and the available resources is growing.
- The assessment considered the requirements outlined in countries’ NDCs, totaling approximately $387 billion annually for this decade.
- It also conducted a modeling exercise to estimate the global adaptation needs and funding, which amounted to $215 billion annually for this decade.
- These numbers are expected to rise significantly in the future as climate change risks continue to intensify.
- Unmet Needs:
- The adaptation finance gap, representing the disparity between estimated financing needs ($215 billion to $387 billion) and existing financial flows ($21.3 billion), has expanded significantly.
- The report suggests that the adaptation funding gap is likely 10-18 times greater than current international adaptation finance flows, exceeding previous estimates by at least 50%.
- The Adaptation Gap Report utilized two approaches to assess the current adaptation financing needs:
- Requirements Based on NDCs:
- The report aggregated the adaptation requirements outlined by developing countries in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
- This calculation yielded an annual requirement of USD 387 billion for climate adaptation throughout this decade.
- Modeling Exercise:
- A separate modeling exercise was conducted to estimate the global adaptation needs and the funding necessary to support these efforts.
- This modeling exercise identified an annual funding requirement of USD 215 billion for climate adaptation over this decade.
- Challenges in Meeting Adaptation Needs
- Efforts are underway to increase financial flows for climate adaptation and other climate-related requirements collectively referred to as climate finance.
- Developed countries had committed to mobilize at least USD 100 billion in climate finance annually from 2020, as agreed in 2009.
- However, this target has not been met, even three years after the deadline.
- Meanwhile, the need for climate finance has grown significantly and is now estimated to be in the trillions of dollars annually.
- At the Glasgow climate conference in 2021, developed countries pledged to double the funding for adaptation, and there is an agreement to establish a new climate financing goal beyond USD 100 billion per year by 2025.
- However, the Adaptation Gap Report suggests that these commitments may not be sufficient to address the adaptation financing gap.
- Doubling adaptation finance by 2025 and establishing a new collective quantified goal for 2030 may not close the financing gap effectively.
- Even achieving the goal of doubling adaptation finance by 2025 would only reduce the gap by 5% to 10%.
- Diverse Funding Sources:
- To bridge the adaptation gap, countries will need to increasingly rely on their own resources and private finance to fund adaptation efforts.
- Domestic budgets may become a significant source of funding for adaptation in many developing countries, ranging from 0.2% to over 5% of government budgets.
- There is evidence of private-sector involvement in adaptation initiatives across various sectors, such as water, food and agriculture, transport and infrastructure, and tourism.
- This includes investments by large companies, financial institutions providing finance for adaptation activities, and companies offering adaptation goods and services.
- Seven Strategies to Address the Adaptation Gap:
- Increasing international finance flows.
- Enhancing domestic resource mobilization.
- Reforming the global financial architecture to facilitate access to climate-related finance from multilateral agencies like the World Bank and the IMF.
- Encouraging greater engagement of the private sector in adaptation efforts.
- Promoting innovation in financing mechanisms.
- Fostering south-south cooperation to share best practices and experiences.
- Facilitating knowledge sharing and capacity-building.
- Requirements Based on NDCs:
About UN Environment Programme
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority within the United Nations system.
- UNEP was established in 1972 following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which took place in Stockholm.
- It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
- UNEP’s primary mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment.
- It works to inspire and inform nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
- Role and Functions:
- Environmental Assessment:
- UNEP conducts assessments and research on various environmental issues, providing scientific insights and evidence to inform global policies.
- Policy Development:
- It plays a key role in the development and implementation of international environmental policies and agreements.
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):
- UNEP administers the CBD, which addresses biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
- Montreal Protocol:
- UNEP supports the implementation of this international treaty aimed at protecting the ozone layer.
- Climate Change:
- While climate change is primarily under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UNEP plays a supportive role in addressing environmental aspects of climate change.
- Reports and Assessments:
- UNEP produces various reports, including the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) series, which provides comprehensive assessments of the state of the global environment.
- Environmental Assessment:
UNESCO names Kozhikode ‘city of literature’
(General Studies- Paper I)
Source : The Indian Express
Creative Cities Network (UCCN) recently welcomed 55 new cities into its network.
- These cities were selected to represent seven creative fields and join the existing 350 member cities from around the world.
- The new member cities were chosen to represent a range of creative domains, including crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.
- Among the new entrants, two Indian cities, Kozhikode and Gwalior, have gained recognition for their contributions to the creative arts.
- Kozhikode and Literature:
- Kozhikode, a city in Kerala, was included in the UCCN under the category of literature, acknowledging its cultural and literary significance.
- Gwalior and Music:
- Gwalior, a city in Madhya Pradesh, has been recognized for its contributions to the field of music, joining the UCCN as a city representing this creative domain.
- UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN):
- The UCCN was established in 2004 to promote collaboration among cities that consider creativity as a key driver for sustainable urban development.
- The network comprises 350 cities in over 100 countries, making it a diverse and global platform.
- Promoting UNESCO Goals:
- The UCCN is aligned with UNESCO’s objectives, emphasizing cultural diversity and building resilience in the face of challenges such as climate change, inequality, and rapid urbanization.
- Urban Creativity:
- The UCCN encourages a culture of creativity in urban planning and offers innovative solutions to urban issues by leveraging the creative, social, and economic potential of cultural industries.
- Other Indian Cities in the Network:
- Apart from Kozhikode and Gwalior, other Indian cities in the UCCN include Varanasi (music), Srinagar (crafts and folk arts), and Chennai (music).
- Kozhikode’s Literary and Cultural Significance:
- Kozhikode, located in North Kerala, has played a pivotal role in the literary and cultural landscape of the state.
- The city boasts numerous prominent figures in the literary and cultural domains and serves as the headquarters for several leading media organizations.
- Kozhikode is home to numerous publishing houses and libraries, contributing to its rich literary tradition.
- The city holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the first Malayalam novel, “Kundalatha,” authored by AppuNedungadi in 1887.
- Kozhikode has been the hometown of celebrated writers such as S K Pottekkatt, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, Uroob, Thikkodiyan, NN Kakkad, P Valsala, Akbar Kakkattil, PunathilKunjabdulla, and MT Vasudevan Nair, who have garnered acclaim for their literary contributions.
- The city has also nurtured talents in the film and theater industry over the past half-century.
- Areas of Action:
- The CCCN’s objectives are pursued at both the local and international levels.
- Member cities engage in sharing experiences, knowledge, and best practices to encourage creative and artistic exchange.
- The network facilitates research and evaluations of the creative cities’ experiences, among other activities.
- Annual Conference of Network Cities:
- A significant highlight of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (CCCN) is the annual conference gathering mayors and other stakeholders from network cities worldwide.
- This conference serves as a unique platform to strengthen connections and collaborations among creative cities on a global scale.
- The primary objective of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of practical information related to policies and activities implemented by these cities and to encourage inter-city partnerships.
- Locations of Recent and Upcoming Conferences:
- The previous annual conference took place in Santos, Brazil, showcasing the network’s commitment to international cooperation and knowledge sharing.
- Istanbul hosted the most recent conference, underscoring the global nature of the CCCN.
- The next scheduled conference is slated for July 2024 in Braga, Portugal.
- Member Cities’ Responsibilities:
- Every four years, member cities are required to submit a Membership Monitoring Report, emphasizing their unwavering dedication to fulfilling the UCCN Mission Statement.
- These reports encompass an action plan for the subsequent four years, detailing the cities’ accomplishments, experiences, and the impact of their designation as creative cities.
Indian cities that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)
- Varanasi – Creative city of Music (2015)
- Chennai – Creative city of Music (2017)
- Bengaluru – Creative city of Music(2017)
- Jaipur – Crafts and Folk Arts (2015)
- Hyderabad – Gastronomy (2019)
- Mumbai – Film (2019)
- Srinagar – Crafts and Folk Arts (2021)
- Kozhikode –Creative city of Literature (2023)
- Gwalior – Creative city of Music (2023)