Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 28-03-2023
Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 28-03-2023
Q1. Recently the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) launched the Mission happiness. Bodoland region is situated mainly in the state of
Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council on mission happiness
• Happiness will soon be an academic subject in Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
• The BTC government is set to launch its Mission Happiness across the 9,000 sq. km Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) comprising four districts – Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar and Udalgiri.
• The reign of peace in BTR since the signing of the Bodo Accord in January 2020 helped conceive the idea of teaching happiness by first understanding the reasons that make different categories of people unhappy.
Q2. Which of the following organisations has released the World Happiness Report 2023?
a. The Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative
b. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
c. The World Bank
d. Transparency International
Recently, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network released the World Happiness Report 2023 which ranks countries on happiness.
What is the World Happiness Report?
• Since 2012, the World Happiness Report has been released annually around March 20th as part of the International Day of Happiness celebration.
• This year, the report ranked 136 countries.
• The ranking uses six key factors to measure happiness — social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.
What about the Performance of the Countries? Top Performers:
• For the sixth year in a row, Finland has been crowned as the happiest nation, Denmark is at number two, followed by Iceland at number three.
• Afghanistan was ranked as the unhappiest nation, followed by Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, respectively.
• India ranks at 125th position out of 136 countries, making it one of the least happy countries in the world.
• In 2022, India ranked 136th position out of 146 countries.
• It even lags behind its neighbouring nations like Nepal, China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
What is Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)?
• In 2012, the UN SDSN was launched under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.
• SDSN promotes integrated approaches to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, through education, research, policy analysis, and global cooperation.
Q3. Which of the following are the main objectives of the agreement on Biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions (BBNJ)?
1. Demarcation of marine protected areas (MPAs)
2. Sustainable use of marine genetic resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from them
3. Initiation of the practice of environmental impact assessments for all major activities in the oceans
Select the correct answer from the codes given below
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3
The High Seas Treaty: Key provisions, and the challenges it faces
• The nations of the world have agreed on a framework for the conservation and sustainable use of resources in the open oceans that lie beyond national territorial jurisdictions. This is why the agreement is a critical step forward in saving the planet — and also why it is important to temper expectations.
• High seas are open ocean areas that are outside the jurisdiction of any country — the reason why the treaty is commonly known as the agreement on “biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions”, or BBNJ.
• Once the treaty becomes international law after ratification by member countries, it will regulate all human activities in the high seas with the objective of ensuring that ocean resources, including biodiversity, are utilised in a sustainable manner, and their benefits are shared equitably among countries.
• Oceans are an integral part of the global climate cycle, and perform a range of ecological services including absorption of carbon dioxide and excess heat, because of which this treaty is also being considered as a landmark in the efforts to keep the planet habitable.
Key Provisions of Treaty
The High Seas Treaty has four main objectives:
• Demarcation of marine protected areas (MPAs), rather like there are protected forests or wildlife areas;
• Sustainable use of marine genetic resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from them;
• Initiation of the practice of environmental impact assessments for all major activities in the oceans; and
• Capacity building and technology transfer.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to the high seas
1. The high seas comprise about 43 per cent of the Earth
2. Only about 1.44 per cent of high seas are currently protected
Which of the above are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
The laws of the seas
• The high seas comprise 64 percent of the ocean surface, and about
43 per cent of the Earth. These areas are home to about 2.2 million marine species and up to a trillion different kinds of microorganisms.
• A number of regional, multilateral and global legal frameworks exist to govern the activities in the oceans, the most important of which is the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), a 1982 agreement that has near-universal acceptance.
• Among other things, UNCLOS defined the rights and duties of countries in the oceans, the extent of ocean areas over which countries could claim sovereignty, and the legal status of marine resources. It also specified a set of general rules for a range of activities in the oceans including navigation, scientific research, and deep-sea mining.
• The treaty established exclusive economic zones (EEZ), ocean areas up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coastline, where a country would have exclusive rights over all economic resources such as fish, oil, minerals, and gas. The high seas are the areas beyond the EEZ of any country.
• The UNCLOS came into being much before climate change and biodiversity became major global concerns. Though it asks countries to protect the ocean ecology and conserve its resources, it does not provide the specific mechanisms or processes to do so.
• Climate change is already influencing, and is being influenced by, ocean systems, and is exacerbating the pressures on marine biodiversity from unregulated human activities. It is these specific challenges — a combination of climate change, biodiversity, and pollution — that the High Seas Treaty seeks to address.
The High Seas Treaty will work as an implementation agreement under the UNCLOS, much like the Paris Agreement works under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
MARINE-PROTECTED AREAS: MPAs are where ocean systems, including biodiversity, are under stress, either due to human activities or climate change. These can be called the national parks or wildlife reserves of the oceans. Activities in these areas will be highly regulated, and conservation efforts similar to what happens in forest or wildlife zones, will be undertaken. Only about 1.44 per cent of high seas are currently protected, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In December last year, at the meeting of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada, countries had agreed to put at least 30 percent of degraded coastal and marine ecosystems under effective restoration by 2030. MPAs can become an important vehicle to achieve that goal.
MARINE GENETIC RESOURCES: Oceans host very diverse life forms, many of which can be useful for human beings in areas like drug development. Genetic information from these organisms is already being extracted, and their benefits are being investigated. The treaty seeks to ensure that any benefits arising out of such efforts, including monetary gains, are free from strong intellectual property rights controls, and are equitably shared amongst all. The knowledge generated from such expeditions are also supposed to remain openly accessible to all.
ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENTS: The high seas are international waters that are open for use by all countries. Under the provisions of the new treaty, commercial or other activities that can have significant impact on the marine ecosystem, or can cause large- scale pollution in the oceans, would require an environmental impact assessment to be done, and the results of this exercise have to be shared with the international community.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The
treaty lays a lot of emphasis on this, mainly because a large number of countries, especially small island states and landlocked nations, do not have the resources or the expertise to meaningfully participate in the conservation efforts, or to take benefits from the useful exploitation of marine resources. At the same time, the obligations put on them by the Treaty, to carry out environmental impact assessments for example, can be an additional burden.