1)Networking the Networks:-

  • The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the three day International Conference on ‘Networking the Networks’ in the national Capital.
  • This Conference is relevant in the context that South Asia region is vulnerable to the illicit financial flows from drugs, human trafficking, tax fraud etc.  Informal money transfer systems are also popular in the world and can be easily misused by the criminal networks for the transfer of crime proceeds, as well as for terrorism financing.
  • One of the ways to effectively combat the criminal networks is to disrupt their financial flows. But the criminal networks are of transnational nature and money movements are executed very fast. So to combat these criminal networks and their illicit financial flows, law enforcement agencies need fast operational cooperation with their foreign partners, and capacities to deal with the financial crimes.
  • There are different regional organizations for law enforcement cooperation – e.g. Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC), Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) etc. But their capacities are not fully utilized for tracing of illicit financial flows and for the law enforcement – financial intelligence cooperation.
  • Participants will also produce recommendations on best practices and solutions which can be applied to the nascent South Asia Regional Information and Coordination Center (SARICC)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also participates in this conference.


2) National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA):-

  • A new website – http://www.ncdmaindia.gov.in  has been launched by the National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA) in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
  • It will capture the entire life cycle of CDM( Clean Development Mechanism) Projects.


3)Biodiversity International:-

  • Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization with a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.
  • The organization delivers scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity to attain global food and nutrition security, working with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.
  • Why agricultural biodiversity matters:-
    • It is the source of genetic material that is vital to future generations.
    • Agricultural biodiversity can provide a cost-effective way for farmers to manage pests and diseases
      • For example – In the Central Highlands of Vakinankaratra, Madagascar, growing fodder radish next to rice acts as a natural barrier that significantly reduces the rice damage caused by the larvae and adults of black Dynastid beetles
      • In Uganda, pest and disease damage was substantially reduced when farmers grew different varieties of common bean with different resistance together. Growing a combination of varieties together also makes farming systems more resilient to new pests and diseases
    • Agricultural biodiversity gives farmers options to manage climate risks
    • Agricultural biodiversity can contribute to health and nutrition
      • We know of 7000 plant species in the world that are edible, but over 50% of our plant-derived calories come from only 3 species: rice, wheat and maize (FAO, 1997).
        A diverse diet is the basis of food pyramids and nutrition guidelines around the world. A healthy diet includes multiple food groups, made of diverse foods. The heavy reliance on a narrow diversity of food crops puts future food and nutrition security at risk. Nutrient content varies among species and among varieties within a species.
      • For example:
        Minor millets have protein levels close to that of wheat and are rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Yet they account for less than 1% of the food grains produced in the world (FAO, 1995). Millets are resilient plants that require little water and are mostly grown in marginal areas where major cereals would fail.
    • Agricultural biodiversity can play a role in sustaining soil health, food and habitat for important pollinators and natural pest predators that are vital to agricultural production
    • Traditional knowledge and culture is often based on local species diversity a
      • for example -In the Indian state of Maharashtra alone, around 1,600 flowering plants are used in traditional medicine, many of which are threatened with extinction. Much of this diversity is preserved in ‘sacred groves’ and women are often the ones who retain knowledge of their uses.
  • The Challenge ahead :-
    • In order to feed the projected population of 9 billion people by 2050, how can food production be sustainably expanded by 60% globally and up to 100% in developing countries?This is the global challenge ahead of us.
  • Solution:-
    • Ecological intensification and diversification – This area of work focuses on how agricultural and tree biodiversity improves resilience at the field and landscape level.
    • Landscape restoration and management :-Working with communities, this research focuses on biophysical, social and institutional mechanisms that influence the flow and delivery of ecosystem services.



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