Great Barrier Reef
Why in news?
What causes coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef:
- The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.
- The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
- The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms.
- This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
- It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.
What is coral bleaching?
- Coral reefs are threatened by climate change.
- When the sea surface temperature increases beyond a tolerable limit, they undergo a process of bleaching. Bleaching is when the corals expel a certain algae known as zooxanthellae, which lives in the tissues of the coral in a symbiotic relationship.
- About 90% of the energy of the coral is provided by the zooxanthellae which are endowed with chlorophyll
- and other pigments.
- They are responsible for the yellow or reddish brown colours of the host coral. The zooxanthellae can live as endosymbionts with jellyfish also.
- When a coral bleaches, it does not die but comes pretty close to it. Some of the corals may survive the experience and recover once the sea surface temperature returns to normal levels.
How does it affect the Great Barrier Reef?
- Climate change was the greatest threat to the Reef.
- Coastal development, land-based run-off and direct human use, such as activities like illegal fishing.
Related Information plus:
Major Reef formations in India:
- The Gulf of Mannar
- Gulf of Kachchh
- Andaman and Nicobar
- Lakshadweep Islands.
To know more about coral reefs- https://neoiascap.com/2019/08/21/coral-reefs/environment
Why in news?
Kerala reports case of bird flu.
Bird flu or avian influenza:
- Bird flu or avian influenza is the infection of birds byH5/H7 strains of avian influenza type A viruses that occur naturally among wild aquatic birds around the globe.
- The can affect domestic poultry and animal species.
- It can spread to humans and can trigger person to person transmission.
- There are many varieties of viruses and H7N9 is considered dangerous among them.
- Infected birds can spread the virus through their saliva, nasal secretions and faeces.
- Birds get infected when they are exposed to the virus after they are shed by those infected, or through surfaces that are contaminated.
Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)
Why in news?
India has joined as an observer of the Indian Ocean Commission.
More about the Organization:
- The Indian Ocean Commission is an intergovernmental organization that was created in 1982 at Port Louis, Mauritius and institutionalized in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in Seychelles.
- It composed of five African western Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.
- IOC had five observers – India, China, Malta, European Union and International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF)
- Its Principal mission is to strengthen the ties of friendship between the countries and to be a platform of
- solidarity for the entire population of the African Indian Ocean region.
- The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is a strategic sub-theatre of the Indian Ocean linking the Southeastern coast of Africa to the wider Indian Ocean and beyond.
- It is home to one of the key chokepoints in the Indian Ocean- the Mozambique Channel.
- While Comoros sits at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, Madagascar borders the channel to its west.
- While the channel lost its significance post the opening of the Suez Canal, the recent hostilities near the Strait of Hormuz brought the channel back into focus as the original route for bigger commercial vessels.
Note: International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) is an international organization representing countries and regions where French is a customary language, where a significant proportion of the population are francophones (French speakers), or where there is a notable affiliation with French culture.
Kishori Shakti Yojana
Why in news?
As per the information available, most of the States are maintaining Kishori Health Cards for Adolescent Girls in Angawadi Centres (AWCs).
More about the scheme:
- Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY) seeks to empower adolescent girls, so as to enable them to take charge of their lives. It is viewed as a holistic initiative for the development of adolescent girls.
- This scheme is a redesign of the already existing Adolescent Girls (AG) Scheme being implemented as a component under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
- The broad objectives of the Scheme are to improve the nutritional, health and development status of adolescent girls, promote awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition and family care, link them to opportunities for learning life skills, going back to school, help them gain a better understanding of their social environment and take initiatives to become productive members of the society.
- Target Group under the scheme-Adolescent Girls (11-18 yrs.)
- States are maintaining Kishori Health Cards for Adolescent Girls (11-18 years) in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) to record the information about the weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) along with other services provided under the scheme.
Current Affairs Capsules
- The Mission Bhagiratha is a safe drinking water project that was launched for the state of Telangana.
- It aims to provide drinking water to every village and city household.
- It will supply clean drinking water from the rivers Krishna and Godavari.