1) Pashmina Shawls: Traders of Pashmina shawls are complaining that “obsolete testing methods” have resulted in many of their export consignments being flagged by Customs authorities for presence of Shahtoosh guard hair.
- Pashmina is obtained from a breed of mountain goats (Capra hircus) found on the Changthang Plateau in Tibet and parts of Ladakh.
- A traditional producer of pashmina wool in the Ladakh region are a people known as the Changpa (nomadic people inhabit the Changthang plateau of Tibet).
- China accounts for 70% of the world’s cashmere production (followed by Mongolia (20%)
- India contributes only about 1% of the world’s Pashmina The original ‘Kashmir Pashmina’ fabric and its products were given GI tag
2) Shahtoosh: It is the fine undercoat fibre obtained from the Tibetan Antelope, known locally as ‘Chiru’, a species living mainly in the northern parts of the Changthang Plateau in Tibet.
- Unfortunately, due to commercial poaching of the animal, their population declined dramatically.
- Chiru: ‘Near Threatened’ in IUCN Red List, Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- To enhance its protection, its prime habitats have been declared as Wildlife Sanctuaries viz. Karakorma Wildlife Sanctuary and Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary.
3) Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund (IRAF): The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) recently announced setting up
- It is a multi-donor trust fund, established with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
- Around $50 million in financial commitments have already been announced for IRAF over an initial duration of five years.
- IRAF will play a crucial role in equipping the Coalition to deliver improved infrastructure governance, inclusive infrastructure services, diversified knowledge, and financing for resilient infrastructure globally.
- One of the first initiatives to be supported by the IRAF is the Infrastructure for the Resilient Island States (IRIS).
4) Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI): CDRI was launched by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019.
- It is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions.
- It aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.
5) Groundwater Extraction: According to the Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report for the entire country for the year 2022, groundwater extraction in India saw an 18-year decline. The assessment was carried out jointly by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), States and Union Territories. Out of the total 7,089 assessment units in the country, 1,006 units have been categorised as “over-exploited” in the report.
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