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Prelim Bits 22-10-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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October 22, 2022

Pakistan Off the FATF Grey List

Pakistan was taken off from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) "Grey list” after four years.

  • After delisting Pakistan from the FATF grey list, 23 countries remain under this watch list.
  • The list includes Philippines, Syria, Yemen, UAE, Cambodia, and South Sudan, and the tax havens of Barbados, Cayman Islands, and Panama.
  • Consequences of FATF grey list
    1. Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB
    2. Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries
    3. Reduction in International trade
    4. International boycott

Financial Action Task Force 

  • Financial Action Task Force (FATF), commonly referred to as the world’s terrorism financing watchdog, is an inter-governmental decision-making body.
  • It was established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris to develop policies against money laundering.
  • Its Secretariat is located in Paris.
  • It set standards and promotes effective implementation of:
    1. Legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering.
    2. Identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.
  • In 2010, India became the 34th member country of FATF.
  • FATF maintains two types of lists.
  • Black List - Countries knowns as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist.
  • These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities.
  • The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.
  • Grey List - Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list.
  • This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

References

  1. Business Standard | What is FATF?
  2. The Indian Express | Pakistan off the FATF Grey List

Migration of Great Indian Bustard 

The recent sightings of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert have raised speculation that the birds are migrating from India’s Desert National Park (DNP).

Great Indian Bustards 

  • Great Indian Bustards (Ardeotis nigriceps) is the State bird of Rajasthan.
  • Historically distributed throughout Western India, as well as parts of Pakistan, its population is presently confined to mostly Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Its population of about 150 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of its total world population.
  • Bustards generally favour flat open landscapes with minimal visual obstruction and disturbance, therefore adapt well in grasslands.
  • Hunting, intensive agricultural practices, laying of power lines and industrialisation pose some serious threats to the species’ survival.
  • The captive breeding of GIBs was taken up in the Desert National Park (DNP) through a project executed by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in 2019.        
  • GIB is listed in the
    1. Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972
    2. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
    3. Appendix I of CITES
    4. Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List
    5. The National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016)

Desert National Park 

  • Desert National Park (DNP) is located within the great Thar Desert
  • It is the 2nd largest national park in India.
  • It is a sandy wonderland spread across the towns of Jaisalmer and Barmer in Rajasthan.
  • The park is a haven for migratory and desert’s resident birds.

References

  1. Times of India | A unique National Park
  2. WWF | Great Indian Bustard
  3.  The Hindu | GIB’s possible migration to Pakistan

Viral spillover risk increases with Climate Change

According to a new research, climate change may increase the risk of “viral spillover” in some regions that could cause new pandemics over the next few years.

  • Spillover event is the term used to describe when a virus has overcome the many naturally occurring barriers necessary to “spill over” from one species to another.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, SARS and MERS outbreaks and H1N1 are all examples spurred by spillover events, generally from animals to humans.
  • Study Highlights - As temperature increases, the melting of glaciers increases as well.
  • Due to this, there is a greater possibility for previously ice-trapped viruses and bacteria to came in contact with new environments and to find new hosts.
  • It increases the risk of viral spillover events in high Arctic lakes.
  • The High Arctic zone (regions of Canada within the Arctic Circle such as the Northern islands) could become fertile ground for emerging pandemics.

References

  1. The Indian Express | Viral Spill Over Risks
  2. Aljazeera | Heating climate increases viral spill over
  3. Deutsche Welle| Could melting glaciers cause future pandemics?

Post-Disaster Needs Assessment 

An international framework is now being used to evaluate the financial and social cost of local disasters in eight states in India.

  • Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is a joint product of the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Group (UNDP).
  • It is a mechanism for joint assessment and recovery planning following a disaster.
  • Through this, the parties involved seek to assess the impact of a disaster and define a strategy for recovery.
  • It pulls together information on the socio-economic aspects of damages and highlights recovery priorities from a human recovery perspective.
  • The PDNA is envisaged as a country owned and led process, supported by international agencies and other stakeholders.
  • PDNA was first adopted in India during the Kerala floods of 2018.

Disaster Recovery Framework 

  • In addition to the PDNA, the EU, UNDG and WB have supported the development of a Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF).
  • It builds upon the information generated through the PDNA and it serves as a means for prioritizing, sequencing, planning and implementing recovery.

References

  1. Down to Earth | How to assess disasters?
  2. UNDP | PDNA Brouchure

G20 Religion Forum 

In a first-of-its-kind event, Indonesia will host a global summit of religious leaders modelled on the G20 forum.

  • It was called the ‘G20 Religion Forum’, or R-20.
  • The first summit is scheduled on November 2 and 3, 2022, in Bali, Indonesia.
  • It will be a parallel event to the annual G20 summit that Indonesia will host for 2022.
  • It will be organised and hosted by Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), one of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic think tanks.
  • The R20 aims to facilitate harmonious relations between religious groups and to open new hopes for reconciliation, brotherhood and peace.
  • The R20 this year will focus on four major topics
    1. Historical grievances, truth-telling, reconciliation and forgiveness;
    2. Identifying and embracing values shared by the world’s major religions and civilisations;
    3. Recontextualisation of obsolete and problematic teachings of religion; and
    4. The values we need to develop to ensure peaceful co-existence

References

  1. The Print | You Know G-20, now there is R-20
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