Editorial Simplified : 9th Day of March 2017
This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers.
The Hindu / The Indian Express
Editorial : Dire Straits / Sea of Trouble
The shooting of an Indian fisherman in Palk Bay
- Even though we don’t know who pulled the trigger — whether it was the Sri Lankan Navy or some armed group, but this was a tragedy waiting to happen, the direct fallout of the long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen over fishing rights in the Palk Bay
- The shooting exposes the lack of progress in the implementation of the agreement between the two countries on preventing loss of life while managing the fishing dispute through official channels
- Components of the mechanism which was agreed to by both countries last year:
- A Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries to help resolve the dispute.
- A hotline between the Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka,
- Convening of the JWG once in three months
- Meetings of the fisheries ministers every half-year
- These are, however, short-term measures and they lose their efficacy in the absence of any forward movement toward long-term solutions on sustainable exploitation of the marine resources
- The fisheries economy in Rameswaram saw a rise in the number of vessels, especially trawlers, in the 1980s, which coincided with the the civil war in Sri Lanka that led to a collapse of fisheries there. When fishing operations resumed in Sri Lanka, the sea could not support the fleet of vessels and the catch started to fall. Desperate fishermen started to look for new grounds to spread their net, often transgressing the national boundaries leading to arrests.
- In the past few years, even though Indian fishermen have frequently transgressed into Sri Lankan waters, the consequences were limited to seizure of boats and prolonged and detention, but not shooting.
- Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, after he returned to power in 2015, had said Indian fishermen who crossed the maritime boundary to fish in another country’s territorial waters would be fired upon. So a political solution to the problem has to be sought.
- Indian fishermen, who invoke traditional rights to justify their incursions, want a three-year phase-out period before they end trawling.
- But unless they take to deep- sea fishing, and inland alternatives, India’s fishermen will be locked in a conflict with their Sri Lankan counterparts as well as with a hostile Sri Lankan Navy.
- A long-term solution to the issue will need a scaling down of fishing operations in the region. The government could offer a voluntary buy-back scheme for trawlers and boats and offer a rehabilitation package to deck hands. This would also help to protect artisanal fishermen, whose livelihood is threatened by overfishing by trawlers.
Editorial : Staying cool
Eliminating Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- India has launched the second phase of the programme to eliminate the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) as part of its commitment under the Montreal Protocol
- Montreal Protocol requires the complete removal of chemicals that result in ozone depletion and aid global warming
- HCFCs are used mainly in the air-conditioning, refrigeration, polyurethane foam manufacturing and cold chain sectors
- All these sectors are in high growth mode as emerging economies witness greater urbanisation and higher agricultural productivity. The data for refrigerant consumption during 2015 compiled by the European Union show that in the developing world, split air-conditioning units, car ACs and commercial refrigeration record the highest use of these chemicals.
- The future course of action:
- Central government should ensure that its efforts to upgrade industries using the $44.1 million in funding available under the Protocol are scaled up to meet the need fully.
- Modernising the technology used by 400 industrial units, many of them small and medium enterprises, by 2023 has to be complemented by policy changes that encourage adoption by consumers.
- State governments should actively participate in enacting and enforcing new building codes and purchase regulations that are envisaged in the current phase.
- Newer refrigerants with lower global warming potential are available to industry, and there are some early adopters, while research on chemicals with greater energy reduction and very low contribution to global warming has to continue.
- Credentialed training of service technicians in the newer technologies is welcome as it will bring about change of refrigerants used in the repair and replacement market and create additional employment.
- Make consumers aware of green options among products in terms of the underlying technologies, and incentivise adoption through tax structures.
- Centre should conduct audit of public buildings to determine whether they are suitably designed, as climate control relies as much on passive influences such as insulation, green roofing and the nature of materials used in construction.
- Montreal Protocol’s success in its goal to eliminate HCFCs by 2030 will depend on reducing the acquisition costs of cleaner technologies.
- More people will have access to air-conditioning and refrigeration in coming years, and the focus of government policy must be to make them energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
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