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    PM Modi: Ladakh, Leh, Kargil to be India’s first carbon neutral region

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    A 7500 MW solar park is being built in Ladakh for electricity and infrastructure development in the region. The Ladakh, Leh and Kargil region will be developed and declared to be a carbon neutral region, PM Modi said in his Independence Day speech on Saturday.

    While the concept of carbon neutral villages have been considered in India in the past and some villages in Kerala and Manipur have adopted it, this will be the first large region to be carbon neutral. Carbon neutrality means annual zero net anthropogenic (human caused or influenced) CO2 emissions by a certain date.

    “By definition, carbon neutrality means every ton of anthropogenic CO2 emitted is compensated with an equivalent amount of CO2 removed,” according to World Resources Institute. Many countries have announced to be carbon neutral by 2050 as part of the Paris Agreement.

    PM Modi also announced that 100 cities will be considered on a mission mode to achieve clean air through various policy, participatory and technological interventions.

    Along the lines of Project Tiger, PM Modi said Project Lion and Project Dolphin will be rolled out soon to ensure biodiversity conservation which may also boost tourism.

    India recorded a 33% increase in tiger numbers from 2014 to 2018, according to the summary of the report, All India Tiger Estimation Results, released last year. There were 2,967 tigers in India in 2018, compared to 2,226 in 2014.

    In India, Gangetic dolphins are found along deep river reaches in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. As per environment ministry’s assessment report, there are about 3700 Gangetic dolphins.

    Environment ministry will be launching a ten year “Project Gangetic Dolphin” which will try to empower the river dependent population in reducing the river pollution and allowing sustainable fisheries.

    The project will be implemented by various ministries including jal shakti, ministry of shipping, ministry of agriculture & farmers welfare, ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, ministries of power and rural development.

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