UPSC Prelims : Environment and Ecology Analysis part 1

Prelims 2015

1. With reference to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. IUCN is an organ of the United Nations and CITES is an international agreement between governments
  2. IUCN runs thousands of field projects around the world to better manage natural environments.
  3. CITES is legally binding on the States that have joined it, but this Convention does not take the place of national laws.

Select the correct using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

  • 3rd is very innocuous statement, has to be correct
  • 6 principle organs of UN
  • IUCN has an observer status at the United Nations.
  • Eliminate 1 we get option (b) as answer.

2 With reference to ‘dugong’, a mammal found in India, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is a herbivorous marine animal.
  2. It is found along the entire coast of India
  3. It is given legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below.
    (a) 1 and 2
    (b) 2 only
    (c) 1 and 3
    (d) 3 only
  • 2nd statement, entire coast, sweeping statement, red flag, pause and think. Obviously there would be stretches where it would not be found
  • Statement 1 is correct, was asked before. So if you solved previous year questions. Definitely plus 2
  • Exclude 2, include 1

3. With reference to ‘fly ash’ produced by the power plants using the coal as fuel, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Fly ash can be used in the production of bricks for building construction
2. Fly ash can be used as a replacement for some of the Portland cement contents of concrete
3. Fly ash is made up of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide only, and does not contain any toxic elements.
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only

  • 3rd – only. Sweeping . Red flag, pause and think, why not oxides of carbon and some other things also plus everyone know it does contain some toxic elements
  • 1st is easily true, even if you don’t know, imagine fly ash and Brics
  • Exclude 3, include 1

4. With reference to ‘fuel cells’ in which hydrogen-rich fuel and oxygen are used to generate electricity. Consider the following statements:
1. If pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, the fuel cell emits heat and water as by-products.
2. Fuel cells can be used for powering buildings and not for small devices like laptop computers.
3. Fuel cells produce electricity in the form of Alternating Current (AC).
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

  • 3rd statement. All batteries produce direct current dc not alternating current ac.
  • Similar question on photo voltaic cell was asked last year. Benefit of solving past papers.
  • Eliminate 3, reach the answer
  • Look at option 2, it’s actually reverse. Cell less energy, power small devices

5. Which one of the following is the national aquatic animal of India?
(a) Saltwater crocodile
(b) Olive ridley turtle
(c) Gangetic dolphin
(d) gharial

Ridiculously easy

6. Which one of the following is associated with the issue of control and phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting substances?
(a) Bretton Woods Conference
(b) Montreal Protocol
(c) Kyoto Protocol
(d) Nagoya Protocol

  • Ridiculously easy, covered in titbit
  • Montreal protocol to vienna convention

7. What is Rio+20 Conference, often mentioned in the news?
(a) It is the United nations Conference on Sustainable Development
(b) It is a Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization
(c) It is a Conference of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change
(d) It is a Conference of the Member Countries of the Convention on Biological diversity

  • Ridiculously easy, covered in bundle
  • Original Rio of 1992,

8. Which of the following statements regarding ‘Green Climate Fund’ is/are correct?

  1. It is intended to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
  2. It is founded under the aegis of UNEP, OECD, Asian Development Bank and World Bank
    Select the correct answer using the code given below.
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2
  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund within the framework of the UNFCC. I think everyone knows that. So obviously 2nd statement is crap
  • Eliminate 2, reach the answer.
  • The GCF is based in the new Songdo district of Incheon, South Korea.

9. ‘BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes’ is managed by the
(a) Asian Development Bank
(b) International Monetary Fund
(c) United Nations Environment Programme
(d) World Bank

  • IMF does no such things. Exclude IMF.
  • UNEP does not manage funding
  • It seems like international fund so international body, world bank
  • This strategy is very risky. Don’t use it if you feel comfortable with your attempts

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes seeks to promote reduced greenhouse gases from land sector, deforestation and forest degradation in development countries(REDD+) and from sustainable agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, policies and practices. It is a new multilateral facility, supported by donor governments and managed by the World Bank.

10. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the
(a) Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
(b) Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
(c) Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
(d) Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • GM/ BT cotton, BT bringer, always environment minister comes into the picture, remember moratorium by Jairam Ramesh
  • So b/w c and d, now it’s not limited to just wildlife protection so broader act, environment protection act

The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body constituted in the Ministry of Environment and Forests under ‘Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells 1989’, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

11. In a particular region in India, the local people train the roots of living tree into robust bridges across the streams. As the time passes these bridges become stronger. These unique ‘Living Root Bridges’ are found in
(a) Meghalaya
(b) Himachal Pradesh
(c )Jharkhand
(d) Tamil Nadu

The living root bridges of Cheraupunji, so meghalaya

12. With reference to ‘Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples
  2. It provides financial aid to universities, individual scientists and institutions involved in scientific forestry research to develop eco-friendly and climate adaptation technologies for sustainable forest management
  3. It assists the countries in their ‘REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+)’ efforts by providing them with financial and technical assistance.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 1 and 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3
    Difficult
    All 3 seems right but 2nd is incorrect. It provides aid to govts

13. With reference to an organization known as ‘Birdlife International’ which of the following statements is/are correct?

  • It is a Global Partnership of Conservation Organizations.
  • The concept of ‘biodiversity hotspots’ originated from this organization.
  • It identifies the sites known/referred to as ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas’.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below.
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 1 and 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3
  • Hotspot is common knowledge. Propsed by British biologist Norman Myers in 1988
  • Eliminate 2, now look at 3
  • It seems correct. Birdlife international, bird areas. as a biogeographic region characterized both by exceptional levels of plant endemism and by serious levels of habitat loss

BirdLife’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Programme aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for the conservation of the world’s birds and other wildlife.

14. Which one of the following is the best description of the term “ecosystem”?
(a) A community of organisms interacting with one another
(b) That part of the Earth which is inhabited by living organisms
(c) A community of organisms together with the environment in which they live.
(d) The flora and fauna of a geographical area.

  • Ridiculously Easy
  • Organism plus surrounding biotic and abiotic environment
  • The term ‘Ecosystem’ was first used by A G Tansley in 1935.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

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