19-20 SEPTEMBER, 2023

by | Sep 22, 2023

Supreme Court Committee Declares 12 Resorts along Segur Elephant Corridor Illegal

In a significant development regarding wildlife conservation and resort operations in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a Supreme Court-appointed committee has ruled that 12 private resorts situated along the Segur elephant corridor are operating illegally. This decision has profound implications for both environmental preservation and local communities. 

Key Highlights:

Source: Downtoearth

Critical Elephant Corridor: 

  • The Segur elephant corridor, officially designated by the Tamil Nadu government in 2010, plays a pivotal role in connecting vital habitats within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • It facilitates the movement of Asian elephants, with the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve being home to the world’s largest population of these majestic creatures, numbering over 6,000.

Resort Owners’ Claims:

  •    The resort owners contested the legality of the Segur elephant corridor, arguing that it did not constitute an essential elephant habitat.
  •    They claimed that the corridor didn’t comprise an elephant habitat, but rather served other purposes.

Committee’s Decision:

  •    The Supreme Court-appointed committee conducted a thorough examination and ruled in favor of preserving the corridor’s integrity.
  •    The committee noted that the resorts had constructed illegal structures that obstructed the free movement of elephants.

Environmental Preservation:

  •    The decision to declare the resorts illegal is a significant step towards protecting the natural environment and ensuring the continued movement of wildlife, particularly elephants, in this ecologically sensitive region.

Economic Consequences:

  •    While the ruling safeguards the corridor, it has economic repercussions for local communities that rely on employment opportunities provided by these resorts.
  •    The loss of resort jobs poses challenges to the livelihoods of these communities, highlighting the delicate balance between conservation and local economic interests.

Expert Perspective:

  •   Conservation biologist Priya Davidar, residing in the Segur plateau region, emphasizes the critical role of the Segur elephant corridor in linking various elephant habitats to the Eastern Ghats.

The decision to declare the 12 resorts along the Segur elephant corridor as illegal is a significant victory for wildlife conservation in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It reaffirms the importance of preserving critical wildlife corridors to ensure the movement and survival of endangered species like the Asian elephant. However, it also underscores the ongoing challenge of finding a balance between environmental protection and the economic interests of local communities.

Source: The Hindu

Cauvery Water Dispute Resurfaces

The Cauvery River, flowing through the southern states of India, has once again stirred the long-standing dispute over water sharing. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) have presented their cases before the Supreme Court.

Key Highlights:

  1. Historical Genesis:
  • The Cauvery Water Dispute spans over 150 years and involves four regions: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Puducherry.
  • It originated from arbitration agreements in 1892 and 1924 between the then Madras presidency and Mysore, emphasising the consent of the lower riparian state for river construction activities.
  1. Role of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT):
  • In June 1991, the CWDT issued an interim order, introducing the principle of pro-rata sharing during distress.
  • The tribunal recommended relaxed water release schedules during consecutive years of poor rainfall to mitigate harsh impacts.
  • The concept of distress sharing received unanimous support from all stakeholders.
  1. Tamil Nadu’s Perspective:
  • Tamil Nadu focuses on assessing the deficit in inflows to Karnataka’s reservoirs compared to the 30-year average.
  • The region analyzes rainfall patterns in various Cauvery catchment areas.
  1. Karnataka’s Stand:
  • Karnataka argues that the overall distress situation should not be determined until the end of January, considering both the northeast and southwest monsoons.
  • It highlights its dependency on the southwest monsoon for irrigation and drinking water.
  1. CWMA’s Decision:
  • The CWMA’s deliberations encompassed factors such as inflow and rainfall shortfalls, monsoon forecasts, and reservoir operations.
  • It directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water for 15 days, acknowledging a significant shortfall.
  • The CWMA endorsed the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’s directive for an additional 15 days of water release.
  • Tamil Nadu awaits the Supreme Court’s intervention to secure its allocated water quota.
  1. The Path Forward:
  • Reconciling the positions of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu appears challenging, but finding a solution remains imperative.
  • The history of the Cauvery dispute reflects a reluctance to address the issue comprehensively.
  • The CWMA and CWRC should strive for a fresh start and enhance transparency by sharing meeting proceedings on a public website.
  • Openly sharing facts can dispel misconceptions and foster a constructive dialogue in both states, given the emotive nature of the Cauvery issue.

The revival of the Cauvery water dispute underscores the complexity of managing shared water resources among multiple states. While historical agreements and tribunals have offered guidelines, the challenge lies in adapting to changing conditions and finding equitable solutions. Transparency and cooperation are essential as the parties involved seek a path forward in this enduring issue.

Source: The Hindu

15 Countries Sign UN Convention for International Judicial Sales of Ships

 In a noteworthy development, 15 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Switzerland, have signed the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships. This convention, now known as the Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, aims to enhance legal certainty and predictability on an international scale by establishing a uniform framework for the global implications of ‘judicial’ ship sales. Developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), this convention addresses complex issues involving ship ownership, creditors’ claims, and international trade. Here are the key points:

  1. The Purpose of the Convention:
  • The Beijing Convention seeks to address challenges faced by bona fide new ship owners and financiers who may encounter disputes with previous creditors asserting claims on ships as collateral for loans.
  1. Signing Ceremony in Beijing:
  • The convention was officially opened for signatures during a ceremony held in Beijing on September 5, as confirmed by the United Nations.
  1. Harmonized International Regime:
  • This convention establishes a harmonized global framework for recognizing the international consequences of judicial ship sales.
  • It respects national laws governing the procedural aspects of such sales and the conditions under which they confer clean title.
  1. Ensuring Legal Certainty:
  • By providing legal certainty regarding a purchaser’s title to a ship as it operates internationally, the convention aims to maximize the ship’s market value and the proceeds available for distribution among creditors.
  • This effort ultimately promotes international trade by reducing uncertainties in ship transactions.
  1. UN General Assembly’s Call to Action:
  • The UN General Assembly has urged all nations interested in strengthening the international legal framework for shipping and navigation to consider becoming parties to the convention.
  1. IMO’s Role and Online Accessibility:
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is supporting the convention by serving as the repository for notices and certificates of judicial ship sales.
  • Information regarding pending and completed judicial sales of ships will be accessible online through a dedicated module on the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.
  1. Ratification and Entry into Force:
  • The IMO is encouraging member states to ratify the convention.
  • According to Article 21 of the convention, it will come into effect 180 days after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.
  1. Importance of Maritime Transport:
  • Maritime transport plays a pivotal role in international trade, facilitating the movement of over 90 percent of globally traded goods via sea routes.
  • The convention addresses the legal complexities inherent in international shipping, which have traditionally lacked harmonization.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL):

  • Establishment and Purpose:
    • UNCITRAL, founded in 1966, aims to harmonise and unify international trade law to enhance its effectiveness and predictability.
  • Model Laws and Impact:
    • UNCITRAL is known for creating influential model laws and rules, including the CISG, shaping international trade practices.
  • Global Reach:
    • UNCITRAL’s conventions and rules are widely adopted worldwide, reducing legal barriers in cross-border trade.
  • Arbitration and Resolution:
    • UNCITRAL promotes international commercial arbitration through its widely accepted Arbitration Rules.
  • Continued Relevance:
    • UNCITRAL remains essential in addressing modern trade challenges, such as e-commerce and investor-state disputes, in our interconnected world.

The Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships marks a significant step toward streamlining international ship sales and enhancing legal clarity in maritime transactions. With the support of key nations and the IMO’s involvement, this convention aims to foster a more predictable and secure environment for the global shipping industry, ultimately contributing to the vitality of international trade.

Source: The Hindu Business Line


Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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