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First-Ever Conclave of Himalayan States to Focus on Environmental Protection

Vice President of Niti Aayog Rajiv Kumar is to be a part of the conclave

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Conclave, Himalayan States, Environmental Protection
It will be attended by the Chief Ministers of the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim. Pixabay

The first-ever conclave of Himalayan states will be held in Uttarakhand on July 28 where the focus will be on environmental protection, Himalayan culture and economic development.

It will be attended by the Chief Ministers of the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland, along with administrators and specialists.

Vice President of Niti Aayog Rajiv Kumar is to be a part of the conclave.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said heads of the Finance Commission and Niti Aayog would also participate in the one-day conference in the hill resort of Mussoorie.

Conclave, Himalayan States, Environmental Protection
The first-ever conclave of Himalayan states will be held in Uttarakhand on July 28 where the focus will be on environmental protection. Pixabay

It is not yet known who would represent Jammu and Kashmir.

“The meeting would discuss the issues related the Himalayan states as well as their solutions,” Rawat said. The conference would also take up the issue of a separate Himalayan policy which is a longstanding issue in these hill states.

Rawat said, “We will focus on solving the Himalayan states’ problems in the conclave. This conclave will pave the way for making financial resources available for the Himalayan states in the future.”

“The Niti Aayog and the Finance Commission will also be able to accurately ascertain the ground realities in Himalayan states,” he said.

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The main points adopted at the conclave would be presented as a draft to the Niti Aayog for developing policies for the region’s development. (IANS)

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Environmental Protection Agency Reverses its Decision Allowing Continued Use of Deadly Sodium Cyanide Traps

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday reversed its preliminary decision allowing continued use of deadly sodium cyanide traps

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Environmental Protection, Sodium Cyanide, Traps
FILE - A cyanide device, called M-44, is shown in this photo released by the Bannock County Sheriff's Office, in Pocatello, Idaho, March 16, 2017. VOA

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday reversed its preliminary decision allowing continued use of deadly sodium cyanide traps, blamed for injuring people and pets as well as their intended targets of coyotes and other predators.

EPA head Andrew Wheeler said in a statement he had decided the agency needed to do more analysis and consulting regarding the so-called M-44 traps, devices embedded in the ground that look like lawn sprinklers but spray cyanide when triggered by animals attracted by bait.

“I look forward to continuing this dialogue to ensure U.S. livestock remain well-protected from dangerous predators while simultaneously minimizing off-target impacts on both humans and non-predatory animals,” Wheeler said.

Environmental groups had blasted the agency’s preliminary decision last week reauthorizing the cyanide traps, saying they were impossible to use safely.

Environmental Protection, Sodium Cyanide, Traps
FILE – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies on Capitol Hill, April 9, 2019. VOA

Federal officials decided against using the devices in Idaho after a then 14-year-old boy was injured in 2017 when he encountered an M-44 with his dog on federal land near his house on the outskirts of Pocatello. His Labrador retriever died.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services uses the devices to kill coyotes and other livestock predators, mostly in the Western U.S.

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In 2018, M-44s killed about 6,500 animals, mainly coyotes and foxes. That was down from about 13,200 animals in 2017. (VOA)