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ENVIRONMENT CAPSULE OF THE FORTNIGHT- Maurice Strong, Hobura Bustard & Bear

  1. Maurice Strong remembered for putting environmental issues on global stage

On Wednesday/ 27.1.15, in a packed reception hall across from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, members of Canada’s political and international elite gathered to pay tribute to the unique way that Mr. Strong ultimately positioned himself in that larger world – becoming the key catalyst for the environment as an international relations issue and launching the multilateral process that has led to agreements on climate and biodiversity.

Maurice Frederick Strong

  • April 29, 1929 – November 27, 2015
  • A Canadian oil and mineral businessman and a diplomat who served as Under Secretary- General of UNO
  • Strong had his start as an entrepreneur in the Alberta oil patch and was President Of Power Corporation of Canada until 1966.
  • In the early 1970s he was Secretary General of the UN Conference on Human Environment and then became the first executive director of the UNEP
  • He led from the front at the Earth Summit in 1992.
  • He died at the age of 86 in 2015

2. Bear population up and counting at the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve


  • Mammals
  • Carnivores
  • Known extant species-8
  • Existence-mainly Northern Hemisphere and partially in Southern Hemisphere
  • Exist on the continents of North America, South America, Europe & Asia
  • In the IUCN lists six bear species are declared as Vulnerable/ endangered or Least concern.


  • Endemic to Indian Sub-continent
  • Nocturnal
  • IUCN- Vulnerable

3. Pakistan’s Supreme Court lifted the ban on hunting Houbara bustards

The Houbara bustard, which resembles a turkey in shape, migrates in thousands from Central Asia to Pakistan and India every winter. They frequently visit Thar Desert. With them come rich influential Arabs to hunt them down under a customary called Falconry

In India, this custom has been banned to protect the hobura. With this judgment, now the smuggling of hobura will again start from India. India has already made a request with CITES for a ban on its international trade.

Houbara bustards

  • Thehoubara bustard or North African houbara  is a large bird in the bustard
  • Found in arid habitats spread across northern Africa with a population on the Canary Islands.
  • This species formerly included Mac Queen’s Bustard, sometimes known as the Asian houbara as a subspecies.
  • Occurs west of Sinai Peninsula to Canary island.
  • IUCN- Vulnerable

Mac Queen’s Bustard

  • Occurs from the east of the Sinai Peninsula in Palestine, Arabia, to the Caspian Sea and extending east to the Aral Sea in Mongolia.
  • During winter, it migrates to Pakistan (mainly in western Balochistan) and to the dry arid zone of western India.
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