In a press release dated 18.02.2020, the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences expressed the signing of a letter of intent on Integrated Ocean Management and Research with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway and the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Norway. Thereafter, the countries signed it in a bilateral meeting. This meeting consisted of senior members from concerned ministries. Meanwhile, the agenda of the meeting was to discuss avenues of collaboration especially in field of ocean sciences and health sector. As a matter of fact, the meeting was a follow-up of the Joint Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development. Of course, a Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Norway in January 2019 took up the Task Force. The MoU established the Indo-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
Highlights of the Meeting
The strong collaboration between India and Norway was highlighted at the meeting. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Indian Minister for Earth Sciences, appreciated the efforts undertaken by Norway in the field of green technology and ocean blue economy. He stressed the need for Integrated Ocean Management. With special emphasis on marine spatial planning, benthic habitat mapping as a tool for conservation and Krill fishing. Besides, he highlighted the schemes launched by the Government of India in the health sector.
In turn, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, the Norwegian Minister for Climate and Environment, appreciated India’s programs in Economy, health and energy sectors. He said both India and Norway have common challenges. That there are many areas of common interest in which both India and Norway can effectively collaborate. The Norwegian Minister specifically appreciated the efforts made by India in the area of clean energy. Adding that, managing of ocean resources is of mutual interest. Thus, he emphasized the need to jointly collaborate in many areas for integrated ocean management. He termed the single-use plastics ban by the Government of India as a great national effort.
The Norway Ambassador to India, Mr. Hans Jacob Frydenlung, emphasized the need for stronger collaboration between India and Norway in both the ocean and health sector. The bilateral meeting was followed by the launch of a book by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister which highlights the progress made under the Joint Initiative on Blue economy.