India’s Minister for Earth Sciences, H.E. Dr Harsh Vardhan, and Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, H.E. Mr Sveinung Rotevatn, opened the India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development today. The two countries also commenced a new collaboration on Integrated Ocean Management & Research.As a part of the Joint Initiatives, several projects on combating Marine Litter are already being implemented. Today, the two Governments signed a Letter of Intent confirming that they will develop a new framework for collaboration on Integrated Ocean Management and Research. The letter of intent was signed in the presence of Mr. Ratan P. Watal, Member Secretary, EAC to PM; H.E. Hans Jacob Frydenlund, the Norwegian Ambassador to India; Ms Nina Rør, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Norway; Mr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of Indiaand Dr. Sumita Misra, Senior Adviser, EAC to PM.“Managing the resources in the oceans in a sustainable manner is a matter of mutual interest and concern for both countries.
The fact that Norway and India are commencing a new initiative is a signal that the cooperation between the two countries is growing even stronger, making the Indo-Norwegian Ocean Cooperation a key pillar in the bilateral relationship,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan at the signing ceremony.In addition, Minister Rotevatn highlighted that “the Norway-India cooperation in the field of oceans is based on our shared interest in the blue economy and the sustainable use of marine resources, as well as a desire to advance scientific knowledge about our oceans. Norway and India are engaging on ways to ensure integrated ocean management at the government level. At the same time, Norwegian companies and private institutions are increasingly seeking opportunities with Indian counterparts, making India an even more significant partner for Norway.”The India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development was launched jointly by the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, and the Norwegian Prime Minister Ms Erna Solberg, during her visit to India in January 2019. The purpose of the task force is to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries. The meeting on February 18th 2020 is the third meeting of the Task Force.The strength and value added of the India-Norway Joint Task Force on Blue Economy is its ability to mobilise relevant stakeholders from both Norway and India at the highest level, and ensure continued commitment and progress across ministries and agencies.