The Samikhsya Bureau
NEW DELHI: India and Norway have agreed to jointly work in the area of marine spatial planning in the oceanic space for the next five years.
The first project steering committee meeting with representatives from both the countries was successfully conducted virtually recently, after which the two countries have charted out a plan to ensure that human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe, and sustainable manner in areas such as energy, transportation, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism across multiple sectors.
This is a part of the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in 2019.
Lakshadweep and Puducherry have been identified as pilot sites for the project.
The two countries have decided to extend support for sustainable ocean resources utilisation to advance economic and social development in coastal areas.
The initiative known as Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) through National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) for India.
In its primary phase, NCCR will develop a marine spatial planning framework for Puducherry and Lakshadweep.
Notably, the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have expressed interest in supporting MoES in conducting MSP, a societal-beneficial initiative for India’s coastal regions.
The MSP initiative will be implemented by MoES and the Norwegian Environment Agency through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
Earlier, NCCR had developed coastal management plans for Chennai, Goa, and Gulf of Kachchh which proved very successful.