New Delhi ,
Vietnam Natural resources & Environment Minister, Tran Hong Ha today called on Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr.Jitendra Singh at PrithviBhawan here and discussed ocean and marine related collaboration during the delegation level talks between the two countries.
The two Ministers also signed the first-ever MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) aimed at promoting scientific and technical cooperation in marine science and ecology, and was signed by Dr JitendraSingh,Union Science & Technology Minister on behalf of Government of India and Mr Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) on behalf of Govt of Vietnam. The MoU is the first agreement related to marine science and ecology between the two countries.
The Vietnamese delegation led by Minister Tran Hong Ha included Deputy Director General of International Cooperation Departments, Government of Vietnamese Tuan Negoc Le, Head of the Office of Science & Technology Vietnamese Embassy in India Li Truong Giang, Representative officer Science and Technology Vietnamese Embassy in India Andy Bui and other senior officials while the Indian delegation led by Science and Technology Minister Dr.Jitendra Singh included Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr. M Ravichandran, Joint Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences Indira Murthy, Scientist Ministry of Earth Science Dr Vijay Kumar, Scientist Gopal Aiyneger, Scientist Ministry of Earth Sciences Parvinder Mani , Scientist K R Mangalaa, Scientist P K Srivastava and others. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India was represented by Bharat Kuthati and NeethuRajan.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that exploration of Ocean Assets will herald a new era of International Cooperation in World Marine Economy. He said the bilateral agreement will lead to information and resource sharing related to shoreline change, sediment transport rate, coastal protection measures. The Minister said that identification of pilot location by Vietnam side and Indian experts will provide technical support in developing a coastal protection solution.
Dr.Jitendra Singh said that India has emerged as one of the frontline nations in marine scientific research under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now actively engaged in exploring the resourceful ocean bed for meeting the country’s future energy and metal demands. He said, the “Deep Ocean Mission” initiated by the Modi government heralds yet another horizon to various resources to enrich the “Blue Economy”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that India and Vietnam shall initiate cooperation to further the development of basic scientific and applied research with goals of advancing research in ocean science, gaining a more fundamental understanding of the oceans, and benefiting society at large. He said, both the countries are also agreed to conduct, cooperative research in the fields of marine science and ecology and those to be undertaken in the future by the two both the counties in areas of common interest.
Vietnamese Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Mr. Tran Hong Ha sought India’s help in long term Ocean Planning and Ocean Management resources. The Minister also underlined online interaction of Scientists and Experts from both the countries to strengthen cooperation in Ocean Asset Exploration.
There are seven key areas of cooperation under the Indo-Vietnam MoU agreed upon by both countries. These identified areas of collaboration aimed at sustainable development of marine resources by India and Vietnam. The key areas are coastal erosion and vulnerability, coastal management, monitoring and mapping marine ecology and critical habitats, ocean observation system, marine pollution and microplastics, marine weather forecast, and capacity building.
As part of the MoU, the two countries will facilitate the exchange of scientists, researchers, technical expertise, projects, and information in marine science and technology. They will assist each other in enhancing knowledge, fundamental research, and understanding for the larger benefit of ocean health and resources. A joint committee will also be established to suggest new areas of cooperation, prepare programs and proposals, provide financial assistance for planning and implementing the MoU mandates, decide on administrative and technical procedures, and monitor work progress.
Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, MoES, added, “the Indo-Vietnam MoU becomes particularly important and relevant now when the United Nations has recognised this Decade for the Oceans. The Ministry of Earth Sciences is keen to collaborate in areas of mutual societal benefit such as observation, forecasts, research and development, and sustainable utilisation of resources”.
This MoU shall remain valid for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for subsequent period of five years only once. Either country may give a written notice to the other country, at least six months in advance of its intention to terminate this MoU before the expiry of the MoU.