India-Norway: To Conduct Marine Spatial Planning
The Union Ministry of Earth Science announced on March 3, 2021 that India have agreed to work in collaboration with Norway in the area of marine spatial planning of the oceanic space for next five years.
The Earth Science Ministry highlighted that the first project steering committee meeting with representatives of both the counties was held successfully. The ministry also stated that the two countries have made a plan to ensure that human activities in sea take place in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner. The human activities will be taken in the areas including transportation, energy, aquaculture, tourism and fisheries. As per the Indian ministry, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have been identified as the sites for this project.
The officials from both the countries also decided to extend their support for the sustainable ocean resources utilisation so as to advance the economic and social development in the coastal areas. The ministry informed that, as initiative called “Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)” will be implemented for India through the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). MSP initiative will help in developing the multiple economic sectors and stakeholders in coastal areas of India.
The agreement regarding the marine spatial planning between both the countries is a part of the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between them in the year 2019.
National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) is the project directorate under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It was set up to develop and improve the capabilities of countries to address the challenging problems which are prevailing in the coastal regions of India. It provides a long-term organisational framework in order to do the research activities. Earlier, NCCR had also developed successful coastal management plans for states like Goa, Chennai, and Gulf of Kachchh.