India plans network of marine research stations in Pacific Island nations
Jitendra Singh at UN Ocean Conference

New Delhi: India plans to set up a network of marine biology research stations in Pacific Island countries as part of an institute to explore the potential of the ocean in a sustainable manner.

Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh told the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon that India has proposed to establish Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research Institute (SCORI) to meet the needs and aspirations of the Pacific Island countries.

Officials said the proposal was originally made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries in a bid to develop closer ties with the region.

The plans were hit due to the Covid pandemic. We are now looking at taking it up soon, a senior official said.

SCORI entails building up a network of marine biology research stations in various island nations in the Pacific Ocean to collaborate on research and capacity building with institutions in India.

Singh told the conference that India has well established collaboration and partnerships with UN agencies and research institutions for bridging the methodology and data gaps on SDG indicators and working towards UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021 2030, for clean, healthy, productive, predictive, safe and accessible ocean.

He said India has also launched the Deep Ocean Mission with six thematic areas, which includes development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services to address climate resilience, exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity, development of technologies for harnessing ocean resources and capacity building.

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