Hyderabad: Union Earth Sciences, Environment and Forest Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that other countries were following India’s model in reducing emissions and how it is increasing environment-friendly energy production.
Addressing scientists and researchers at the inauguration of the Atal Complex for the International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) at the INCOIS campus here on Saturday, the Minister said, India is playing the key role in its efforts to address the global environmental concerns.
He said the country’s rankings have improved considerably during the last couple of years and India’s role in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) would indicate that it would achieve its targets in reducing the emission and generating clean energy.
Similarly, the ITCOcean, a category-2 centre under the auspicious of UNESCO is another feather in the cap of the INCOIS, which will provide capacity building and training programmes in operational oceanography to the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries and other nations, he added.
The Union Minister said, “the INCOIS services backed with strong science and delivered through modern technology are directly touching the lives of millions of our coastal population”. It is the second UNESCO category-2 centre and it is also extending its services in the fields of tsunami early warnings, ocean observations, ocean information and advisory services, benefitting multiple agencies.
Its Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) is helping about 6.6 lakh active fishermen to reduce their fishing time by about 70 per cent. In turn, it is helping the fishermen to reduce the diesel usage and lower the emission of CO2. Similarly, the Search and Rescue Air Tool (SARAT) of the INCOIS is helping the Coast Guard, Maritime Police and other agencies in effective planning and search operations for missing objects and fishermen at sea. The Tsunami Early Warning Centre (TEWC) at the INCOIS is on-par or even better than other tsunami early warning centres in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), he said.
Appreciating the institute preparing the multi-hazard vulnerability maps and the 3D GIS maps for most vulnerable stretches of the country’s coast, he said it will help in planning the coastal infrastructure development and disaster mitigation. However, he asked the INCOIS, to integrate these maps with tsunami early warnings and storm surge predictions so that it would give a better picture of the areas that might get inundated due to tsunami or storm surges.
He said such an initiative would further help in better management of the disaster and reducing the losses. Recognising the vast potential of the ITCOocean, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Ministry of Earth Sciences and INCOIS in July 2013 to partner in the capacity development and training activities. In 2017, the Union Cabinet had approved to sign an understanding with the UNESCO to develop the ITCOocean into a UNESCO Category-2 centre, he said.
“What that shows is that internationally India commands the recognition and respect and we are one of the donor country rather than a recipient,” he added. Dr M Rajeevan Secretary, MoES and Dr Satheesh Shenoi, Director INCOIS, senior officials were present.