Norway and India collaboration on biodiversity

Norway and India have signed a letter of intent regarding technical and institutional cooperation in connection with the establishment of a Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law in Chennai, India. The project shall be co-funded by the Indian and Norwegian governments. The letter of intent was signed 19 November by the Norwegian Minister of Environment and Development, Mr Erik Solheim, and the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr Jairam Ramesh, in New Delhi, India.

- The main purpose of the Norwegian support to this centre is to support preservation of biodiversity in India. We can also learn from one and another and share experiences. The development of technical and institutional cooperation between our two countries will be an important contribution to this task. Our new Nature Diversity Act is a good example of what we from the Norwegian side can bring in to this cooperation, says Minister of Environment and Development Mr. Erik Solheim.

The new centre will have as its main aim to develop expertise in biodiversity related policies and laws in India. It will encourage research, development and training in matters relating to Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as its interface with other multilateral environment agreements and United Nations forums. The centre is to be established in Chennai under the National Biodiversity Authority, which is reporting to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Norwegian partners in the cooperation will be the Directorate for Nature Management and the Fridtjof Nansen Institute.

- We have great expectations to the role this centre can play on issues related to biodiversity policy and law in India. The centre is established now in the aftermath of the important decision on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources from the Nagoya-meeting, and is a good example of how a close Indo-Norwegian dialog and cooperation on the environment can be set in connection with international negotiations, says Minister Solheim.