India’s Arctic policy is unveiled, with a focus on combating climate change
India’s Arctic Policy was released on Thursday by the Centre, with the goal of improving the country’s cooperation with the resource-rich and rapidly changing region. The policy also aims to protect the environment and combat climate change in the region, which is warming three times faster than the rest of the world.
The policy, titled ‘India and the Arctic: Building a Partnership for Sustainable Development,’ is based on six pillars: science and research, climate and environmental protection, economic and human development, transportation and connectivity, governance and international cooperation, and national capacity building. Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh unveiled it.
Apart from its mineral and oil resources, the Arctic region is also important because of the numerous shipping routes that pass through it. According to a policy analysis published by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, the negative effects of climate change are not only affecting the availability of mineral and hydrocarbon resources, but are also changing global shipping routes.The policy outlines India’s relationship with the region, which dates back to February 1920, when the Svalbard Treaty was signed in Paris. In 2007, India embarked on its first Arctic scientific expedition. India has since been able to establish an observatory in Kongsfjorden and an atmospheric laboratory at Gruvebadet. India has been an Observer nation in the Arctic Council since 2013, and it has consistently participated in meetings of Senior Arctic Officials and contributed to the council’s six Working Groups, according to the policy.
India also intends to research the effects of climate change in the Arctic in order to improve global response mechanisms. Its goal is to provide a more thorough examination of the effects of Arctic ice melting on global shipping routes, energy security, and mineral exploitation.
It also aims to investigate the connections between polar regions and the Himalayas, as well as to strengthen cooperation between India and Arctic countries through various Arctic forums, drawing on scientific and traditional knowledge.
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