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 Dr Neelu Singh, Ambassador Frydenlund and NCPOR Director Dr M. Ravichandran
Dr Neelu Singh, Ambassador Frydenlund and NCPOR Director Dr M. Ravichandran

Plastic = fantastic? Not in the oceans, say India, Norway

Ambassador Frydenlund visits Goa to promote Indo-Norwegian cooperation on polar oceans, pollution, waste management and smart cities.

During the visit, the Ambassador attended a workshop on Plastics in the Ocean, sponsored by the Norwegian Embassy and organised by the National Centre for Polar and Oceans Research (NCPOR) together with Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI). The workshop sought to address the emerging global environmental challenge of plastic in the oceans where there is a need to develop greater knowledge on the effects of nano and micro plastics on animals and humans. NCPOR and NPI have collaborated closely for over a decade to combat these issues, and are seeking to strengthen their work on combating plastic in the oceans in the years to come.

Since pollution in the oceans is closely correlated with pollution on land, Norwegian institutions are working closely with Indian counterparts to improve terrestrial waste management. This collaboration was eagerly discussed when Ambassador Frydenlund met with Chief Minister Promod Sawant together with Waste management Minister Michael Lobo and Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral. One of the biggest sources of waste in India comes from construction and demolition. Management of construction and demolition waste is therefore important for improving recycling and reducing environmental impact. The issue is high on the agenda in Goa, the Goa Waste Development Corporation is building a construction and demolition waste management facility in cooperation with the Norwegian research organisation SINTEF.

In the broader picture of sustainable living, the Nordic countries have joined hands to profile Nordic competencies in the smart cities landscape in India. Panaji has been welcoming to the Nordic solutions and has had trainees from the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU) studying smart city solutions in the city over the past six months. Ambassador Frydenlund attended the closing seminar for the program and was impressed by the Innovative ideas presented by the students.

While in Goa, the Ambassador also called upon Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan in Panaji.