A Memorandum of Understanding on ‘Cooperation in the Areas of Environment’ was signed virtually on 18 June by Lyonpo (Dr.) Tandi Dorji, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Chairperson of the National Environment Commission and Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Government of India.
Bhutan ambassador to India V. Namgyel and Indian ambassador Ruchira Kamboj were also present during the virtual signing.
According to the press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the MoU renews earlier cooperation and collaboration, and further strengthens and expands the areas of cooperation in the field of environment, covering areas such as air, waste, chemical management, climate change and other areas jointly decided upon, and will remain in force for 10 years from the date of signing.
“Besides technical assistance and capacity building, the MoU is expected to promote exchange of best practices, know-how, technology transfer and exchange of visits. Further, the provisions under the MoU would help parties tackle the emerging environmental issues in a mutually beneficial manner,” the press release states.
Further, a press release from the Embassy of India in Thimphu states that going forward; Bhutan and India will cooperate on projects related to climate change, air, waste and chemical management or any other area that is mutually decided.
“The collaborative activities under the MoU will include but will not be limited to technical assistance, capacity building, exchange of knowledge, best practices and technology transfer, exchange visits by experts, scholars and delegations, projects and seminars.” states the press release.
It states that one of the outcomes of the MoU will be the constitution of a joint working group to identify the specific areas of cooperation between Bhutan and India.
Additionally, a senior official of the environment sector will be designated to monitor the planning and performance of activities carried out under the MoU.
The press release further states that the as two countries and close friends who are committed to a climate action, a healthier planet and a sustainable future.
“Today’s MoU between Bhutan and India is a timely step to add further momentum to our excellent bilateral ties and to facilitate greater institutional linkages between actors working in the environmental sector in Bhutan and India.”