3rd Arctic Ministerial

News: Recently, India participated in the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM) and shared plans for research and long-term cooperation in the Arctic Region. The first two meetings—ASM1 and ASM2—were held in the USA in 2016 and Germany in 2018, respectively.

Details:

  • Host Countries: It was jointly organised by Iceland and Japan.
  • It was the first Ministerial meeting being held in Asia (Tokyo in Japan).
  • It provides opportunities to various stakeholders, including academia, indigenous communities, governments and policymakers, to enhance collective understanding of the Arctic region, emphasize and engage in constant monitoring, and strengthen observations.
  • Theme: ‘Knowledge for a Sustainable Arctic’.

India and the Arctic:

  • Since 2013, India enjoys ‘Observer’ status in the Arctic Council with twelve other countries (Japan, China, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Singapore, and South Korea).
  • India’s engagement with the Arctic dates back to 1920 with the signing of the Svalbard Treaty in Paris.
  • Since July 2008, India has a permanent research station in the Arctic called Himadari at NyAlesund, Svalbard Area in Norway. It has also deployed a multi-sensor moored observatory called IndARC in the Kongsfjorden fjord since July 2014.
  • The research in the Arctic region from India is coordinated, conducted, and promoted by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
  • India shared its plans to contribute observing systems in the Arctic, both in-situ and by remote sensing.
  • The country would deploy open ocean mooring in the Arctic for long-term monitoring of upper ocean variables and marine meteorological parameters.
  • The launch of NISER (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite mission, in collaboration with the USA, is underway. NISER aims to conduct global measurements of the cause and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.
  • India’s contributions to the Sustained Arctic Observational Network (SAON) are continuing.