The need for sharing of nations' best practices and policy models for sustainable blue economy were deliberated at the G20 Research Innovation and Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Conference on Scientific Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable blue-economy.
In his opening remarks, Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary Department of Science and Technology and Chair G20-RIIG, said India has a multi-pronged plan for coastal area development comprising transforming the blue economy, improving coastal infrastructure, and protecting the marine ecosystem.
Dr. M. Ravichandran, Secretary MoES, pointed out that the ocean and its resources do not recognise international boundaries and called on the collective responsibility of all countries to protect, conserve, and sustainably utilise ocean resources. He highlighted India's initiatives in recent years to enhance the National Blue Economy, such as the Deep Ocean Mission and the Maritime India Vision 2030.
Administrator Diu Shri Praful Khoda Patel and G20 India Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant inaugurated the exhibition on - India's journey to the G20 during the conference. Shri Amitabh Kant, shared his views on a sustainable blue economy, highlighted the challenges facing the ocean environment and the need for enhanced international cooperation to build a sustainable future while Shri Praful Patel expressed his vision of economic well-being through efficient research and innovation.
The blue economy sectors and opportunities; ocean observation, data, and information services; marine ecosystems & pollution; blue economy management and perspectives; coastal and marine spatial planning; marine living resources and biodiversity; deep sea ocean technology; and blue economy policy perspectives were also discussed at the meeting which concluded at Diu on 18 May 2023.
A total of 35 foreign delegates and 40 Indian experts and invitees from various scientific departments/ organisations of Govt of India participated in the conference. The conference was Chaired by Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST, and coordinated by Dr M. Ravichandran, Secretary, MoES.
The Indian Presidency also presented the first draft of the Research Ministers declaration for discussion during the meeting. The Ministerial Declaration shall be adopted at the Research Ministers meeting scheduled to take place in Mumbai on 5th July 2023.
The G20 countries and International Organisations which participated in the conference are Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, European Union, Spain, Singapore, Norway and International Solar Alliance (ISA).
The Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) is a new initiative of the G20 Forum, which was initiated during the Indonesian Presidency in 2022. India is taking the RIIG initiative forward during its G20 Presidency in 2023 under the main theme of “Research and Innovation for Equitable Society”.