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NEW DELHI : India on Monday reiterated its commitment to environmental and climate causes as the country struggles with intense heat waves in different parts of the country. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, who is visiting Germany, said that the country is working towards its commitment at COP 26 of achieving net zero emissions by 2070.

Singh held delegation level talks with his German counterpart, Ms Steffi Lemke, Federa Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection in Berlin as part of the India-Germany inter-governmental commission.

The two leaders discussed adaptation to climate change, biological diversity, oceans and artificial intelligence for environmental protection.

Dr Jitendra Singh expressed interest to augment cooperation in the field including Model Development, Application of Forecasts in the renewable energy and use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine learning.

“Science & Technology has been one of the strategic pillars of bilateral partnership and we should explore possibilities of bilateral scientific cooperation in emerging areas of Weather and Climate Research, specifically, on trends of regional climate extremes and variability of vulnerable areas including tropics and high-latitudes," the minister said.

Talking about India’s advancement in tsunami forecasts, the minister said that the country is recognised as one of the Tsunami Service Providers (TSP) under United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) and invited Germany to make utilization of this opportunity.

Singh also noted  that India is working towards Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment (PTHA) in the Makran region through UNESCO-IOC and funded by UNESCAP, where German experts and institutions are part of the initiative.

For strengthening mutual collaboration between MoES institutions and German scientific/ research agencies, Dr Jitendra Singh proposed to develop bilateral cooperation in areas of-Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessments, early detection of tsunamis including ‘atypical tsunami’ generated by the under-sea landslides, which are triggered by earthquakes.

He also called for cooperation in the field of crustal deformation monitoring using Global Navigation Satellite System(GNSS) data, tectonic settings of subduction zones in the Indian Ocean (more emphasis on Makran Subduction Zone) and integrating machine learning methods, capacity building activities to strengthen pre-disaster preparedness.

For bilateral cooperation in Ocean Exploration, the minister highlighted that the Blue Economy is an important dimension of Vision New India and proposed joint collaboration in areas like Coastal Marine Spatial Planning and Tourism, Marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing, Coastal and deep-sea mining and offshore energy.

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