By Anil Bhat
India will join other South Asian nations to fight oil and chemical pollution in the South Asian seas region.
It will sign a MoU to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations of the South Asian seas region, namely Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for protection and preservation of marine environment in the region.
A high level delegation led by Rajendra Singh, Director General, Indian Coast Guard on official visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka handed over the instrument of consent by India to Dr. Muhammad Khurshid, Director General, South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) Colombo, Sri Lanka on 12 May 2018 in the presence of Indian High Commissioner, Colombo staff and other dignitaries.
With a view to promoting and supporting protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the South Asian region, the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka established the South Asia Cooperative Environment Program (SACEP) in 1982 as an inter-governmental organisation, with headquarter located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The SACEP jointly with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed a “Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan” in 1989 to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing for and responding to a major oil pollution incident in the seas around the Maritime States of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
(The author, former spokesperson of the Defence Ministry and Indian Army and a strategic analyst, can be contacted at wordSword02@gmail.com)