NERC announce plans to strengthen UK-Indian collaboration
- Published on Friday, 01 March 2013 12:10
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
The Natural Environment Research Council of the UK (NERC) and the Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Republic of India (ESSO-MoES) have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the UK and Indian environmental research communities.
The UK and India have mutual interests and strengths in research including, but not limited to, meteorology, climate variability and change, oceanography, hydrology, natural hazards and biodiversity.
The MoU will encourage collaboration in these areas by promoting information sharing and identification of new opportunities for collaborative activities such as networking, exchange of scientific and technical capability, and co-funding new research through joint calls where appropriate.
The MoU will be put to immediate effect as NERC and ESSO-MoES are discussing the opportunity to develop a collaborative research programme to better understand the variability of the South Asian monsoon. Around 1 billion people in South Asia are vulnerable to variability in the monsoon, which provides up to 80% of annual rainfall for the region. In February this year, NERC and MoES jointly organised a workshop for over 60 leading UK and Indian climate scientists to explore and identify the priority research gaps that could be addressed.
Over the last two years NERC and MoES have built a strong partnership to support collaboration between UK and Indian scientists to address environmental change. In 2012 we jointly funded five collaborative research projects as part of the NERC Changing Water Cycle programme.
These projects are providing information to improve forecasts and management of changes to rainfall, river flows and groundwater in the dynamic and vulnerable South Asian region. The programme is expected to generate and put into practice new knowledge on the changing water cycle.
NERC and MoES are also currently collaborating in a Belmont Forum call to support international research on the challenges of Water Security and Coastal Vulnerability.
The MoU agreed today will deepen the NERC-MoES partnership, enabling the two countries to build strategically on current collaborations.