India, Bhutan sign MoU on environment cooperation

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a memorandum of understanding between India and Bhutan for environment protection and cooperation in the areas concerning air quality, waste, chemical management, and climate change.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod for the signing of the MoU which will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country, an official statement said.

Keeping in view the bilateral interest of both sides and mutually agreed on priorities, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the areas of air, waste, chemical management, climate change, and any other areas jointly decided upon in environment has been considered, the Ministry of Environment said in a statement.

The MoU shall enter into force on the date of signature and shall continue to remain in force for a period of 10 years.

The ministry said both the countries intend to hold Joint Working Group/bilateral meetings to review and analyse the progress of activities and shall keep their respective ministries or agencies, duly informed of progress and achievements.

It said the MoU shall also facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices, and technical know-how through both public and private sectors and shall contribute to sustainable development.

The Memorandum of Understanding provides the possibility for joint projects in areas of mutual interest. However, no significant employment generation is envisaged, it said.

The financial implications of the proposed MoU are limited to the holding of the bilateral meetings/Joint Working Group meetings which shall meet alternatively in India and Bhutan.

An MoU was signed between the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the National Environment Commission (NEC) of the Royal Government of Bhutan on March 11, 2013.

This MoU expired on March 10, 2016, the ministry said, adding that noting the benefits of the earlier MoU, both sides have decided to continue cooperation and collaboration in the field of environment.

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