Scientists have now established that the rapid melting of ice in the Arctic due to climate change has impacts on the South Asia summer monsoon. This has strengthened the Indian government’s interest to find out more. Scientists in India and Norway have been collaborating closely to study climate impacts, ocean pollution, overfishing and what can be done about these vexed issues. In an interview with The Third Pole, Norwegian Ambassador to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund speaks about deepening science cooperation, the impact of the pandemic, and India’s Arctic policy:


How is the India-Norway cooperation going?

In spite of the pandemic, it is going splendidly. Even in quite adverse circumstances, we had a joint commission meeting in September, the Blue Economy dialogue is continuing, we had a Steering Committee Meeting on marine litter, and I just gave a talk at a FICCI [Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry] webinar on the Blue Economy.

What will we be able to show the public in Norway and India?

There are four major projects on marine litter going forward, and the integrated ocean management and research initiative has held virtual meetings between different experts from India and Norway, but photo opportunities have not been possible since March 2020. Before that we went down to Mumbai and picked plastic from Versova beach; we went to Ahmedabad where we support projects for water treatment, and there are projects on waste to energy.

Where does India-Norway cooperation fit into international affairs? 

Why do we have an India strategy? Because we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without India. We need to find an ecologically sustainable way forward. India and Norway’s economies are now more interlinked and important for each other than traditional trade figures indicate. We can work well together. Indian R&D is often more focused on cost effectiveness than in developed countries. Indian researchers have to overcome obstacles of infrastructure and low resources. The innovations coming out of India are beneficial for all of us.

Read the full article about India-Norway relations by Omair Ahmad at The Third Pole.