Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. Image credit: PIB

Taking head environment cooperation with Bhutan, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Royal Government of Bhutan on Cooperation in the areas of the environment.

Officials said that the MoU 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.

“Keeping in view the bilateral interest of both sides and mutually agreed on priorities, an MoU covering areas of the different environmental sector has been considered,” an official said.

This Memorandum of Understanding shall enter into force on the date of signature and shall continue to remain in force for a period of ten years, officials said.

Both the countries will encourage organizations, private companies, government institutions at all levels and research institutions on both sides to establish cooperation activities aimed at fulfilling the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding.

The two countries also intend to hold Joint Working Group and bilateral meetings to review and analyze the progress of activities and shall keep their respective ministries and agencies, duly informed of progress and achievements.

The Memorandum of Understanding shall 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.

The development followed an earlier MoU between the two counties.

An MoU was signed between the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the National Environment Commission (NEC), Bhutan in 2013, but it was expired in 2016.

“Noting the benefits of the earlier MoU, both sides have decided to continue cooperation and collaboration in the field of environment,” officials said.

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