The Norwegian Ambassador to India visits the Nansen Center in Cochin

Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvaag, secretary Ragnhild Vognild from the Norwegian Embassy and staff and students at NERCI in Cochin.Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvaag, secretary Ragnhild Vognild from the Norwegian Embassy and staff and students at NERCI in Cochin.His Excellency Mr Nils Ragnar Kamsvaag ambassador of Norway to India and Mrs Ragnhild Vognild, Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy visited the office of the Nansen Envrionmental Research Centre (NERCI) in Cochin on the 14th December. The visitors were received by Dr. Ajith Joseph, Director, Prof. N. R. Menon, Chairman of Board and Dr. Nandini Menon, Deputy Director. Prof. N. R. Menon formally welcomed the delegates to NERCI.

Dr. Ajith Joseph gave an overview of the scientific activities of NERCI and introduced the visitors to the scientific personnel of NERCI. He focused on the bilateral Indo-Norwegian cooperation within the project India-Clim: Decadal to multi-decadal variability in the Indian Monsoon Rainfall and teleconnection with Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation funded by the Research Council of Norway and the FP7 project INDO-European Research Facilities for Studies on MARine Ecosystem and CLIMate in India (INDO-MARECLIM) coordinated by NERCI - the first EC FP7 project coordinated by an Indian institution. He highlighted also the advantage of the scientific collaboration with other Nansen centres around the world, including the Nansen fellowship program, funded by the Nansen Scientific Society, being implemented at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) for doctoral students.  

In his remarks, His Excellency Mr Kamsvaag expressed pleasure in learning about the functioning and results of NERCI including the cooperation with and support that the Centre as an institution is receiving from Nansen Center in Bergen, Norway.  He enquired about the inception of Nansen Centre in India and was delighted to know about Prof. Ola M Johannessen's involvement and research activities in the Indo-Norwegian fisheries project in Cochin in 1970s.  The ambassador discussed the advancements in fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Norway and was inquisitive about the socio-economic condition of fishermen community in India and the various regulations in fishery sector. He congratulated NERCI for being a partner in the project – Arctic cooperation between Norway, Russia, India, China and US in satellite Earth observation and Education (ARCONOR). ARCONOR is a research and higher education project related to sea ice, environment, climate change, and operational conditions in the Arctic Ocean, recently funded by Research Council of Norway. The project will contribute to strengthening of the bilateral cooperation in Arctic research.

HE Mr Kamsvaag and Mrs Vognild went around the NERCI office and bio-optical laboratories and were impressed by the instrumentation and infrastructure that NERCI has built up as part of INDO-MARECLIM.   He also interacted with the scientists and students of NERCI.   The one-hour meeting with the ambassador and his team ended with a formal vote of thanks by Dr. Nandini Menon.

The ambassador was previously also acquainted with NERCI during his opening of the Indo-Norwegian winter school on Operational Oceanography: Indian Ocean circulation and Sea level variation at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information services (INCOIS) in October.   

Text by Dr. Nandini Menon and Lasse H. Pettersson, originally published at NERCI web site.