The Cabinet of Ministers Tuesday gave its approval to initiate activities to establish a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment.
The proposal made by the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris, to establish the Indian Ocean Rim Association's (IORA) Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment in Sri Lanka in consultation and collaboration with local stakeholders, the IORA Secretariat and IORA Member States and to proceed with the related activities was approved by the Cabinet.
Sri Lanka in June this year hosted a workshop for the IORA member to discuss the modalities of establishing the Centre of Excellence (CoE). The Ministry of External Affairs, along with the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) organized the workshop.
The proposed Centre envisions building scientific and technological capacity in ocean sciences research and sustainable collaborative utilization of ocean resources. It will support regional collaboration among Indian Ocean Rim countries and serve as a partnership for institutions that support scientific and socio-economic research in relation to the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Ocean Rim region, which is home to nearly one-third of the world's population, carries high economic significance due to its strategic location.
The 20-member IORA aims to provide maximum opportunities to develop shared interests and reap mutual benefits and exchange information on trade and investment and also provide opportunities to expand intra-regional trade among countries in the group.