Description: India would fully support this new project for island states, PM Modi said

Pointing out that no one was untouched by the wrath of climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the 'Infrastructure for Resilient Island States', or IRIS, initiative.

"It gives a new hope, a new confidence," he said at its launch at COP-26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

"It gives the satisfaction of doing something for the most vulnerable countries," he said as he congratulated the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) for the initiative.

Co-hosted by Australia and UK, the IRIS launch event saw over 100 attendees. Leaders of Fiji, Jamaica, Mauritius were among those who participated.

PM Modi assured the gathering that India would fully support this new project, and work closely with CDRI, other partner countries and the United Nations for its success.

The last few decades have proved that no one is untouched by the wrath of climate change, PM Modi pointed out.

"Whether they are developed countries or countries rich in natural resources, this is a big threat to everyone," he added.

But even here, he said, the biggest threat from climate change was to the 'Small Island Developing States- SIDS'.

"It is a matter of life and death for them; it is a challenge to their existence. The disasters caused by climate change can literally take the form of catastrophe for them," PM Modi noted.

According to the Prime Minister, in such countries, climate change was a major challenge not only for the security of their lives, but also for their economies.

"Such countries depend a lot on tourism, but due to natural calamities, even tourists are afraid to come there," PM Modi said.

According to PM Modi, the unnatural form of nature had come to the fore due to the selfish behaviour shown in the past several decades, the result of which innocent Small Island States were facing today.

"And, therefore, for me, CDRI or IRIS is not just a matter of infrastructure, but it is part of the most sensitive responsibility of human welfare. It is the collective responsibility of all of us towards mankind. It is, in a way, a common atonement for our sins," he said.

India's space agency, ISRO would build a special data window for SIDS, PM Modi announced.

"With this, SIDS will continue to receive timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring, etc. through satellite," he said.

Pointing out that both CDRI and SIDS had worked together to realize IRIS, he described it as a good example of co-creation and co-benefits.

"Through IRIS, it will be easy and faster for SIDS to mobilize technology, finance, and necessary information. Promotion of quality infrastructure in Small Island States will benefit both lives and livelihoods there," he explained

"I have said earlier that the world considers these countries as low-population Small Islands, but I see these countries as Large Ocean States of great potential," PM Modi added.
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