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India to help Pacific Island states deal with climate change


Cairns (Australia): India Friday said it is ready to engage “constructively and productively” with the global community to combat climate change and underlined that its greenhouse gas emissions are among the lowest in per capita terms.

“We recongise our responsibility as a developing country and wish to engage constructively and productively with the international community and to add weight to global efforts to protect the environment,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said at the post-forum dialogue of Pacific Island Forum here.

Krishna also underlined that the international community should make special efforts to help Small Island Developing States, which are most vulnerable to climate change, deal with global warming and the process of adaptation.

India’s greenhouse gas emissions are amongst the lowest in per capita terms, he stressed.

Adaptation remains the key for developing countries and it needs to be adequately resourced without detracting funds for development, which in any case, is the best form of adaptation, said Krishna, who is on a five-day visit to Australia.

Krishna added that India was committed to providing assistance by way of capacity building as well as project assistance to help Pacific Island countries in the process of adaptation to climate change and to promote the objectives of sustainable development.

“We are confident that the ‘Look North’ policy of the Pacific countries and the ‘Look East’ policy of India will dovetail to create new synergies as Pacific Island countries are rich in natural resources and there is a vast potential for cooperation in diverse spheres,” he said.

The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are experiencing major adverse effects of climate change and adaptation to adverse impacts of climate change and sea-level rise remains a major priority for them, he said.

Krishna also unveiled a slew of initiatives for the Pacific Island states, including grant-in-aid of $125,000 each for the 14 eligible Pacific Island countries for the supply of equipment and materials for social and economic programmes and for sustainable development projects.

He offered continued training opportunities to all Pacific Island countries under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme and cooperation in the IT sector.