GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

India, along with Australia, the UK and Small Island developing states (SIDS) will be launching a new initiave for Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) on the sidelines of the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP26). The platform is aimed at creating a coalition for putting in place infrastructure that can withstand disasters and lessen economic losses in island nations.

What

  1. Australia, India and the UK have committed an initial funding of $10 million for IRIS.
  2. More countries, including Japan, are expected to contribute to the initiative.
  3. IRIS is currently at the inception stage and resources will be aligned to the requirement of projects.
  4. The Prime Minister, who is expected to be in Glasgow for the United Nations climate change conference for two days, is likely to launch IRIS.
  5. We have to put the concerns of the most vulnerable nations and communities first.
  6. In this regard, the Small Island Developing Nations that are already experiencing the impacts of worsening disasters must have easy access to all the technology, knowledge and assistance that they consider necessary.
  7. For SIDS, losses from disaster, including infrastructure, is the highest as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

Flashback

  1. SIDS, comprising 58 countries in the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea regions, are among the most vulnerable countries to geophysical and hydro-meteorological hazards.
  2. The impact of climate change in the form of tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes and heavy rains are more frequent and intense in many of these countries.
  3. Susceptibility to very high relative economic losses due to disasters averages in the range of 1-10 percent of GDP annually.
  4. SIDS accounts for two-thirds of the countries in the world that suffer the highest relative losses due to disasters.