ISRO ‘data window’ in India-led plan to boost infra in island nations

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will create a special “data window” for small island nations, generating and disseminating satellite data that will help these countries to strengthen their fences against climate disasters, India said at the UN climate conference on Tuesday.

This will be part of the new India-backed international initiative that seeks to make critical infrastructure in the small island states resilient against all kinds of disasters.

The initiative, called IRIS or Infrastructure for Resilient Island States, was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson in the presence of leaders of several of these countries.

“India is already working with island countries in the Pacific and elsewhere to help them manage the threats of climate change. In that endeavour, India is launching yet another programme. Our space agency, ISRO will create a special data window for SIDS (Small Island Developing States),” Modi said.

“Through this mechanism, the small island states will get continuous information that will help them in monitoring cyclones, coral reefs, and coastlines,” he said.

IRIS is the first major programme under the Coalition of Disaster Resilience Infrastructure (CDRI), an international partnership launched by India two years ago to safeguard important infrastructure against the increasing frequency of climate disasters.

So far, 26 countries, along with some UN agencies, multilateral development banks, and financial institutions, have become part of the coalition.

“It is incredibly cruel that these vulnerable small island states are right on the frontline of the loss and damage that is caused by global warming. They have done virtually nothing to cause the problem. Every country that has contributed to carbon dioxide must contribute to join this campaign,” said Prime Minister Johnson, whose country has pledged 10 million pounds for the initiative.

Modi said IRIS would not just strengthen infrastructure but also help the countries in accessing technology and finance from the developed world, because of the priority given to these infrastructure projects in the finance pipeline.

“This will also generate income and employment,” Modi said.

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