Concerted global efforts needed to to save islands: Naidu

New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged all countries to put in consolidated efforts to limit global temperature levels, so that smaller islands and their sublime beauty stays intact, and their residents do not get displaced.

Expressing his deep concern on the effect of climate change and global warming on the small islands, he said that it is unfair that small islands, whose percentage of overall emissions is minimal, pay the price for the negligence of big nations.

"Rising sea levels, storm surges, flooding, and coastal erosion pose a great threat to the inhabitants of various islands across the world," he added.

The Vice President, who concluded his two day official tour to the Lakshadweep islands, said: "It is a joy to be surrounded by the vast expanse of turquoise blue water, canopy of palm trees, white sand shores, and the clear blue skies."

Describing the Lakshadweep islands as the best kept secrets of India, he also lauded the Lakshadweep administration for their consistent efforts towards protecting the coastal environment while promoting tourism.

Naidu urged other tourism destinations to emulate Lakshadweep's approach and adopt ecotourism and also called upon tourists to travel responsibly keeping the well-being of the local people and nature in mind. He appreciated the people of Lakshadweep for their role in keeping the islands clean.

Pointing to the steady growth in fish production in the Lakshadweep region, the Vice President appreciated the efforts made by the administration for their consistent support to this sector. "To give a boost to the fishing sector, our scientists and researchers must come up with energy efficient fishing systems for responsible fishing," he added.

Drawing attention to the natural diversity of India, Naidu said: "We cannot deny that India has the best of everything when it comes to tourism. Be it the mighty Himalayas, the architectural wonders of Rajasthan, the crystal clear lakes in Himachal Pradesh, the spiritual getaways in Uttarakhand, the incredible beaches of Goa, the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, the wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh, the tea gardens and breath-taking sights of the hills of the northeast or scenic beauty of the Rann of Kutch."

Urging everyone to travel widely in India to experience the diverse and beautiful aspects of the motherland better, he said: "But remember, when you travel, you must take care to travel without harming any aspect of the environment."

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