Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 7 (PTI) Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said both Kerala and the United Kingdom share a common responsibility to preserve the ocean and its biodiversity for future generations.
Kerala and the UK are both coastal regions, with the ocean playing a significant role in their livelihoods and well-being, he said.
While addressing the "UK in Kerala Week," organised by the British Deputy High Commissioner for Kerala and Karnataka here, the CM said one of the key challenges being faced by both regions is the protection of the environment and marine resources.
The CM also launched the 'India x UK Alive with Opportunity' campaign, designed to showcase the tremendous bond between our countries and further build on the continuous exchange of people, ideas, and culture.
He said he was happy to launch the marine litter educational packs, which contain handouts for children, in Malayalam.
Noting that it was a wonderful initiative to promote scientific knowledge and environmental awareness among schoolchildren and teachers, Vijayan said he commended the British High Commission in India and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science, UK, for their efforts in developing the packs.
"We share a common responsibility to preserve the ocean and its biodiversity for future generations. That's why I am delighted to launch the marine litter educational packs printed in Malayalam," he said.
He called the UK a global leader in marine sciences and conservation and hailed the support it extended to developing countries in tackling marine problems and climate change.
Vijayan said Kerala is also committed to the sustainable management of marine resources.
"I believe that there is great potential for collaboration between the UK and Kerala in the fields of marine science and conservation. We can share our knowledge, expertise, and best practices. We can also support each other in implementing our sustainable development goals," he said.
He said another area of collaboration between the two regions is educational research.
Both the United Kingdom and Kerala value democracy, diversity and development, and both aspire to create a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future for their respective people, he added.
That's why both regions have been working together in various fields like healthcare, IT, education, trade, and investment, Vijayan said, adding that the relationship between Kerala and the UK is alive with opportunities.
The CM also wished King Charles' birthday party in Kochi on November 9 a grand success.
"I believe that together we can achieve our common goals and overcome our common challenges," he added.
Chandru Iyer, the UK's Deputy High Commissioner to Kerala and Karnataka, was also present during the function.
Iyer, during the speech, said India and the UK have a broad and deep relationship already.
"Today, more than 900 Indian businesses operate in the UK, and more than 600 UK businesses are finding success in India. Our dynamic business relationship supports more than half a million jobs across both countries. What makes the UK-India relationship truly unique is our Living Bridge, which includes a 1.6 million-strong Indian diaspora in the UK, connects our countries and people across culture, education, food, sport, and more," he said.
Education is one of the mainstays of the Living Bridge between the UK and India, Iyer said, adding that Indian students make up one of the UK's largest groups of international students.
Iyer is hosting the first-ever King's Birthday Party (KBP) in Kochi on November 9 to celebrate the birthday of King Charles III, a statement said. It was a decade ago that the King and Queen Camilla visited "God's Own Country" on an official visit.
Later in the day, Kerala tourism minister Mohamed Riyas and senior tourism officials met the UK delegation for a UK-Kerala Tourism Roundtable, the statement added. PTI LGK SS