India on Wednesday announced setting up of a fund that would help South Asia effectively meet urgent adaptation and capacity building needs posed by the climate change and also proposed establishment of innovation centres in the region to develop sustainable energy technologies.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the announcement at the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit that began here with an apt theme - ’Towards a Green and Happy South Asia’.

“I am happy to announce the setting up of an ‘India Endowment for Climate Change in South Asia’ to help member states in meeting urgent adaptation and capacity building needs,” Dr. Singh said.

He also proposed setting up of climate innovation centres in South Asia to develop sustainable energy technologies based on indigenous resource endowments and welcomed the conclusion of the SAARC Convention on Cooperation on environment.

Noting that India has already launched a national mission in sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, the Prime Minister said the initiative could serve as a nucleus for regional cooperation in this vital area.