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International conference on climate change and environment concludes

A three-day international conference on climate change and environment 2023 organized by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, in collaboration with the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, was concluded here on Friday.

The conference’s objective was to improve understanding of the phenomena of climate change and its effects, discussed the development of innovative tools to address the causes and consequences for mitigation and adaptation, and shared new ideas and the latest research in the area.

While addressing the inaugural session Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Member of the National Assembly, said that the Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU) had raised the agenda on climate change considering the present condition of different countries like Pakistan that is suffering from floods. At the same time, the African region suffered from droughts. She talked about her efforts on various forums, particularly at COP-27.

“We must raise our voices, collaborate, and support each other. We will have to come up with a solid solution,” she added.

Dr. Shaista Sohail, Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University, said that the toxic wastes had affected the entire agricultural and entire food chain. Pakistan needs to start mitigation efforts to meet the challenges of environmental and climate change. “It’s our responsibility to raise awareness on the subject. We need to focus on relevant research to solve indigenous problems”, said the Vice-Chancellor. She lauded the efforts of the organizers for highlighting this critical issue.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman Department of Environmental Sciences, QAU, Dr. Sohail Yousaf, said that global warming mainly affects our climate. Earth’s average temperature has now increased by about 0.18 ℃ per decade. “The recent floods in Pakistan have affected more than 33 million people and damaged our agriculture, livestock, and infrastructure. It is expected that there will be more droughts and floods to come. So, we need to adapt and mitigate; along with this, we need to evolve our strategies to fight climate change,” he added.

Addressing the concluding session of the conference Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Ms. Naz Baloch, urged the academic and research institutions to increase the research on the topic of environment and climate change. “It’s the war of survival, saving, and protecting the planet. We should create awareness regarding environmental issues, and “Climate Education” would be a step in the right direction.”

During the three-day conference, topics including Biological, chemical, environmental and socioeconomic mitigation against climate change in the context of Pakistan, agriculture and natural resource management, conservation, deforestation, and land degradation, impacts of climate change on wildlife, forest cover changes, air pollution, smog management, the vulnerability of flash flooding due to climate change, circular economy of plastics, waste to energy, e-waste, natural resource conservation in the scenario of urbanization and land encroachers, water conservation, management, and policy implementation, tourism and climate change, the impact of climate change on glaciers were discussed.

National and International speakers, experts, and scientists, Ms. Shabnam Baloch, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee, Pakistan, Dr. Mazhar Iqbal (Chief organizer & Conference Secretary of the conference) Department of Environmental Sciences, QAU, Dr. Waheed Yousuf and Dr. Mohsina Zubair (Pak-EPA) (Chief organizers) also addressed the gathering.