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QAU organises workshop on climate change, displacement and disease

Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University, in collaboration with University of Edinburgh (UK) organised a two-day workshop on “Climate change, displacement and disease.”

The workshop brought together anthropologists and social scientists of climate change, disaster, displacement and health at one place.

The event started with an introductory note by Chairperson of the Department Dr Inam Ullah Leghari, followed by a welcome address by Dr Muhammad Idrees, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, QAU. The workshop was moderated by Dr Ayaz Qureshi, Associate Professor and the Director of Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (EdCMA) at the University of Edinburgh.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Prof Stephen Lyon, a renowned anthropologist of Pakistan and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Aga Khan University, Karachi, and Dr Zafar Mirza, former Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Health.

Dr Mirza highlighted the human cost of climate change in the form of lives lost and disease burden on countries like Pakistan. He drew attention to environmental determinants of health and the need to address them at both structural and behavioural levels.

Professor Lyon highlighted the positive role that anthropology and other social sciences can play in addressing problems of human health and wellbeing related to climate change. He emphasised greater collaboration between universities, government policy makers and other stakeholders to deal with these problems collectively.

Experts and practitioners from the fields of climate change, hydrology, public health, and development attended the workshop and presented their research. Dr Jeevan Sharma (University of Edinburgh) gave a comparative regional perspective on resilience in the face of disaster in Nepal. Ms Amber Ajani (Aga Khan University) shared people-centred narratives on climate change in Pakistan. Mr Charles Barker, an expert on sustainable tourism and hospitality, shared his views on how Pakistan can grow its economy through sustainable management of tourism on eco-friendly terms.

PhD students and post-doctoral researchers shared their findings on causes and consequences of recent floods in Pakistan and coping strategies of different communities across the country. Professor Ian Harper from the University of Edinburgh talked about targeting potential publishers for effective dissemination of evidence-based knowledge.