Story | 08 Aug, 2018

IUCN Country Representative delivers Keynote Address at 2nd Young Researchers’ National Conference on Water and Environment

A two-day Young Researchers’ National Conference Water and Environment was organized by the Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET) Jamshoro at U.S. – Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water.

The conference aimed to provide an ideal academic platform to young researchers and scholars from all over the country to present, share and exchange their latest findings of water and environment related issues.

MUET Water Center is helping Government of Sindh in providing safe and clean drinking water and USAID through the University of Utah is providing technical support to the Center, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, Government of Sindh and other organization for their generous support for the Center.

IUCN Country Representative, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema was invited as a keynote speaker. During his presentation, he recounted the inception of the Pakistan Natural Conservation Strategy and said that “Pakistan is amongst the countries that have the lowest vegetative cover in the world which will have great impact on the ground water recharge in the future. He emphasized on the catchment protection, integration of natural resources management, vegetation cover and focused on the target initiatives. He also mentioned of various IUCN initiatives for increasing vegetation of the country. He also chaired a Technical Session on Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Water and Environment.

He warned that Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a water scarce country as there is huge pressure on the ground water due to scarcity and droughts caused by climate change.

He also briefed about IUCN’s Regional and Global Water initiatives. IUCN Pakistan has developed the Policy Briefs on trans-boundary & inter-provincial water disputes. 22 Micro hydle power stations (MHPs) with project support communities constructed 104 MHPs at their own benefiting over 8000 household in DKP. IUCN Pakistan has developed Pakistan Water Gateway in the year 2003. The platform hosts information on water related resources and issues.

He strongly recommended effective implementation of National Water Policy; investment in water harvesting; maintaining of climate change in the National Policies (water and agriculture) and economic valuation of water resources.

Other speakers at the conference included Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, DG, PCRWR; Dr. Fateh Marri, P.C. WSIP, P&D, Government of Sindh; Mr. M. Abid, World Bank; Mr. Ashfaq Soomro, CEO, RDF, Dr. Arjumand Zaidi, USPCAS-W; Dr. Jeff Ullman; Prof. Dr. Kamran Ansari; and Dr. M. Ashraf, DG, PCRWR.