STAFF REPORT IBD: Climate change has emerged as a global issue multiplying concern for the entire international community as the global warming is causing widespread problems such as faster glacier melting, sea level rise, shortage of fresh water, prolonged droughts, ravaging floods, more frequent and intense forest fires, high intensity storms, extreme heat episodes, agricultural disruption, spread of infectious diseases and biodiversity loss. We are fast heading towards a situation where the survival of earth as well as human life would certainly be at stake; to tackle this situation collective and concerted efforts from all are desperately needed to reduce the impact of this hazardous phenomenon.
This was the crux of the speeches delivered during the recently concluded three-day International Conference on Climate Change: Opportunities and Challenges held at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) here. Pakistan Council for Science and Technology hosted this mega event, which was also attended by a large number of delegates from various countries including In this conference different issues related Australia, New Zealand, United States, China, Thailand, Iran and Nepal.
The foreign delegates spoke in detail about the rising threat to the international climate in shape of global warming and its drastic impacts on the international environment.
Prof. Dr Mudassir Asrar, Chairperson Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), in her remarks said that the climate change is irreversibly harming Pakistan. She said that according to intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) assessment report, the glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding and affect water resources within the next two to three decades.
Realising the dire need for addressing the issue of climate change and its serious repercussions locally and globally, the chairperson said PCST had hosted the international conference to bring together the worlds top scientists in all relevant fields for sharing their knowledge and experiences based on scientific evidence.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali said that according to scientific studies the average global temperature has risen by about 10 degrees during the past century and that increase was mostly due to the fossil fuels burning and deforestation. He maintained that although it was a well known fact that the developing countries are least responsible for global warming contributing only 10 per cent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions, they are the ones that are most susceptible to the environmental, social and economic impacts of this climatic change mainly due to their geographical location and socio-economic fragility.
He stressed that during water scarcity, it is important that the government invest in sustainable agriculture and small scale farmers, promoting the use of drought resistant varieties, alternate farming practices and reduced cultivation of water intensive crops. He also accentuated the need for building new dams and reservoirs for water storage and mitigating the chances of devastating floods we have experienced during recent years.
The minister assured that government would take serious action by taking necessary steps leading towards the implementation of policy measures to mitigate the adverse affects of climate change and global warming, as suggested by the experts during this conference.
In his remarks, Rector NUST Engr Muhammad Asghar welcomed all participants to the event and felicitated Chairperson PCST for the conduct of the conference. He pinned high hopes that the event would serve as a stepping stone towards reducing the negative effects of climate change.

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