Pakistani researchers from Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore have won a highly competitive international research grant.

Pakistani researchers from Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore, Dr Adnan Siddique, Dr Khurram Bhatti and Dr Mohsen Ali have won a highly competitive international research grant under a programme called “AI for Earth Innovation.”

According to a press release, AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Earth Innovation is a joint initiative of the National Geographic and Microsoft. The programme awards grants to support the projects that use AI to change the way people and organisations monitor, model, and manage the earth’s natural systems. The project is the first ever grant being awarded to any Pakistani research team since the inception of the programme.

The project will focus on use of AI for Glacial Lake Outburst Floods hazard potential assessment in Chitral Valley and bring much-needed tech-intervention to close the gaps between the effects of climate change on glaciers and their subsequent impact on the local communities residing downstream as well as the government’s policies and preparedness to respond in a timely and effective manner.

The outcomes of the project will benefit all stakeholders, particularly the local communities, national and international NGOs and the disaster management authorities working in the glaciated regions of Pakistan.

The project will provide an integrated analysis of the data from satellite imagery and ground-based weather stations to monitor the evolution of glaciers and assess the potential hazards due to the formation, evolution and outburst glacial lakes.

It will build national capacity for long-term predictive analysis and early warning system for disaster assessment and management that will provide critical technical advisory to the policy makers and sufficient time to the authorities to respond to any developing disaster in the glaciated regions of the country.

Malik Amin Aslam, special assistant to the prime minister on environment, commended the grantees and said the research grant would perfectly complement the GLOF project being implemented by the Ministry of Climate Change.

Originally published at The News