Islamabad:March 15: A five-day short training course on ‘Understanding Natural Resources and Climate Change using Geospatial Techniques’ is underway at the Institute of Space and Technology (IST).
The training was organised by the Institute of Space and Technology in collaboration with Suparco, World Wildlife Fund, International Centre for Integrated Mountain, Inter Islamic Network on Space, Science and Technology and Disaster Management Authority.
The course is designed for professionals who have keen interest in exploring the potentials of Remote Sensing and GIS techniques in the field on natural resources, environmental monitoring and climate change. Suparco Chairman Major General Ahmed Bilal, IST Vice Chancellor Engr. Imran Rahman and Head of Department Remote Sensing and Geo Infomatic Science IST Karachi Dr. Badar Ghauri along with many fellow scientists, engineers and technologists were present on the occasion.
The main aim of this course is to provide hands-on training in processing of satellite data using an integrated approach utilising geospatial and ground based monitoring techniques to address climate change and environmental issues. Participants hailing from brotherly Islamic countries are taking part in the course. Resource persons belonging to ICIMZOD, Nepal, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands, WWF Pakistan and Comsats would be delivering lectures besides the faculty members from IST.
Suparco Chairman Major General Ahmed Bilal after inaugurating the training course said that Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, with estimated population of 180 million. The national population is projected to reach 229 million by 2025 and 295 million by 2050. Major environmental issues confronting the country are ever increasing degradation of natural resources such as air, water, soil, coastal waters, forests, agriculture and biodiversity. The status of environmental degradation in and around large population centres and industrial sites in Pakistan is alarming.
Pakistan is paying very high price for environmental degradation. An amount of Rs365 billion per annum or Rs1 billion per day is the figure estimated by the World Bank which is excessive environmental damage in monetary terms for an underdeveloped country like Pakistan. It is estimated that environmental degradation costs the country at least 6 per cent of the GDP. To keep the current level of growth to be sustainable it will be necessary to protect the environment and adequately preserve the country’s natural resources. In the past decade nine out of ten natural disasters have been climate related and each time they have struck with rising intensity and cost. Therefore there is an urgent need to develop receptive infrastructure, capacity and resources to cope with such disasters.The news.