The News: Environmental degradation has become a national emergency and a non-traditional security threat. Enhanced research capacities should be developed to cope with the daunting challenges of environmental degradation, climate change and recurrent disasters, said participants of a research-writing workshop on ‘Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.’
The workshop was jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Nepal.
Fifteen young researchers from Pakistani universities learnt the art of research in environmental economics in the four-day training workshop led by international trainers. Workshop provided practical training and participants developed research proposals under the guidance and assistance of master trainers.
The proposals of the participants submitted to the SANDEE would be considered for grants to pursue various environmental projects across Pakistan. The workshop also featured policy lectures that highlighted political economy of climate change reforms in Pakistan.
Atif Khan of the SDPI said that the workshop aimed at building research capacities of young Pakistani researchers in the area of environment and natural resource economics. He said it provided an opportunity to them to become more familiar with research concepts, techniques, proposal writing and existing South Asian research on the subject.
SANDEE Director Priya Shaymsundar said that scientific community had overcome the climate change sceptics, which are now accepted as a widely established fact. She highlighted socio-economic impacts of climate change at local level adding that the need remained to find out and invent local solutions towards adaptation.
Talking of building capacities in research, she said, SANDEE is providing grants to young university researchers for working on new and innovative research projects in the area of environmental economics.
Speaking at the concluding session, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, head of the Economic Growth Unit, SDPI, pointed out the disconnect between policy and research revealing that Pakistani academia is producing socially irrelevant research. He said that researchers must focus on issues with policy lens and introduce local, innovative and sustainable interventions. He also emphasised on greater institutional response to climate change, which according to him became a national security threat for Pakistan. He said: “We need to introduce better governance, effective implementation of polices and build upon social capital available in the country for prudent environment interventions.”
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>