Karachi: With reference to the theme of international environment day, a faculty seminar on “Climate change and rising sea level issue” was organized by the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, here Thursday.
During the seminar the faculty shared their knowledge on climate change and sea level rise issue. The seminar focused on the climatic changes occurring in the coastal belt of Pakistan. In the proceedings of seminar scientists presented the research output of studies conducted on different aspects of climate change issues from sea level rise and sea encroachment to vulnerability of mangroves forests and socio-economic impact on the local community.
Prof. Dr. Tariq Masood Ali Khan, Director, Institute of Environmental Studies spoke about the importance of celebration of environment day. He said there are number of serious environmental problems facing by developing countries, which have great ecological concern. These environmental issues are soil erosion, pesticide misuse, deforestation, desertification, urban pollution, water logging, ground water contamination, fresh and sea water pollution etc. However, now the global warming and associated climate change have also threatened the ecology and environment of the global earth. Now the natural calamities such as tropical cyclones, tornadoes, floods, storm surges and droughts combining with global warming and sea level rise issue have become a serious threat for the South Asian countries.
In the proceedings of the seminar Dr. Waqar Ahmed described the deteriorating condition of mangroves forest along the Karachi coast. He was with the opinion that mangrove trees are vital for coastal protection from Tsunami, storm surges and other coastal hazards. Prof. Dr. Shahid Shaukat elaborated the threatened and endangered species of coastal plants due to sea encroachment into low lying areas of Sindh coast. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Shams, Prof. Dr. Omme Hany, Ms. Surya Jabeen explained the vulnerability of ecosystem and biodiversity with the changing climate.
In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the World Environment Day of this year adopts Small Island Developing States in the broader context of climate change as its theme. World Environment Day is the opportunity for everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change. Thus this day is an excellent opportunity to raise a call for solidarity with the global earth.