LAHORE–Punjab University will establish state-of-the-art “National Laboratory of Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research” to do research on the reasons behind climate change in Pakistan and suggest its affordable solutions. In this regard, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has approved initial funding of Rs 100 million for the establishment of the laboratory.
PU Department of Space Science’s Dr Zia ul Haq is director and principal investigator of the lab while other co-principal investigators include Dr. Syeda Adila Batool, Mr. Shahid Parvez, Mr. Asim Daud Rana, Dr. Khalid Mahmood and Dr. Salman Tariq, faculty members from the department. Explaining the objectives of the national laboratory, Dr Zia ul Haq said that Pakistan was amongst the most vulnerable countries facing climate change risks with very low technical, financial and professional capacity to adapt, mitigate and prevent its adverse impact. He said that climate change aggravated the social inequalities and intensifies social factors leading to displacement, conflicts, instability and changes in migration patterns through extreme weather events with changing patterns, flooding, temperature rise, yield reduction, droughts, spread of infectious diseases, water scarcity, deforestation etc.
He said that low budget, lack of technical support and required capacity of human resource were also big issues for planning sustainable solutions not only in Pakistan but also for other developing countries of the world. He said that satellite borne data with proper GIS analyses could provide low cost and easy to adopt alternatives to adapt, mitigate and prevent climate change to support decision making systems of Pakistan. He said that the lab with the latest equipment and competent team of experts would promote and facilitate education, research activities and collaborations to study and develop GIS and Space Applications with particular emphasis on sustainable development in Pakistan, and devise cost effective tools for developing world. He said that efforts would also be made to attract international projects and grants in the relevant fields. He said that the whole team was thankful to Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad for his continuous support and encouragement during the academic competition process for the lab. He also thanked HEC for sanctioning funds for establishment of the lab–PRESS RELEASE