RAWALPINDI - The Department of Environmental Sciences, Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) has initiated a research project on Environmental Impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In this regard a special seminar was organised by the department and Dr Yusuf Zafar, T.I Project Director of National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) delivered a lecture on "Environmental Aspects of Gene Technology". He highlighted the need of Environmental Risk Assessments while developing GMOs. Dr Zafar said if we have to jump on the band wagon of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, we must have highly trained manpower in the field of Environmental Risk Assessment prior to release GMOs in the market and environment a prerequisite of Cartagena Biodiversity Protocol. "Our population is increasing at very fast rate and to ensure food security in the country, we need GMOs to meet the population pressure," he added. He highlighted that Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi has taken lead and the development of human resource in this subject is going to be very important for future work. "GMOs cannot be released into the environment without pre-testing because they may cause a lot of environmental problems. But cotton has covered a large area while the risk assessment should be done to monitor its environmental impacts. This century is going to be a century of gene revolution," he maintained. Earlier, Chairman of the Department of Environmental Sciences Professor Dr Tariq Mahmood introduced the subject to the audience and highlighted the need of the day of putting a lot of effort in this field. He thanked the speaker and Research Advisor Dr Zafar for cooperating with the students of Environmental Sciences. The seminar was attended by the Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan S.I., Dean Faculty of Forestry, Range Management and Wildlife Dr Sarwat Naz Mirza, senior officers of the university and a large number of students of the University.