ISLAMABAD Environmental degradation is estimated to inflict an economic loss mounting to 5pc to 6pc of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan as well as 3pc reduction in the countrys agriculture products by the year 2025. Renowned environmentalists and economists expressed these views at the launching ceremony of Centre of Environmental Economics and Climate Change in the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) on Thursday. The speakers said that the environment had a direct effect on economic development so that no sustainable development was possible without improved environment. They also feared global rise in temperatures resulting in unprecedented floods and droughts due to the Climate Change. In his concluding remarks, Acting Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Ishfaq Ahmad said that the sciences of economics and environment were getting more and more inter-related, as both had a combined effect over development. He said the Centre of Environmental Economics and Climate Change was a need of the hour given the complex and dire nature of the problem. He highlighted the importance of in-depth analysis of the problem based on accurate and up-to-date knowledge to efficiently help policy formulation. Vice Chancellor PIDE Dr Rashid Amjad in his inaugural remarks said the Centre would equip the future generations with knowledge to effectively combat the issues related to environmental degradation and Climate Change. He said the environmental degradation had been estimated to inflict 5pc to 6pc GDP loss to Pakistan besides 3pc reduction in agriculture products by the year 2025. Dr Ghulam Rasool of Meteorology Department gave a detailed presentation on global rise in temperature and the consequent melting of glaciers. He said the Siachen Glacier was one of the fastest depleting glaciers of the world due to global warming. Former Chairman WAPDA Dr Shamsul Mulk emphasized the need of capacity building of institutions to tackle the various issues confronting the nation. He said that the 20th century witnessed a hike in demand for fresh water at much higher rate than the population growth during the century. Shafqat Kakakhel, Advisor to Minister on Environment, said that Pakistan was one of the ten countries most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change despite the fact it was not major contributor or perpetuator of the problem. He regretted that a number of internationally significant species found exclusively in Pakistan were facing the threat of extinction due to the environmental degradation. He said that poverty, demographic pressure, and governance issues were major contributors to environmental degradation in Pakistan.