KARACHI  -   The Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU) of the University of Karachi (KU) is organising 2nd international conference on Sustainable Development: Halophytes for Green Revolution at the Karachi University Business School (KUBS), KU.

The inaugural ceremony of three-day long international conference would be held today at 9:30am at KUBS, KU. The Director Unesco France Dr Miguel Clusener-Godt, the Advisor Science, UNESCO Thailand, Dr Benno Boer, Professor Dr Hans-Werner Koyro Interdisziplinares Forschungszentrum (IFZ), Institute fur Pflanzenokologie, Gieben, Germany along with the Director ISHU, KU, Dr Bilquees Gul and the Vice Chancellor, KU, Professor Muhammad Ajmal Khan would deliver addresses at inaugural session.

Dr Bilquees Gul mentioned that the conference aims to bring together leading academic scientists/researchers, UN organizations, public and private national and international organization, industries and policy makers to discuss in general the sustainable use of halophytes (i.e. naturally salinity tolerant plants of saline areas) and facilitate research to determine the efficacy of the ideas for halophytic green revolution to turn saline wastelands into a resource.

“The ultimate goal is to transform currently barren arid/saline lands into productive croplands, so that food security can be achieved in future. This kind of research will greatly benefit the poor farmers of the Pakistan and other countries, which suffer from land salinisation and drought.”

She expressed that the ISHU, KU, is one of the leading institutes of the world for research on halophytes and saline agriculture. She shared that in recognition of achievements of ISHU in very short period of time (since its establishment in 2006), Unesco established first ever ‘Chair in Sustainable Halophyte Utilization’ at ISHU in 2009 under UNITWIN Programme of Unesco. Despite small size and scarce funding, ISHU is trying its level best to play a pivotal role in sustainable utilization of halophytes and saline lands.

According to her, this conference is also a contribution towards sustainable halophyte utilization for green revolution in the arid regions. Beside national participants, a number of renowned scientists from Germany, France, China and Thailand would participate in the event.