ISLAMABAD – Environment has become a national emergency and a non-traditional security threat and it necessitate enhanced research capacities to cope with daunting challenges of environmental degradation.

This was deliberated in a research writing workshop held on “Environmental and Natural Resource Economics” held here on Monday.

Fifteen young researchers from Pakistani universities mastered the art of research in environmental economics during the 4-day training workshop held on 14-17 September and led by international trainers.  Workshop provided practical training and participants developed research proposals under the guidance and assistance of master trainers. Participants proposals submitted to SANDEE would be considered for grants to pursue various environmental projects across Pakistan. Workshop also featured policy lectures that highlighted political economy of climate change reforms in Pakistan.  

“Workshop is aimed at building research capacities of young Pakistani researchers in area of environment and natural resource economics. It also provides an opportunity to them to become more familiar with research concepts, techniques, proposal writing and existing South Asian research on the subject,” said Atif Khan, Senior Capacity Building Specialist at SDPI in his remarks.

Priya Shaymsundar, Director SANDEE, explained that scientific community has now overcome the climate change skeptics and climate change now is a widely established fact. She also briefed participants on significant socio-economic impacts of climate change at local level. “Therefore the need remains to find out and invent local solutions towards adaptation,” she added.  Talking of building capacities in research, she said, SANDEE is providing grants to young university researchers for working on new and innovative research projects in the area of environmental economics.

Speaking at concluding session, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Head Economic Growth Unit, SDPI pointed out the disconnect between policy and research and said, Pakistani academia is producing research which is socially irrelevant. “Researchers must focus on issues with policy lens and introduce interventions that are local, innovative and sustainable,” he added.  He also emphasized on greater institutional response to climate change which he said, has become a national security threat for Pakistan. Talking of available financial and technical resources, he said, we need to introduce better governance, effective implementation of polices and build upon social capital available in the country for prudent environment interventions.