ISLAMABAD - Scientists from developing countries gathered in Islamabad on Wednesday to deliberate on matters relating to climate change and called for fostering extensive international cooperation among the countries of the South for meeting common global challenges pertaining to this phenomenon.

These consensus views were expressed during the third meeting of COMSATS' International Thematic Research Group (ITRG) on 'Climate Change and Environmental Protection' held on the premises of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad.

The meeting had participation of scientists and researchers from meteorological departments, scientific and research organizations, and higher education institutions of Bangladesh, China, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Led by the Director of International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES), Prof. Zhaohui Lin, the Group was launched in November 2010 and is undertaking a joint research project on 'Characteristics and Mechanism of the Extreme Climate Events under the Climate Change Background'. Relevant COMSATS' Centres of Excellence and institutions from developing countries are cooperating for the research programme.

Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, in his opening remarks gave the background of COMSATS' ITRGs formed with a spirit to collaborate scientific research aimed at finding solutions to common problems of the developing countries.

Explaining the concept and modus operandi of the groups, Dr. Qureshi highlighted their effectiveness in facilitating the sharing of technical know-how and pooling of the necessary laboratory resources available with the Group members. Showing satisfaction towards the group activity, he thanked the Group Leader, Prof. Lin.

In his welcome address, Prof. Lin expressed gratitude to the Executive Director COMSATS for providing great support to his Group and recalled its history of establishment, objectives, and the contributions made by the members so far.

He noted that climate change has badly affected almost all countries of the South in the form of flash floods, droughts, rising sea levels and receding glaciers.

Prof. Lin hoped for expanding international cooperation on Climate Change using the platform of COMSATS and its partner organizations, such as TWAS.

The participants of the meeting presented their progress reports and shared their country-specific meteorological data.

Communicating their strengths to contribute to the joint research project of the Group, they also pointed out areas in which trainings are required, to which ICCES-China offered short-term trainings for the interested Group members.

The meeting also discussed in detail the draft Action Plan, outlining the responsibilities of the Group members for the years 2014-2015. The plan entails gathering and preliminary analysis of relevant and consistent data from the respective countries, as well as execution of different research segments of the joint research project and necessary reporting.

The meeting concluded on a high note of extensive cooperation amongst the Group members.

Committing to the timeline and responsibilities chalked out in the Action Plan, the participants pledged to dedicatedly contribute to the joint research project of the Group.