Rawalpindi - Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) organised a seminar here on Friday to celebrate the International Biological Diversity Day with an objective to raise awareness about biodiversity related issues.

The seminar was organised with the theme ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.’ On the occasion, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad was the chief guest while Dr Abdul Wahid Jasra, country representative ICIMOD, Dr Muhammad Khursheed, DG Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, Prof Dr Tariq Mahmood (advisor R&D HEC), scientists from various organisations, representatives of environment and wildlife conservation agencies, and a large number of students and teachers from the university were also present.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad highlighted the significance of biodiversity and emphasised the community role to conserve vegetation with collective initiatives. He said that there is a need to protect biodiversity for future generations by adopting the practical measures. He said that sustainable use of biological resources is yet a challenge for society as a whole, and hence it needs collaboration and an integrated approach. He said the young generation has immense potential but it needs direction to play their role.

Prof Dr Tariq Mahmood and Dr Muhammad Khurshid while addressing the seminar said that conservation of biological diversity ensures economic prosperity and ecological sustainability and is also a tool to fight climate change. However, overexploitation and unsustainable use patterns are depriving ecosystems to deliver vital functions and services as well as its ability to withstand climate change, they added. Students of the department of environmental sciences also organised a competition of posters and models in connection with Biodiversity Day where they displayed their art work and scientific models.

The first prize in poster/model competition was awarded to Shehrish Rubab of MS environmental sciences, second position was secured by Huma Naseer of Environmental Sciences, whereas the third position was grabbed by Afsha Khalid of MSC environmental sciences.

In the research project presentation competition, the first prize went to Muhammad Bashir Ahmad and second position was secured by Muhammad Sadaat Mazhar of MS environmental sciences. Winners of competitions were awarded prizes and shields.