The Institute of Agricultural Sciences  at Punjab University on Tuesday inaugurated the PU Climate Change Awareness Centre to promote climate literacy among the public at large. The chief guest at the launch ceremony was Punjab Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dreshak.

Speaking at the launch event, Dreshak said climate change was adversely affecting agriculture and livestock sectors by reducing production and “we need to develop an integrated strategy for combating the negative effects of changing environments”.

Besides the minister,  PU Vice Chancellor Niaz Ahmad, Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Saleem Mazhar, IAGS Director Dr Saleem Haider, faculty members and a number of students participated in the ceremony.

During his address, Dreshak added that there were many solutions to agriculture and livestock sectors to control environmental pollution, but these were not economically viable for our local farmers. He urged the teachers and students to find out solutions to control environmental pollution, adding that the same would also overcome economic problems being faced by agriculture and livestock sectors.

The minster said we must conserve water and enhance its efficiency for its wise utilization. “We need to train our children to combat climate challenges.”

PU VC Professor Niaz Ahmad proposed the establishment of an integrated centre consisting of experts from environmental, biological, engineering and agricultural sciences to cope with climate challenges. He said the use of chemicals in agriculture was contaminating underground water, food and environment. The VC said emissions of various gasses was destroying the ozone layer and we must become a responsible citizen to save the future of our next generation.

IAGS Director Prof Dr Saleem Haider said the centre had been established to promote climate literacy among the public at large. He said various climate awareness campaigns at different levels would be launched and a task force of 100 climate activists from Lahore would be developed in phase 1. Climate Change Awareness Centre focal person Adnan Zahid screened a documentary and chalked out plans of the centre in his presentation.

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