LAHORE: Speakers at a conference have stressed the need to launch joint efforts to combat a variety of pollution to cope with environmental challenges being faced by Pakistan and particularly Lahore. The conference was organized by Punjab University College of Earth and Environmental Sciences on the theme of “Emerging Trends in Earth & Environmental Sciences.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Information & Special Initiatives Hasaan Khawar, CEES Principal Prof Dr Sajid Rashid Ahmad, University of Management and Technology Director General Abid Sherwani, PU Senate member Raja Munawar, Dr Muhammad Kamran, faculty members, speakers from USA, Canada and other countries and a large number of students participated in the conference.

Addressing the conference, Mr Khawar said that industry, kiln, traffic and agricultural waste were main contributors towards pollution in Lahore city. He said that the government was implementing a plan of various actions to check these pollutants. He said that industries and kiln not following SoPs were being fined and closed. He said that however, the government needed public support and people must inform on the designated helpline wherever they see violations that were polluting our environment. He said that the government had launched negotiations with oil marketing companies to introduce euro 5 fuel. He said that unfortunately we could not introduce any concrete plan in the past to handle the environmental pollution we were facing today. He said that the incumbent government was paying special attention to curb environmental pollution. He said that our Billion Tree project had been hailed by the international community which was contributing to safeguard our environment at national level. He also sought help from academia to suggest solutions to various environmental problems the country was facing. He said that it was a great source of pleasure to walk along the canal in Lahore and drink tap water but now things had changed unfortunately. He said that we must preserve our natural inhabitants.

College Principal Prof Dr Sajid Rashid said that the conference had been organized to find solutions to environmental challenges. He said that every human being must play a role to safeguard this ecosystem, which was a guarantee to life on earth. He said that as many as 500 abstracts were received for this conference out of which 320 abstracts had been accepted. He said that the conference would suggest various measures to the government to combat environmental challenges. Dr Tariq Munir from Canada and MAK Lodhi from Texas Tech University USA presented their research papers and discussed various air pollutants and their solutions. Abid Sherwani and Raja Munawar also spoke on the occasion. Later, shields were distributed among distinguished guests.

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