Rawalpindi - Foreign delegates from Italy, Greece and Tunisia stressed to follow either mitigation or adaptation strategy to overcome the climate change by adopting sustainable and innovative water saving approaches, plans and polices, they said, “Avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable.” They further urged, “One must be reactive to the past, proactive to the present and predictive as well as pre-emptive to the future,” and recommended to adopt new technologies instead of traditional ways to manage water resources more efficiently.

Speakers stated this while addressing at the concluding ceremony of the international conference on Training and Capacity Building in Sustainable Agricultural Water Management to address food security and social instability in Pakistan at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), here on Saturday. The international conference was organized upon successful completion of Pak-Italian Joint Project funded by Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). Representatives of the AICS Dr Pipi and Dr Sertoli also participated in the conference and hoped that that the Italian cooperation will assist Pakistan’s agriculture to develop new scenarios to address food security and social instability in Pakistan.

While addressing as a chief guest, Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) said that Pakistan is not facing the issue of production or distribution of resources instead the real issues are governance and management.  He said our agricultural production is in surplus this year because of our research and educational institutes, despite the fact that agriculture sector has an investment of 0.18% from the GDP. He said Pakistan has a national food security policy for the first time in its history, aiming to achieve Zero hunger and SDGs by 2030. He was of the view that, “Any region of the world getting more than one thousand millilitres of rain can never become a water scarce country.”  He said Pakistan has great potential as 65% of its population belongs to the youth so he hoped they would play an imperative role in order to get rid of all social instabilities in Pakistan.

Prof Dr Sarwat N Mirza, Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR said that, “Climate change has emerged as one of the biggest threats to our planet, also greenhouse gases on one side increase the temperature of earth that also results in a devastating disruption of the earth’s climatic processes. It is the right time to focus and understand the importance of agricultural water management and its impact on food security and social stability, he added.

He appreciated the efforts of Chairman Department of Environmental Sciences Dr Azeem Khalid and Director CNR Italy Dr Mauro Centritto and also thanked AICS for its generous support and funding to develop innovative water harvesting techniques for sustainable agricultural water management in the Potohar area.