Rawalpindi - The academic council of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) approved the establishment of climate change department under the Institute of Geo-Information and Earth Observation here yesterday.

This was decided in the 55th meeting of the academic council held under the chairmanship of Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR. Senior faculty members, teaching heads, librarian, registrar, deans of faculties, directors of institutes and controller examination also attended the meeting.

While chairing the meeting, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad said that strong academic section plays vital role to give acknowledgement and peculiarity to any university or educational institution, as it is considered as the backbone of a university. 

While talking about importance of climate, he said that in Pakistan, currently there is a lack of scientific research in the field of climate change and University Climate Change Department will be very helpful to address the national demands of agriculture-based economy which is under stress due to climate change and extreme weather events.

He stressed the need to promote climate change awareness not only to decision makers and young intelligentsia of Pakistan but also to end-users like farmers and general public to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. 

The department will offer undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in the field of climate change with a research focus on global warming, locating water stress areas, analyzing carbon sequestration by plant biomass, climate modelling, developing regional validated gridded data for Pakistan, drought monitoring, understanding and monitoring extreme weather events and implementing international policies for mitigating climate change in Pakistan.

The department would provide a broad foundation of science-based skills, particularly in areas relating to climate protection and management. It will act as linchpin of research coordination between various faculties and institutes of university for better understanding of the climate change, its impacts and adaptation as key research responsibilities of PMAS-AAUR.

The department will also focus on climate change quantification in terms of agriculture production, precipitation anomalies, effects of temperature changes on food security and environment impact assessment of climate change.