Higher Education Commission (HEC) has approved Rs. 100 million in funding for the establishment of the “National Laboratory of Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research” at the Punjab University.
Dr. Ziaul Haq of the Punjab University’s Department of Space Science will be the Director and Principal Investigator of the lab. Dr. Syeda Adila Batool, Shahid Parvez, Asim Daud Rana, Dr. Khalid Mahmood, and Dr. Salman Tariq will be the co-principal investigators at the lab.
According to Dr. Zia, Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change and has inadequate technical, financial, and professional capacity to adapt, mitigate, and prevent its adverse consequences.
Climate change in Pakistan has not only compounded the social inequalities but it has also intensified social factors that have led to displacement, conflicts, instability, and changes in migration patterns through extreme weather events with flooding, temperature rise, yield reduction, droughts, the spread of infectious diseases, water scarcity, deforestation, etc.
The National Laboratory will provide cheap alternatives based on satellite data coupled with effective GIS analysis to adapt, mitigate, and prevent the detrimental ramifications of climate change, Dr. Zia said while explaining the purpose of the establishment of the lab:
National Laboratory of Remote Sensing, GIS, and Climatic Research will be responsible to carry out research on the reasons behind climate change in Pakistan and suggest its affordable solutions.
Dr. Zia expressed gratitude to Vice-Chancellor Punjab University, Prof. Niaz Ahmad, and Chairman HEC, Dr. Tariq Banuri, for unwavering support and approval of Rs. 100 million funding for the establishment of the laboratory.