4 days Youth Forum kicked off at IST

ISLAMABAD: A four days Youth Forum for Empowering Youth in Earth Observation Information for Climate Actions in the Himalayas has kicked-off at Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad on Wednesday.

Under the framework of SERVIR Himalaya, the event is being jointly organized by International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), SUPARCO and Lead Pakistan from 07 December to 10 December 2011.

“Climate change is adding new complexities to Pakistan’s quest for sustainable and equitable development” said Mr. Abdul Qadir Rafique, Assistant Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in his inaugural speech and highlighted the importance of engaging youth in development process. He said under the current global concerns to address serious climatic situations, the topics like glaciers status assessment, water availability, land-productivity and emergency relief is becoming more and more important and urgent issue for us and it is more important to develop relevant knowledge on these issues. To conclude, he suggested that Earth Observation System and geo-information technologies are very useful and helpful and should be a basic tool for exploring these interlinked disciplines. He also advised the participants to use this opportunity of learning from the youth forum as a good chance to introduce with the current remote sensing technologies and GIS analysis.

On behalf of SUPARCO and IST, In his welcome remarks, Dr. Abdul Aziz Mazhar, Dean IST, said that IST is collaborating with international centers like ICIMOD in conducting research and training activities in Pakistan. He also said that Earth observation is proving a vital tool to improve our understanding of the climate change phenomenon by providing information on the changes in various indicator attributes. He elaborated that the earth observation combined with geographic information systems provides a powerful platform and a visual and interactive aid to help educate people on various issues related to environmental change.

On behalf of ICIMOD, Mr. Farid Ahmed, Head Strategic Planning Unit, expressed his to SUPARCO and IST for their cooperation in organizing this training together with ICIMOD. He said that this forum is providing a unique opportunity for youth from across the country to engage each other in addressing the challenges of sustainability by applying location-specific solutions. The aim of this Youth Forum is to educate and raise awareness among young people about climate change in the Himalayan region and highlight the importance of Earth Observation. They will be exposed to visual and interactive modern geospatial information tools in order to enable them to understand the informed decisions for climate actions in the region.

Lead – Pakistan is engaged in capitalizing human resource by developing leadership skills through capacity building and training programmes in sustainable development said Umara Asim in her welcome remarks. In her address she urged youth to avail this opportunity and broaden their thinking, improve their understanding of national and global concerns, and be prepared to face up to the challenges such as environmental degradation, and climate vulnerability.

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