STAFF REPORT IBD: Sufficient water availability has increasingly become a critical issue especially in the Asian states including Pakistan, which has the potential to damage their agro-economy and national life in addition to putting at stake the world peace. However, cooperation among governments, local communities and world organizations can play an important role in amicably resolving this issue. By engaging communities and integrating all knowledge, including traditional and indigenous knowledge and the social and human sciences, water cooperation can also contribute to social transformation and to strengthen the social fabric of communities.
Water experts strongly argue that scientific cooperation on water issues is essential to strengthen capabilities for the collection, assessment, and monitoring of water related data.
They say that in order to understand the current water-related challenges, sharing scientific data, knowledge and innovation is essential, as is integrating data from multiple disciplines to inform decision making and address issues such as providing equitable access to water for all, adapting to climate change, ensuring water security today and in future. Access to data is a prerequisite for such data analysis and a sign of real cooperation.
The World Science Day for Peace and Development is marked across the world including Pakistan every year on November 10 with renewing the national, as well as the international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science for the benefit of society.
As part of the celebrations of this day, the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) has recently arranged a science speech contest which was the one among several inter-board national declamation and poster-making competitions held across Pakistan.
The PSF distributed awards among the winning students at a ceremony to commemorate the World Science Day for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNESCO.
“It is very important to develop your sense of curiosity, to develop your sense of asking questions,” said Country Director of UNESCO Pakistan Kozue Kay Nagata while talking to the primary and middle school children who had gathered for the ceremony at the Islamic International University Islamabad auditorium.
He urged the students to visit museums, such as the PMNH in the capitals.
Nagata also said that water cooperation includes sharing of data, knowledge and innovation to distribute and manage water sustainably.
In his remarks, QAU VC Masoom Yasinzai tried to enlighten the students on the importance of science. But the examples he quoted – the human genome project, nanotechnology, genetically modified foods, faster communication technologies and a potential cure for diabetes – were all related to concepts above the grade-level of the young students in the audience. Nevertheless, he said that the PSF and the government should accelerate their efforts for the promotion of “credible science education” and scientific activities in schools and colleges.
He further said that water is related to peace because an equitable and just distribution of water resources would eventually lead to peace. He said technology can be utilised in Pakistan to better manage and conserve the countrys water resources.
PSF, in collaboration with the MoST and Unesco celebrates Science Day annually, and organises various activities like, Convention of Scientists, Speech Competition among students and Science Exhibitions.
Rapid urbanization, pollution and climate change threaten the resource while demands for water are increasing in order to satisfy the needs of a growing world population, now at over seven billion people, for food production, energy, industrial and domestic uses.