Environmental depletion a common threat to Central Asian states

STAFF REPORT ISB: Prof Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro, President ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) stressed the need to bridge the gap of collaboration in science and technology within ECO member countries. He urged this while addressing the 6th ECO Working Group Meeting on Environment.

“Environmental degradation, water and air pollution, deforestation and desertification, ozone layer depletion, land degradation, and threatened biodiversity have caused in climate change and ecological disparity in all the regional countries,” Dr Soomro noted.

He said that unparalleled potential of scientific and technological knowledge and absenteeism of modern technology in the regional countries still persisted unexploited. “If the ECO member countries help each other to link the knowledge gap scientific and technological research and innovation, most of the regional environmental, energy, climate change, and socio-economic challenges can be efficiently tackled,” Dr Soomro emphasized.

“The ECO member countries need to work hard to development joint research projects in environment, biodiversity, forestry, energy, education and health fields and jointly explore funding avenues for implementation of these research projects for addressing environmental, climate change and other socio-economic challenges,” Dr Soomro urged.

The 6th ECO Working Group Meeting on Environment aims on collaboration of ECO member countries to fight against environmental degradation. The speakers urged that tackling the fundamental challenges of environment, climate change, and sustainable development can be achieved through increased collaboration and cooperation in research.

Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Federal Secretary Climate Change while addressing the inaugural session said, “Hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and health diseases are common regional challenges that had been aggravated further due to global warming, climate change, and environmental degradation.”

He emphasized that research cooperation, transfer of scientific and technical knowledge and transfer of technology in environment, energy, water, biodiversity, health, education, transport, and communication field is crucial to achieving sustainable development goals, preserving natural resources and tackling poverty, hunger and disease.

Director ECO, Orkhan Zeynalov, said that 21st Century global environmental issues have enormously augmented effects on our planet and caused changing climatic conditions and sudden global warming, mingled with the region-wide socio-economic inequalities along numerous trans-boundary environmental issues, particularly deforestation and desertification, air and water pollution, droughts and heat waves, floods and heavy rains, natural hazards, biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems throughout the ECO region.

Orkhan Zeynalov also updated the participants that ECO is in process of introducing a new ECO Vision 2016-2015 that would set significant areas of assistance at the regional and global levels, with focus on common regional challenges as well as on 2030 agenda for the UNs 17 Sustainable Development Goals, provisions of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and Sendai Global Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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Muhammad Irfan Tariq, Chairman of the 6th ECO Working Group Meeting on Environment told the meeting that worsening of natural resources continues to mark livelihood and health challenges in the 10 regional states of Central Asia, which have aggravated the vulnerability of poor to climate change-caused disasters and environmental challenges.

The ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. In 1992, the organization was expanded to include seven new members, namely: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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