ISLAMABAD - COMSATS organised an event to celebrate the World Environment Day, in collaboration with the Meteorology Department of COMSATS Institution of Information Technology. Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Senior Advisor on Climate Change and Development, Planning Commission of Pakistan, graced the occasion as the chief guest. In his keynote address, Dr Ahmad appreciated the holding of the symposium to highlight the global concern viz environmental degradation and climate change.Giving a historical perspective of the efforts for this global concern in Pakistan, Dr Ahmad noted that owing to the exacerbating environmental conditions, the world in general and Pakistan in particular is heading towards extreme weather conditions having serious implications on all sectors of life. He considered over population, and complex life styles as retarding factors to the efforts for amelioration of the worsening situation of environment and climate change. He underscored the need of social equity to realise sustainable development.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, stated that COMSATS and CIIT are one step ahead of other institutions working in the environment and climate change studies as apart from holding capacity building events, they are also conducting active research in collaboration with relevant organisations in other developing countries. One such initiative, Dr Qureshi noted, was the establishment of International Thematic Research Group of COMSATS on ‘Climate Change and Environmental Protection’, which is being headed by the Director of the IICCES, Beijing, China. He also acknowledged the enormous contributions made by Dr Ishfaq Ahmad in the field, which includes the establishment of GCISC, which is the only research centre in Pakistan devoted to this field of science.Four technical talks were delivered on key topics relating to the theme of the event. These were: ‘Green Economy’ by Dr Arif Goheer, Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC); ‘Impact of Global Climate Change on Pakistan’s Environment’ by Dr Shahina Tariq, Chairperson Department of Meteorology, CIIT; ‘Effect of Water Pollution on Health and Environment’ by Dr. Syed Shahid Khan, International Islamic University Islamabad; and ‘Land-Slide Hazards and Environmental Intensity Scale for Azad Kashmir, North-West Himalayas, Pakistan’ by Dr. Mona Lisa, Department of Meteorology, CIIT. In view of the climate change phenomenon and its impact on the lives of the people, the speakers generally called for shifting the focus from resource exploration to resource efficiency, lessening dependence on fossil fuels and using renewable energies, judicious use of natural resources, turning to simpler ways of living, academia to play an enhanced role in sensitising the communities towards green economy, and creating public awareness on impact of climate change.