Lahore: 19 Sep: Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Lahore has announced that Following the recent announcement of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funded project on Climate Change Adaptation in Pakistan being led by Dr. Adil Najam, faculty and students were invited to an informal brainstorming session on September 17, 2012, where the project was introduced. The session was hosted by the core project team at LUMS, consisting of Dr. Adil Najam, Principal Investigator; Ahmad Rafay Alam, Climate Change Expert; and Basharat Ahmed Saeed, Programme Coordinator. The participants included faculty and students from Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE) and Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani School Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS).
Dr. Adil Najam and Ahmad Rafay Alam kicked off the session by talking about the various ways in which climate change could possibly affect Pakistan, covering themes from water stress and food insecurity to the energy shortage and spread of diseases. Mr. Alam used historical data, coupled with projections, to contextualize the problems faced by an increasing Pakistani population while Dr. Adil Najam expounded upon the vulnerability of South Asia in the global context of climate change. It was with this background that the project titled, “The Determinants, Impact and Cost Effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptation in the Indus Eco-Region”, was introduced. The project, which is being conducted in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-P), seeks to explore the relationship between Climate Change and Food Security, and possible adaptation strategies available to communities faced with the ramifications of this relation. This study will be delivered in the form of three papers: a micro-econometric study; a political economy analysis; and a synthesis report to inform policy recommendations.
However, the focus of this session was on another component of the project that seeks to incentivise multi-sector and multi-disciplinary research in Climate Change related issues and especially to involve graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Climate Change research at LUMS. To this end, the project will commission a series of student-faculty collaborative research papers. The aim is to sponsor six or more working/research papers, covering a broad spectrum of research areas related to climate change in Pakistan. Faculty and students at this workshop were encouraged to relate their own research and expertise to climate change studies. A broad framework for undertaking research as part of this initiative was laid down and a first call for proposals issued. This call is meant to get students and faculty thinking about how their fields and interests could contribute to climate change studies, in particular to climate change adaptation. Details regarding funding for research and its scope were also discussed, which included direct tuition assistance for students, an honorarium for faculty, support for research expenditure, and the possibility of sponsorship for attending international trainings and conferences. Dr. Najam expressed his desire for graduate and advanced undergraduate students to take the lead on this and for faculty to engage with them as supervisors, and for both to be a part of our vision to build capacity for research at LUMS in all aspects of Climate Change.
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