Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pakistan revamps climate change research centre

Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio in AlertNet: Pakistan’s government has boosted the funding of a state institution that researches the impacts of climate change, and granted it autonomy, in an effort to increase the quality of its recommendations on climate resilience for government policy and programmes.

The Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) will focus on research aimed at helping sectors such as water, agriculture, forestry and health become more resilient to climate change. The centre will collaborate with countries in South Asia, the Asia Pacific region and other developed nations to exchange scientific know-how, research and technology, said Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi, secretary of the federal Ministry of Climate Change.

Founded in 2002, GCISC has been administered by the federal Ministry of Science and Technology and more recently the Ministry of Climate Change. But inadequate financing caused administrative difficulties.

Now the centre is likely to receive an increase of 20 to 30 percent in its budget, which is currently 55 million Pakistani rupees ($560,000), said Arshad M. Khan, GCISC’s executive director. Abdul Waheed Jamali, head of SEARCH, a Pakistani nongovernmental organisation, said the reorganisation of GCISC was long overdue, and that a yawning gap remained to be plugged in climate change research in Pakistan...

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