03:00pm to 05:00pm
SDPI conference hall, 4th floor, Taimoor Chambers, Fazal-ul-Haq Road, Blue Area, Islamabad
In line with the objectives, SDPI often organises roundtable discussions, seminars, and conferences where researchers and policy makers are facilitated to exchange ideas and benefit from each other’s experiences. One of the key subjects for such activities is climate change and environmental protection.
Having serious implications on health and agriculture in South Asia, air pollution has become a serious threat that required urgent attention. In Pakistan, especially in the Punjab province, air quality has been rated hazardous for human health and agricultural produce. This year again the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Lahore has reached 550, crossing the hazardous level of air quality threshold limit by a significant margin, which raised alarm bells.
Major contributing factors for deteriorating air quality in Pakistan include vehicular pollution with very poor fuel quality along with lack of pollution control technologies, industrial pollution, burning of municipal and even industrial waste and uncontrolled emissions from brick kilns which again use dirty fuel such as rubber tyres. Moreover, air pollution gets worse during autumn, as can be witnessed in the shape of Lahore smog, due to crop stubble burning which occurs in India as well as Pakistan. Experts say that persistent exposure to air pollution can result in severe health issues, including asthma, lungs damage, bronchial infections and heart problems, which can shorten life expectancy and put at risk people’s right to life and a healthy environment. Air pollution’s negative effect on health and agriculture in turn affects economy, which is also a grave concern for the South Asian countries.
In the backdrop of Sustainable Development Goals: 3, 13 & 15 which deal with Good Health, Climate Action and Life on Land SDPI is organizing a seminar titled: “Combating air pollution for improved public health, agriculture and economy: Time to act now” with the purpose to highlight the gravity and scale of air pollution issue and to explore effective avenues to help mitigate the problem.
Welcome Remarks: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI
Moderated by: Dr Hina Aslam, Associate Research Fellow and Head of China Study Center, SDPI
Guest of Honour: Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change
· Dr. Imran Khalid, Research Fellow and Heads the Environment & Climate Change Department, SDPI
· Mr. Asif Shuja Khan, Former Director General, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA)
· Dr. Tayyab Razi Rathore, Disease Surveillance Coordinator, National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad
· Dr. Hafeez Memon, Director (MCH), Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Islamabad
· Ms. Adeela Khan, Anthropologist