and Phytodiversity Challenges and Opportunities,
January 15-18, 2016.
The 14th National Meeting of
Plant Scientists and 5th International Conference
of Botany (15-18 January, 2016) on the theme
"Climate Change and Phyto-diversity: Challenges
and Opportunities" was inaugurated at the
Shaikh Zayed Center, University of Karachi on
Friday 15th January. The conference was co-organized
by the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization
(ISHU), University of Karachi. Seven scientists
who are collaborating with ISHU came from Paris
(Dr. Miguel-Clusener Godt, Senior Program Officer
Chief, Ecological Science and Biodiversity Division
of Ecological and Earth Sciences MAB Program,
UNESCO Office in Paris), Ethiopia (Dr. Benno
Boer, Ecological Science Adviser Africa/Science
Specialist UNESCO, Ethopia,), Germany (Prof.
Han-Werner Koyro, Justus Liebig University,
Germany), China (Prof. Dr. Suomin Wang, Prof.
Dr. Jinlin Zhang, and Dr. Hui Huang, Lanzhou
University, China) and Qatar (Prof. Dr. Ajmal
Khan, Qatar University) also attended the conference.
highlighted the importance of dealing with the
threats of climate change by increasing awareness
through high quality research and teaching.
The scientists also visited ISHU, which is well
equipped with state of the art facilities and
trained researchers to promote research activities
on various aspects of salt tolerant plants from
gene to ecosystem. Some of the foreign delegates
showed interest in expanding their collaboration
in research activities with ISHU, University
Dr. Miguel Clusener Godt, deliberated
on the role of MAB Programs in 1) Protecting
the biosphere in various countries to foster
the sustainable use of natural resources, 2)
Contribute to building sustainable, healthy
and equitable societies, economies and thriving
human settlements in harmony within the biosphere,
3) Facilitate biodiversity and sustainability
science, education for sustainable development
and capacity building and to 4) Support mitigation
and adaptation to climate change and other aspects
of global environmental change.
Dr. Benno Boer, Ecological
Science Adviser, Africa/Science Specialist Ethiopia,
Unesco, indicated that global climate changes
have increased the amplitude and frequency of
extreme temperatures, melting glaciers, warming
of oceans, intense drought, storms and floods.
As a result, natural ecosystems and mankind
are suffering the consequences in various parts
of the world. Collaborative efforts at all levels
are desperately needed to minimize ecosystem
damages by using alternate sources of energy.
Prof. Dr. Hans
-W. Koyro in his keynote address stressed the
need to look into the effects of climate change
through a cross-disciplinary approach from the
ecosystem down to molecular level in order to
safeguard the global biodiversity loss.
At the end of
the inaugural ceremony, the Council of the Pakistan
Botanical Society presented the "Life Time
Achievement Award" to Distinguished National
Professor Dr. M. Ajmal Khan, S.I. for his significant
contributions to Botany during his illustrious
career. During the concluding ceremony, the
"Best Student Poster Award" was presented
to Ms. Hina Asrar by the international panel
of judges. This research was supervised by Prof.
Dr. Bilquees Gul and Dr. Tabassum Hussain.
The conference delegates also
appreciated the substantial contributions of
the ISHU faculty and students in making this
mega event a success.