KU Climate-Action Ideathon urges adoption of preventive measures to avoid more damages

Climate change–a global crisis–is one of the most defining challenges of our time, that demands urgent and innovative solutions. To address the alarming conditions, we have to reaffirm our commitment to sustainable development goals to tackle issues like global warming, drought, floods, and natural disasters occurring due to climate change worldwide.

We should not ignore the rapid weather intensity, extreme heat waves, storms and floods, and all the events related to climate change as it is not only a matter of our survival but it is also very important for our future generations.

We still lacking in the adoption of practical measures to minimize climate change and all relevant authorities around the world should make sure that they have designed proper preventive measures to avoid the world from more damage.

These views were expressed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi while addressing the concluding session of a two-day long Climate-Action Ideathon organized by the KU Department of Computer Science at the Chinese Teacher Memorial Auditorium.

He observed that most parts of the world are still not taking serious measures against climate change and we can see a contradiction between their words and actions.

He informed the audience that Pakistan’s share in global carbon emissions is less than one percent but we are on the target of climate change disasters. Everyone has to play their part to avoid the harmful effects of climate change. Protecting species from the detrimental effects of climate change is also our responsibility.

The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi mentioned that climate change is a multifaceted problem and requires a multidisciplinary approach. This is not just an environmental science or policy issue. It is a challenge that requires the involvement of experts from different fields like engineering, economics, sociology, and most importantly computer science.

According to him, data scientists, with the use of data-driven decisions, can help in making reliable solutions. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming industries and hopefully, they can also provide better results in this regard as well.

Earlier, the Special Secretary to DG Local Government Abu Bakar Madni said that climate change is a global problem that calls for local action and global cooperation. As we engage in this Ideathon, we must remember that every idea, no matter how small, has the potential to create an impact that can lead to significant positive change. The algorithms we design, the software we develop, and the systems we create can all contribute to a larger, global effort against climate change.

Another speaker, the Director of Operations Sindh Disaster Management Authority, Imdad Hussain Siddiqui, shared that he has witnessed firsthand and devastating impacts of climate change, and added that from unprecedented floods to severe droughts, our province has faced numerous challenges that demand urgent and effective solutions.

He said that we are at a critical juncture where the need for innovative solutions is more urgent than ever. Climate change is a reality that affects every aspect of our lives. It impacts our ecosystems, our economies, and our communities.

The KU Dean of Faculty of Science Professor Dr Musarrat Jahan Yousuf said that climate action is not just an environmental issue but a global challenge that affects every aspect of our lives. She asked the audience to imagine a world with clean air, fertile land, and an atmosphere, adding that this dream can only be achieved through specific climate action.

She mentioned that it should be our mission that future generations inherit a land where they can thrive. By prioritizing climate action, we are not only saving our planet, but also promoting social equity, equality, economic growth, and global stability.

Another speaker, Professor Dr Tariq Rahim Soomro, said that as an educationist, researcher, and computer scientist, he believes that climate change is an issue that transcends borders and disciplines, demanding a multifaceted approach and collaborative effort.

He mentioned the role of computer science and information technology cannot be overstated. These fields offer powerful tools and methodologies that can significantly enhance our understanding and response to environmental challenges.

The President of the Citizen Educational and Empowerment Society Professor Dr M. Ali Shaikh shared that education and technology can play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future and added that we need to develop solutions that can mitigate the impacts of climate change and pave the way for a greener, more sustainable planet. He said that climate change is a global issue that demands local action and global collaboration.

A speaker, Engineer Wasim Nazir said that the issue of climate change is no longer a distant concern. It is an urgent reality that demands our collective and solidified actions. Oceans cover over 70 percent of our planet’s surface and are critical to ecosystems, climate regulation, and human livelihoods, are also contaminated due to human ignorance and they could be rectified with effective irrigation and water management systems.

The KU Chairman of the Department of Computer Science Dr Sadiq Ali Khan said that we would face dire consequences if necessary actions are not taken immediately at a global scale. He mentioned that during the two-day activity, 40 teams from 10 different universities presented different ideas to combat climate change and judges picked the winners among them and cash prizes were awarded to the first, second, and third position winners in the competition.

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