Reconstruction – Step by step towards the environment, sustainability and ecosystem services ”
Ganderbal: Department of Botany, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) hosted an online guest lecture on “Rethinking Rebuilding-Stepping Towards Environment, Sustainability & Ecosystem Services” by Professor Mohammad Latif Khan, Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya.
In his presidential address, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir welcomed the speaker and stressed the importance of educating the young minds of J&K on the loss of biodiversity in the Himalayas of Cashmere.
In his special address, the Clerk, Prof M Afzal Zargar, underlined the importance of the conference with regard to current ecological issues such as the plundering of natural resources, ecological imbalances, climate change, forest fires, floods, etc. He stressed the importance of teachers in educating young people to educate future generations.
In his lecture, Professor M Latif Khan highlighted various environmental challenges and the need to recreate links with nature to mitigate and reverse the same for a better and sustainable future. “A healthy ecosystem leads to better health for the human population.” He deliberated on the current shortage of coal in Delhi due to “over-exploitation and subsequent consequences in the near future”. He said there is an alarming rate of deforestation. “About 80 percent of the world’s forest cover has been lost at the rate of 375 km2 / day. About 5 to 10 percent of species are lost within a decade. With the current rate of deforestation, 60% of the forest cover will disappear from the surface of planet Earth, ”he said. He spoke of the “damage” caused by the construction of roads in the Himalayas and the need to rethink and reverse the trend to protect biodiversity. In addition, the increasing incidence of forest fires and its devastating consequences on the ecosystem were also explained in detail by the speaker. He said that “every species has the right to live on earth” in a healthy biosphere, adding that land use change is the main cause of communicable and other diseases in ecosystems. Prof ML Khan shared many success stories of restoration ecology in the northeastern states and highlighted the need for such approaches to protect damaged ecosystems in the Kashmir Himalayas.
The Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Professor Muhammad Yousuf, in his special remarks spoke about his involvement in the Jabalpur forests of Sal & Teak in MP for 10 years. He asked Professor ML Khan to work on the Chhattisgarh ecotone.
Professor Azra N. Kamili (moderator), Nodal Person, Department of Botany, introduced Professor M Latif Khan by highlighting his academic achievements. Dr. Abid Hamid Dar, director of the scientific campus (co-organizer) delivered a welcome speech for all the dignitaries and participants.
Dr. Rafiq Lone, Organizing Secretary, underlined the importance of organizing the conference given the importance of biodiversity in the era of climate change and also led the conference discussions. Dr Shaiesta Shah presented the vote of thanks and Dr Sajad Ahmad Lone was the rapporteur.