ISLAMABAD, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The China-Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Sciences (CPJRC), a high-level scientific and technological innovation platform between the two countries, has been inaugurated here at Quaid-i-Azam University, aimed at promoting sci-tech cooperation against climate-induced disasters and on talent cultivation.
The CPJRC inaugurated on Wednesday will act as a national platform for China-Pakistan science and education cooperation, covering research areas including tectonics, environment, ecology, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development.
Talking to Xinhua about the research center, Shahid Iqbal, an assistant professor at Earth Sciences Department of Quaid-i-Azam University said that a campus building is planned to be built for the center to use, and currently, the university has assigned a building for its operation.
He added that the center is committed to making recommendations on the mitigation of climate change impacts and sustainable development initiatives for the economic development of Pakistan.
"It is also a very good opportunity for academia in Pakistan and young students who will have access to the modern research in the fields of earth sciences of China," he added.
To mark the inauguration of the center, an event was held in the university's earth sciences department gathering a large number of students, and Chinese and Pakistani academics, and officials.
Speaking at the event, Pakistan's caretaker Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Kausar Abdullah Malik, said the climate-induced food security challenge is a big concern for Pakistan, and the center represents a great hope.
He said China has a very resilient agricultural system and possesses the technology and research capability to address challenges posed by excessive rains, drought, and other climatic conditions, so the transfer of research through the center will help Pakistan learn from China and adopt its methods.
Implementing sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices is crucial to mitigating the impact of climate change on food security and ensuring the long-term sustainability of agriculture, he said, adding the center will be highly beneficial in this endeavor.
Speaking at the event, Mukhtar Ahmed, chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) said that in 2018, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the HEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote construction of the center, with strong support from the leadership of both countries.
Regarding Pakistan-China relations, he said whenever Pakistan faces problems, China is always there to offer support, adding, "We extend our warm regards to the people and government of China, as well as the academic community, for their continuous support as the center is another example of the great support."
In his remarks, CPJRC Director-General Cui Peng said the center will also study and evaluate impacts from geo-hazards and climate change to the area of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the local sustainable development.
"The CPEC suffers from frequent natural hazards, fragile environment and ecosystem, and multiple limited factors for social-economic development, affecting the local resilience and sustainable development. Solving such challenges through research, supporting sustainable development of the CPEC, is the joint goal of scientists from both countries," he added.
Launched in 2013, the CPEC under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar port with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, highlighting energy, transport, and industrial cooperation.
In his address, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong noted that the CPEC is a key factor in promoting an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era and the bilateral all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, adding that advancing technical innovation and green, sustainable development is in the benefit of the two countries and peoples. ■