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Islamabad

November 26, 2016

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Conference on water, energy and food security concludes

Conference on water, energy and food security concludes

Rawalpindi

A three-day International Conference on “Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on Water, Energy and Food Security for Poverty Alleviation in Dry land Regions” concluded at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), here on Friday.

The conference was organised by PMAS-AAUR in collaboration with UNESCO with the support of Japan Funds-in-Trust and Malaysia Funds-in-Trust, Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security & Research Mr. Rajab Ali Khan Balouch was the chief guest at the concluding session while PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Unesco Director Jakrta Dr. Shahbaz Khan, and UNESCO Director Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen, participants, faculty members and students were also present.

Chief guest Rajab Ali Khan Balouch, in his address said government has initiated several development projects in the country to reduce poverty in the region and to improve socio-economic condition of farming community. He said that keeping in view the future needs present government top priority is to overcome energy, water and food security. Highlighting the importance of water availability, he said development of water reservoirs and dams are the first priority of the government and in next year construction work on Diamir Basha will be started. He was of the view that academia has to play its due role by creating awareness among the new generation regarding importance of energy and water. He appreciated the efforts of organizers for arranging this conference and hoped that such event should also be held in future as well.

PMAS-AAUR, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad said that there is dire need to improve water use efficiency and energy inputs on sustainable basis for substantial increase in food production. He hoped that participants in this dialogue will come up the such recommendations that will be effective to ensure water, energy and food security.

Several recommendations were presented for the government, research institutions, academia, industry as well as common man to achieve the objective of ensuring the water, energy and food security for poverty alleviation and improved livelihood in dryland regions in Asia and the Pacific region.

They agreed that the implementation of Agenda 2030 cannot be achieved without a very strong political commitment and coordinated and synergetic planned actions from all major sectors: energy, food, water and disaster. They stressed to take an integrative approach of disaster management with a multi-disaster approach for instance considering flood and drought management jointly.

They urged that academia have to play a major role in analysis and recommending good practices and mechanism put in place by local, national and regional champions to trigger long term sustainable development pathways. 

They suggested that by adjusting the mix of farming system types and the practices used in them at the landscape level to address major regional problems such as water overdraft and environmental contamination.

Water is essential to strategic sectors such as energy, food and long-term water security is only possible through efficient water management and planning needs to be supported by integrative, nexus approach based socially inclusive water policies and governance. 

They strongly agreed that “Agriculture and Food Security Policy” announced by the present government in Vision 2025 must be implemented in letter and spirit and continuous education of farmers through mass media, short courses, and exchange programmes among other South Asian states should be initiated.

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