First Ph. D. completed in Plant Biodiversity and Conservation
By Gul Hamad Farooqi
PESHAWAR: University of Peshawar, KP Government, Higher Education Commission Islamabad jointly launched a mega project at Azakhel Nowshera to establish Centre of Plant Biodiversity and a Botanical Garden spreading over 83 acres of land in 2005 for human resource development at higher level in Biodiversity Conservation as per commitment of GOP regarding National Biodiversity Conservation Issues reflected in CBD, PCS, N-BAP and MDG.
Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad the first Ph.D. from this Centre in Plant Biodiversity and Conservation defended his dissertation on Mushrooms of Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Abdur Rashid UOP and Prof. Dr. Abdu Nasir Khalid The Punjab University were his supervisor and co supervisor respectively. Prof. Dr Zaheer ud Din Khan GC University Lahore, Prof. Dr Mary E. Barkworth, Prof. Dr. Brade Utah State University Logan USA and Prof. Dr. Pfizer Harvard University USA were the reviewers of his dissertation. Prof. Dr Zaheer ud Din Khan GC University Lahore acted as External and Prof. Dr. Abdur Rashid as Internal Examiners. The public defense was held in the Video Conference Hall University of Peshawar. The proceedings were conducted on line. A large number of participants from eight Universities including faculty members and researchers belonging to University of Peshawar, Islamia College University Peshawar, College University Lahore and The Punjab University Lahore including KP Government Colleges participated. Everybody was keen to listen the scholar.
Prof. Dr. Abdur Rashid the Pioneer Director elaborated the background of the entire history spreading over 10 years and acknowledged the KP Government, HEC, UOP for day and night untiring efforts to transform into the present day Centre of Plant Biodiversity and Botanical Garden at Azakhel. He congratulated Dr. Inshtiaq Ahmad for his successful completion of his Ph. D. in the Plant Biodiversity and Conservation. Usually 10.5 million is spent over one Ph. D. training abroad while UOP trains such Ph. D. graduates in less amount and saving a huge amount to the national ex checker. Similarly another Ph. D. Scholar Mr. Abdur Razzaq of the same Centre is now a days in California University USA for 6 months as a part of training and soon will complete his Ph. D. in near future. He termed the Centre to be blessing for the entire region including Afghanistan where the youth will get training in Biodiversity Conservation at their door steps with very low expenditures.
Prof. Dr. Zaheer u Din Khan GC University Lahore in his concluding address highlighted the significance of human resource development in the field of Mycology, food security and poverty alleviation through Mushroom Technology. He appreciated the University of Peshawar for persuading the concerned stakeholders at Provincial and Federal levels. He further put forward the Government certain suggestions.
The Governor and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are requested to patronize the University of Peshawar Botanical Garden as National Botanical Garden as the largest Botanical Garden in the region and allocate funds in Annual Development Program (ADP) of the annual budget of the province.
The Chief Minister is requested to immediately open the Botanical Garden for Students, Researchers and General Public Visitors.
Further it is pertinent to request the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government to establish Biodiversity Directorate at Provincial level to regulate and coordinate all different activities related to Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resources as per National and UN commitments for the sustainable development.
Federal Government is requested to extend full financial support to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government to allocate additional funds in NFC award for maintenance of Mountain Ecosystem which fall majority of them in the jurisdiction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
We acknowledge contributions of all stake holders for the establishment of Globally Recognized Botanical Garden during the last decade and request them to help further to continue its services as world contributor in safe guarding the Natural Resources, Biodiversity Conservation and Biodiversity Resilience in the region.
Prof. Dr. Khan Bahader Marwat Vice Chancellor Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Shiringle Dir in his concluding address stressed upon the government for support of the efforts for Biodiversity Conservation. He mentioned that Wetland Biodiversity is neglected and needs to be included in the KP Green Growth Initiative Program and Green Pakistan Project.