OIC body, HEC arrange science workshop

Islamabad, July 01, 2008: Organisation of the Islamic Conference Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation COMSTECH, in collaboration with Higher Education Commission of Pakistan arranged two workshops for participants from the OIC member states.

A joint inaugural session of the workshop was held here on Monday. The session was presided over by Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, COMSTECH Coordinator General and Chairman Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

Addressing the multi-cultural gathering, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, stressed the need for strong intellectual property regime for progress in the technology and termed private sector research and development projects crucial for real advancement on the technology front. He apprised the scientific community of importance of foresight in the technology and disclosed that only one country, Turkey, among the Muslim nations has done technology foresight exercises, which have resulted in revolutionary changes for Turkish development sectors.

He said Pakistan needs such exercises to cope up with future changes in science and technology trends.

Atta-ur-Rahman opined that political will is must for creating a suitable environment for the application of science and technology towards development.

He advocated for increase in R&D spending. "We need to develop our own science and technology infrastructure as lack of ingenious capabilities causes wastage of resources", he added. While speaking on the importance of technology foresight Dr STK Naim COMSTECH Consultant said' "Foresight is an activity used for longer term planning and a systematic means of assessing scientific and technological developments which could have strong impact on industrial competitiveness, wealth creation and quality of life".

Speaking on the theme of another workshop arranged simultaneously on "Climate Change: Adaptation Challenges in OIC Courtiers", Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said, "Climate change is huge looming disaster. We need to realise the potential threats this may bring along.

The threat is real and is already happening across our urban centres, coastlines, deltas and valleys, from Morocco and Egypt to Nigeria and Sudan to Pakistan and Indonesia.This challenge confronting the contemporary world calls for immediate reflection and action.

If global carbon levels continue to increase, the earth's climate will become unmanageable and intolerable, with frequent natural disasters, loss of lives and livelihoods, and conflicts over depleting resources that might erupt out of control".

Dr Anwar Nasim, COMSTECH Advisor Science gave a detailed introduction on the climate change workshop and said it will contribute towards proper planning to tackle the issue across OIC region.

The workshops will continue for about two weeks and are being attended by policy-makers, public and private sector professionals, activists and researchers from OIC member states. The courses and training are being administered by renowned national and international faculty. Researchers and policy-makers from Indonesia , Algeria , Oman , Yemen , Morocco , Bangladesh , Nigeria and Pakistan were present during the inaugural ceremony.

Report BY: Ameen Amjad, Public Relations Manager, COMSTECH Secretariat / The Nation

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