Introduction: Climate Change Research and Pakistan
Although Pakistan emits less than 1 percent of the global emissions of green house gases but has suffered immensely due to climate change. Even future projections tell us of increasingly dire consequences for Pakistan.
It is not fair that Pakistan has to bear the brunt of climate change and as unjust it may be not receiving climate change reparations and justice. Yet, Pakistan does not seem to be ready to tackle this inevitable change and what it brings for us. To combat the looming threat of disasters brought on by climate change we need to prepare ourselves, change our policies, implement new procedures, strengthen our infrastructure and most importantly have sufficient research done on the various aspects climate change can impact us on.
Importance of Quality Research on Climate Change
It is not a secret that the general population or even the government has the least amount of concerns and awareness about the environment and climate change. And only now, after the recent floods have some officials as well as people become more vocal about it.
So, it comes as no surprise that there is a lack of quality research in this field as of right now because a lot of the researchers do not have sufficient data to use in the first place and usually have to make do with whatever is already available on the internet and global data records. It is crucial that officials and concerned departments make it their priority to collect the relevant data- meteorological, geological and the like in order to improve our research and be prepared for any disaster.
Reasons for Lack of Quality Research in Pakistan:
- Lack of Data: There are very few resources from where we can obtain the relevant data for each city or province of Pakistan and most of them remain incomplete. This is only to our detriment and no one else’s as this lack of data collection of air, water and geography, landscape etc. is the reason why researchers have such a hard time actually getting any thing done much less make a breakthrough. Moreover there aren’t sufficient data sources or academic journals that can be used.
- Lack of Awareness among people: Although this isn’t the direct or even the main reason why we do not have good quality research in Pakistan, yet it plays a significant role as our culture tends to discourage critical and independent thinking. Matters of the environment and related to it are not considered to be important enough and therefore people do not want to pursue research in such fields. It is getting slightly better now but we have already fallen behind.
- Lack of facilities: Proper research can be done only when there are proper standardized facilities and abundant equipment. It is unfortunate that many universities across Pakistan are lacking in this and hence the result of their researches is just a near approximation of collection of data records obtained from Google and other global data sources that may not be as accurate.
- Lack of Funding: Good research requires a lot of funding. Unfortunately again, the government has failed to emphasize the importance of research by restricting funds and the result is lowered standards of research in Pakistan.
- Lack of Interest: Students in universities are not taught the importance of research and what it could mean for the future of the country and generally their own self. Many students do not want to pursue research mainly because of the lack of quality equipment, facilities and a tendency to be spoon-fed everything they need in order to graduate smoothly and obtain their degree without any bumps. Partially the academic system and environment is to be blamed for their disinterest and partially the academic atmosphere where grades are determined by how well their memory can serve them on exams to get the perfect GPA.
Why do we need research and what are the impacts of there being a lack of it?
Good quality research is imperative for a nation to make progress. After all, mankind has not made this far just by luck or survival of the fittest, in fact, these things were fueled by a thirst for knowledge and to innovate.
Our socio-economic sectors, political and entire life styles are hinged on proper research more than anyone realizes because only when we have the right knowledge, the right information, can we provide a reason and incentive for our policy makers and government to take the right decisions, develop proper infrastructure and implement those policies to help us combat the effects of climate change.
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