Srinagar, June 9: World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year since 1973 for encouraging global awareness and action for the protection of the environment. In view of same, Faculty of Agriculture, Wadura SKUAST-K in collaboration with ICAR-World Bank-funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) organized online events in which more than 1700 scholars/students and scientists across the globe participated.
The Chief Guest of the program was Professor Nazeer Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K, who emphasized on conservation of local biodiversity and highlighted also the climate-friendly technologies developed by the University. He urged scientists to rethink how our economic systems have evolved and the impact it has put on the environment and evolve sustainable agricultural practices. He also urged the students/scientists to take time for nature and keep their campuses green and clean. Dean Agriculture, FoA, Wadura, Prof. A. H. Hakeem highlighted the role of nature and its cycles, which is sweet in its natural state. Dr Farhana, Citizen Naturalist and Public Policy Professional, Canada, in her webinar, emphasized the learning to live in harmony with nature like our forefathers were doing. She also introduced some of online Global Natural Clubs and gave motivation to students to form their own nature clubs and fulfil the responsibilities as citizens towards protecting nature. Dr Gabriela Bancila, Director of Applied Meteorology National Meteorological Administration (Romania) in her presentation said that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe and have serious consequences for society and ecosystems. Prof. Zahoor A Dar delivered a lecture on biodiversity conservation and informed the about biodiversity hotspots, levels, genetic diversity of flora and fauna, ecosystem diversity and measuring biodiversity. He also informed about the steps taken by the University for crop biodiversity conservation.
In addition to the webinars from the experts, some selected students namely Tawkeer-un-Nisa (2ndStd.), Aayat Parvaiz (6th std.), Hadeeqat Khalid (10th std.) from different schools and the undergraduate students of Faculty of Agriculture namely, Binat-ul-Mukhtar and Sheikh Abid expressed their views on conservation of biodiversity, climate change, land degradation and conversion. They also highlighted how the present lockdown has turned into a blessing in disguise for cleaning the environment.
Prof. Raihana Habib Kanth, while presenting the welcome address informed that one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, largely due to human activities. Vote of thanks was presented by Dr Sajad A Bhat, Assistant Students Welfare Officer, FoA, SKUAST-K.
In the end, all the participants pledged to take time for nature, keep their surroundings green and clean, conserve biodiversity and save natural resources. The webinar event was followed by online quiz competition coordinated by Prof. Raihana Habib Kanth, Chief Scientist, Agronomy SKUAST K and Dr Naveed Bhat IDP NAHEP SKUAST K in which 1751 students participated and e-certificates were issued to participants securing above 50 percent marks.