Unsustainable management of natural resources hampers the development of humankind and contributes to the unequal distribution of economic welfare. Pollution, depletion of resources and disintegration of ecological functions are of global, regional and local concerns. The above situation has arisen due to a number of factors including high population growth rate, prevailing poverty, unplanned urban and industrial expansion, insufficient emphasis on environmental protection in the government policies, lack of public awareness and education and lack of institutional capacity and resources for effective environmental management. A number of serious environmental problems are inherent in Pakistan, which are of great ecological concern in terms of its sustainable economic future. These include soil erosion, pesticide misuse, deforestation, desertification, urban pollution, water-logging & salinity, freshwater pollution and marine water pollution, just to name a few. The major constraint to overcoming these problems, in-fact perhaps the main contributor to their intensity is the population growth and lack of public
awareness about important environmental issues creating unsustainable use and management of natural resources. Although Pakistan is primarily an agricultural country, the landscape is predominantly arid. Water, already a scarce commodity in most parts of the country, is now facing further shortages due to mismanagement of our natural resources. This shortage is hindering the country's potential to develop its agriculture base further. To prevent continued environmental degradation and the decline of human society, interactions between human and the environment have to be in harmony. This is achievable through an integrated, holistic approach encompassing education and research activities in natural sciences, socio-economic and political factors with technological, economic and socio-cultural interventions. Increasing awareness of environmental degradation is resulting in proliferation of environmental legislation throughout the world.
This drive towards greater environmental protection has created a demand for scientists skilled in assessing environmental resources and more importantly the problems associated with their exploitation. Environmental assessment may be required to evaluate the biological, physical or hydrological resources of any environment, and to place these resources within a wider geographical context. This scenario aggravated administration of University of Arid Agriculture to establish the Department of Environmental Sciences. The Department has offered postgraduate degree programmes in the filed of Environmental Sciences with a research focus on global warming & climate change, environmental pollution & degradation, heavy metal pollution and toxicology with respect to Pakistan.
Aims and Objectives
The degree programmes would provide a broad foundation of science-based skills, equipping students for careers in the full range of environmental professions, particularly in areas relating to environmental protection and management. Furthermore, curriculum for various degrees in Environmental Sciences has been developed according to the national and international requirements in order to train students for better environmental management understanding the inter-relationship between sustainable economic development and environmental protection.
A degree holder from this department would be able to understand contemporary issues in environmental management, knowledge of the interactions between processes operating in the physical environment and ecosystems, together with an awareness of the legislative and ethical frame work within which environmental scientists operate.