Environmental economics: ‘Disconnect between policy, research should be removed’

Participants of workshop urged to focus on issues with a policy lens.

Our Correspondent September 18, 2012


Environment has become a national emergency and a non-traditional security threat. This enhances the need for research to cope with the challenges of environmental degradation, climate change and recurrent disasters.

This was the conclusion reached by participants, on Monday, at a research writing workshop held on “Environmental and Natural Resource Economics”. The event was jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Nepal.

Some 15 researchers from local universities were trained in research in environmental economics by international experts during the four-day workshop. Participants’ proposals submitted to SANDEE would be considered for grants to pursue environmental projects across the country. Experts also delivered policy lectures that highlighted political economy of climate change reforms in the country.  SANDEE Director Priya Shaymsundar said, “There was a need to invent local solutions to adapt to climate changes.”

Talking of building capacities in research, she said, SANDEE is providing grants to young university researchers for working on new and innovative research projects in environmental economics.

Speaking at the concluding session, SDPI Economic Growth Unit Head Dr Vaqar Ahmed pointed out the disconnect between policy and research and said, the academia is producing research which is socially irrelevant. “Researchers must focus on issues with a policy lens and introduce interventions that are local, innovative and sustainable,” he added.

He also emphasised greater institutional response to climate change which he said has become a national security threat for Pakistan. “We need to introduce better governance, effective implementation of polices,” he added.

SDPI Senior Adviser Brig. (retd) Muhammad Yasin distributed certificates among participants.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012. 


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