Global scientists meet to save int’l deltas

ISLAMABAD, Sep 23 (APP): Scientists from deltas of the world shared the scientific perspective of deltas in the UN Convention for Conserving River Deltas (UNCCRD) science meeting presided by Professor of Public Policy, Community Development & Applied Economics, University of Vermont, USA, Dr Asim Zia.
Indus Delta was represented by Dr. Altaf Siyal, a distinguished Professor at Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, who shed light on the pressing concerns plaguing the Indus Delta, a vital ecological region in South Asia. Dr. Siyal’s presentation elucidated the multifaceted challenges that have led to the degradation of this critical ecosystem, a news release said.
Dr. Siyal emphasized several key factors that contributed to the Indus Delta’s destruction, underscoring the need for immediate attention and concerted efforts to address these issues, which included diminishing river flows, reduced sediment supply, seawater intrusion, sea level rise, shrinking active Indus Delta, land subsidence, coastal erosion, and wave action and storm surges.
He talked about pollution from industrial waste, water scarcity, soil salinity, environmental and ecological degradation, and degradation of freshwater acquirers with resultant economic impacts of the annual loss of about $2 billion due to Indus delta degradation.
Dr. Siyal made a compelling argument that the degradation and shrinking of the Indus Delta have intensified due to the diversion of Indus River flows through the construction of hydraulic structures, calling for a reevaluation of these practices.
He proposed an integrated approach for the revival of the Indus Delta, emphasizing the importance of leveraging indigenous knowledge and skills in this endeavour. He stressed the need for sustainable development and conservation strategies that engage local communities and respect the ecosystem’s delicate balance.
Scholars from various other deltas participated were: Dr Kevin Xu, Director Coastal Studies Institute Louisiana State University; Dr Tan Sinh Bach; Dr Godi Godar; Dr. Ho Hua Loc and Dr Diana Rice provided scientific assessments of global deltas while in closing comprehensive synthesis with next steps and actions were presented by Dr. Emma.
The issues highlighted by all speakers underscored the urgency of addressing the environmental challenges facing global Deltas and considered it imperative that governments, researchers, environmental organizations, and communities collaborate to ensure the preservation and revitalization of the global vital ecosystem for future generations.
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