On 18 March, 2021, China-Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Science (CPJRC) successfully convened "China-Pakistan High-level Webinar on Earth Science Cooperation" with the theme of Sustainable Development of CPEC: Vision for China-Pakistan Science and Technology Cooperation in Earth Sciences. The Webinar adopted a combination of online and on-sight modalities, with one on-sight venue in Beijing, China and the other in Islamabad, Pakistan. Professor CUI Peng, Academician of CAS, Researcher Fellow of the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMDE), CAS and Director-General of CPJRC, served as co-chairs with Professor Asif Khan, Fellow of PAS and Foreign Academician of CAS, The Opening Ceremony of the Webinar was presided over by Professor Qasim Jan, Immediate Past President of PAS, and participated by dignitaries of relevant governmental departments, scientists and students of both China and Pakistan.
Prof. ZHANG Yaping, Vice President of CAS, expressed his hope that the scientists of both China and Pakistan work together to address the important and urgent scientific issues in Pakistan under the platform of CPJRC and better serve CPEC construction and development. He said: “Today’s webinar and the thematic workshops to be held later this year are timely and very important to the development of CPJRC. I hope scientists and experts from both countries will take this opportunity to further exchange ideas and share your wisdom on the sustainable development of CPEC. The discussion will help CPJRC to identify areas of priority for our cooperation in earth sciences in the future.”
Mr. NONG Rong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, expressed his congratulations on the opening of the Webinar and the achievements of CPJRC since its establishment. The event added luster to the celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. He also hoped that CPJRC would play a more important role in supporting CPEC which has entered a new stage of quality development.
Mr. RUAN Xiangping, Senior Counsel, Department of International Cooperation of MOST, pointed out that MOST had included the construction of CPJRC as a key cooperation project under the framework of the Joint Scientific and Technological Working Group of CPEC Joint Committee. He hoped that the Webinar would bring the scientists of both countries into a consensus on the most important scientific issues and key challenges to be faced in the course of CPEC construction.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman of HEC, praised CPJRC as a model of international scientific and technological cooperation and held that CPJRC had an important mandate of protecting the investment of CPEC and its uninterrupted connectivity through focused research in ecology, geo-sciences and natural hazards. It will open new pathways for applied research in solving CPEC-related problems. He committed that HEC would fully support the progress of CPJRC.
Dr. Arshad Mahmood, Secretary for MOST, Pakistan, took CPEC as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which can not only connect our two countries, but also change the destiny of the region. He pointed out that earth sciences would form the basis for mineral and industrial development of Pakistan. He also promised that Most would be fully committed to make CPJRC a successful venture.
Prof. Muhammad Ali, Vice-Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), spoke highly of the Webinar which marks the start of high-level collaboration in the field of research and scientific cooperation between Pakistan and China. He warmly welcomed CPJRC to be constructed in the campus of QAU and hoped that the scientists of both countries would strengthen cooperation for the development of CPJRC.
The second part of the webinar focused on academic exchange. As many as 9 experts of earth sciences were invited from both China and Pakistan to make presentations. Prof. CUI Peng briefly recalled the history of bilateral cooperation in the field of earth sciences, summarized the achievements made by CPJRC and its support to the sustainable development of CPEC, and put forward the vision of CPJRC. The other Chinese speakers included Prof. CHEN Fahu, Director-General, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of CAS, Prof. DING Lin, Deputy Director-General, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of CAS, Prof. LIN Jian, Deputy Director-General, South China Sea institute of Oceanology of CAS and Prof. SHEN Lei, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of CAS, presented their papers separately covering the topics from glacial, hydrology, ocean sciences, climate change and green development to progress, prospects and challenges in the collaboration between China and Pakistan.
The four speakers from Pakistan included Professor Asif Khan, Fellow of both PAS and CAS, and HEC Distinguished National Professor for Earth Sciences, Univ. of Peshawar, Dr. Rehanul Haq Siddiqui, Chairman, Board of Directors, Saindak Metals Limited, Dr. Nadeem Ahmad, Senior Advisor, Exploration & New Business, United Energy Pakistan and Dr. Shaukat Ali, Senior Scientific Officer, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, Islamabad, made their presentations on spectrum of earth sciences research in Pakistan, metallogeny and mineral potential of Pakistan, placement of oil and gas, and climate change in Pakistan.
These presentations have strengthened the academic exchange between the scientists of both China and Pakistan, which will undoubtedly lay a solid foundation for the future scientific research plan of CPJRC.
This high-level webinar is the first important scientific forum held by CPJRC which will continue to organize another 4 thematic seminars in the next few months to further enhance mutual understanding between the scientists of both sides and continuously improve scientific research plans in various fields.
Group photo of Chinese participants in Beijing venue (Imaged by CPJRC).
Prof. SU Lijun, Deputy Director-General, CPJRC & Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS (Imaged by CPJRC).
Prof. CUI Peng, Fellows of both CAS and PAS, Director of CPJRC (China side) (Imaged by CPJRC).
Prof. Chen Fahu, Fellow of CAS and Director of Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS ( top left); Prof. Ding Lin, Fellow of CAS. Director of Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS ( top right); Prof. Lin Jian, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS (bottom left); Prof. Shen Lei, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS (bottom right) (Imaged by CPJRC).