International Workshop on Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges successfully concluded in Turkey

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ISLAMABAD:  (PR)   The International Workshop titled ‘Learning about Sustainability,
SDGs and Global Challenges’ successfully concluded in Gebze, Turkey.
The three-day event, which was jointly organized by the Commission on
Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South
(COMSATS); The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS); and the Scientific
and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), was attended
by 35 scientists belonging to Algeria, Botswana, Bangladesh, Benin,
Burkina Faso, Congo, Italy, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, South
Africa, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey and Uganda. The
major sponsor of the event was the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

The event comprised four sessions covering various topics
pertaining to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Each
session included a plenary presentation by a resource person, followed by
discussions in breakout sessions as well as presentation of
recommendations by the groups of participants. The plenary presentations
were made by Dr. Max Paoli (TWAS, Italy) on ‘sustainable development,
SDGs, planetary boundaries’; Prof. Boudjéma Samraoui (University of
Annaba, Algeria) on ‘biodiversity and the 6th mass extinction’; Prof. Fehmi
Akgün (TUBITAK Energy Institute, Turkey) on ‘the energy challenge: fossil
fuel dependency and the future’; and Prof. Pauline Dube (University of

Botswana, Botswana) on ‘greenhouse effect, climate change, future
consequences. These presentations provided backdrop for meaningful
discussions and deliberations on the topics of education for sustainable
development, ecosystems and development, the future of energy and
demands of development, and climate catastrophe and the role of
individuals.

The brainstorming sessions enabled the participants to chalk-out
recommendations in order to address the socio-economic challenges in
their countries/regions. In order to tackle food insecurity linked to climate
change, the participants recommended research and development on
crops that are salinity-resistant, temperature-resistant and use less water,
use of hydro-retentive fertilizers such as polyter, and even changes in diet
(considering crops that consume less resources and time). For averting
floods and droughts, the participants recommended the construction of
dams, afforestation, construction of drainage systems and channels, etc.
For reducing carbon emissions, they recommended the use of biomass
fuel, biogas, pyrolysis, solar PV, wind energy, geothermal energy,
hydroelectricity, ocean energy, etc. as well as identified applications of
these energy sources in different sectors. In order to reduce biodiversity
loss, the participants recommended limiting the use of pesticides,
preserving forests, proper waste management systems, and stopping the
misuse of antibiotics and other drugs.