Improving rural livelihoods in Pakistan

June 30, 2010 at 6:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Dr Michael Stigelbauex, Austrian Ambassador, pledged that support would continue

A meeting of scientists, development experts and policy makers in Pakistan discussed outputs from a major research-for-development project on integrated watershed development in the Chakwal area. The project, launched 3 years ago, is funded by the Government of Austria and implemented jointly by research and development agencies in Pakistan, ICARDA, BOKU University, Vienna, and other partners. It aims to develop, test and promote innovative, cost-effective ways to monitor and use water and land resources at the watershed scale.

The meeting, held in Islamabad during 15-17 June, reviewed the results from various technologies, factors influencing these results, and lessons learnt during project implementation. About 40 scientists attended. Dr Zafar Altaf, Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, strongly commended the project team, noting that lessons learnt from this project would be applied in new government-funded development projects. H.E. Dr Michael Stigelbauex, Ambassador of Austria, also assured the meeting that the Austrian government would continue to support similar efforts. Dr Theib Oweis, Director of ICARDA’s Integrated Water and Land Management Program, described how the project works: a community-led, integrated approach to watershed development, addressing the issues of water quantity and quality, wastewater, soil erosion, livelihoods, and capacity development. Dr Andreas Klik from BOKU University highlighted the need for long-term funding and government support for such projects.

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