Generally speaking environmental issues are considered as cleanliness, planting trees, abating pollution etc., but in reality, the scope of environment is much beyond that. It encompasses the ecological, economic, social, cultural, political and commercial dimensions of consumptions and degradation of environmental resources and at the same time includes the technical, technological, legal, moral and ethical approaches to deal with such inter-sectoral issues at local and global level.
Technically speaking environment provides the essential life support services to the planet through dynamic interaction of its resources. The human interventions with the environmental resource dynamics for socio-economic development have created complex problems at local and global level. The knowledge to understand such problems and find different approaches to their solution has also developed. Hence, developing human resources capable of understanding the complex science of life support system is also of vital importance to make the development process environmentally sustainable. Therefore, the discipline of Environmental Science has come up as one of the emerging science in the new millennium and there is dire need to generate human resource in this emerging field of increasing significance to fulfill the market need.
Environment on the global agenda
Environmental protection and conservation along with alleviation of poverty and sustainable development remained high on the global agenda in UN conferences at Stockholm 1972, Rio 1992, New York 1997, Johannesburg 2002, Bali 2007 and recently Rio 2012. Environmental pollution, depletion of resources and disintegration of ecological functions are of global, regional and local concerns. To prevent continued environmental degradation and the decline of human society, interactions between human and the environment have to be in harmony. This is achievable through an integrated, holistic approach encompassing natural, social and management science with political support and technological, economic and social interventions. This will require qualified and trained human resource. We don’t have many of these kinds of people; and there is a dire need; and we anticipate that the academic programmes in environmental science at IIU will help to fulfil that national need.
The scope of environmental science
The scope of environmental science is increasing day by day with growing environmental concerns. In the public sector, the jobs have been created at federal, provincial and local government levels. In the Pakistan with the 18th constitutional amendments, the subject of environment has been devolved to provinces and provincial institutions have been setup. With the establishment of local bodies system, the opportunities for environmental graduates will further increase as most of the tasks related to environment have been mandated to local bodies. Currently, all provinces, AJK and Gilgat Baltistan have environmental institutions at district level. In the private sector, all multinational companies have jobs related to environment and now local companies are also hiring environmental graduates. There are opportunities in environmental consulting services, where consultancy services are well rewarded. The UN organizations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank have established environment sections. Non-governmental organizations in the development and conservation sectors are also hiring environmental graduates.
Environmental Science degree at IIU
The Department of Environmental Science was established in 2007 with the objective of imparting education on decision support science for sustainability of global system by recognizing environmental issues due to changes at local, regional and global levels and responding to such changes in economically feasible, socially acceptable and ecologically viable manners. Currently, the department offers BS, MS and PhD programmes in Environmental Science. The curriculum for these programmes focuses on all important aspects of natural, social and economic environment, covering contemporary problems of nature conservation, environmental quality, management and governance.
Although,16 years undergraduate level MSc degree programmes are being offered by some institutions with a multi-disciplinary approach of Environmental Science”s” but not as an interdisciplinary science as per HEC approved curriculum and. Most of the courses in such programmes are pollution-oriented instead of solution-oriented in their approach and are taught as isolated course from various disciplines of natural science.
From Fall 2015 semester the department will be launching a two years MSc programme in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management.
Our vision is to develop as an institute of learning in Pakistan on environment coupled with research and development activities to rediscover man’s relation with nature in the light of eco-Islamic view of the Quraan.
Our mission is to create a generation committed to promote change towards patterns of economic development that are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable through sustained efforts and implementation.
Our aim is to develop human resource capable of generating, disseminating and extending knowledge for sustainable development.
Our objectives are to equip public in general and decision makers of the future in particular with:
knowledge to support informed decision-making
skills to mitigate and measures to adapt impact of climate change; and
attitudes to live responsibly with a consumption pattern, which is ecologically viable, economically feasible and socially equitable.