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CPEC natural museum, laboratory for earth sciences: CPJRC

“What we are doing with Pakistani scientists is aiming to ensure the security and efficiency of CPEC projects construction,” Prof Cui Peng.

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Since the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), located at the tectonic junction of the Western Himalayas, is a natural museum and laboratory for earth sciences, the research on geological conditions of the region is crucial for the construction of its projects.

“What we are doing with Pakistani scientists is aiming to ensure the security and efficiency of CPEC projects construction,” Prof Cui Peng, the Director of China-Pakistan Joint Research Centre on Earth Sciences (CPJRC), said on Thursday.

Cui said the research on earth science could support CPEC projects and local people’s well-being in four respects: providing solutions for adverse engineering and technical conditions; early warning of natural hazards; efficient utilization of mineral, marine, solar, and other natural resources; sustainable development and tackling climate change.

Read more: CPEC: A road towards multiculturalism?

“Pak-China academic cooperation in earth sciences is not an impractical project and far from daily life. Actually, it’s closely related to people’s well-being and economic development of the two countries,” Prof Su Lijun, Deputy Director-General of CPJRC, said in an interview.

Su also cited a case of landslide on Karakoram Highway in 2010. The landslide blocked 25 kilometres of the main road and the people had to cross a dammed lake with a height of 118 meters by boat. In order to cope with the dilemma, scientists of CPJRC designed an advanced plan which was reckoned as impossible to implement.

Finally, thanks to the plan, the landslide and dammed lake were dredged meanwhile saving $200 million as engineering cost. Furthermore, that place has turned into a scenic spot with a beautiful lake now.

Su believed that in addition to its contribution to the construction of infrastructure projects for the people’s livelihood, earth science also played a role in poverty alleviation.

He said geoscience could be integrated with regional poverty alleviation, which was what China was doing, and the same could be done in Pakistan.

“There are two factors that lead to poverty, disease and disaster. Poverty due to disease is familial, poverty caused by the disaster is regional and can be alleviated through our efforts.”

Up to now, CPJRC headquarter (approximately 50 acres) located on the QAU campus is preparing to construct. In addition, CPJRC is cultivating a batch of earth science talents and will enroll more Pakistani scholars to work in this field.

Meanwhile, the information system and sharing platform of CPEC has been designed and its prototype has been constructed, integrating the current data resources.

Read more: CPEC Authority Chairman Gen. Asim Bajwa explains challenges ahead

According to the 2021 plan of CPJRC, Su said, they would focus on; Deep Lithosphere Interaction from ocean subduction to continental; Climate Change and Environmental Effects; Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction; Resources Environment and Green Development.

The institution also was planning to establish field observation stations in Gwadar Port and Hunza, he added.

Courtesy: APP