KARACHI: The Virtual University of Pakistan and National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) have entered into an agreement for a period of three years under which students of the university would be given special orientation and awareness helping them to be fully conversant about environmental issues and the cause to protect natural resources.
The Virtual University (VU) and NFEH initiated partnership in the field of environmental conservation and protection as both the entities signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect here at a local hotel on Wednesday.
The MoU was signed by VU Registrar Prof Dr Masroor Ellahi Baber and by NFEH President Muhammad Naeem Qureshi.
Some 35,000 students VU related to its 200 campus sites all over the country is likely to get benefited by this agreement.
According to NFEH chief Naeem Qureshi, the purpose of initiating this partnership is to commence a collaboration between the two entities to make the VUís students responsible towards environment in their surroundings keeping in mind fast depletion of natural resources.
He said that NFEH had vast experience of holding activities to train and sensitize people towards the cause of environmental protection as the forum had run several campaigns as being the practical work to upkeep environment. In this regard, the NEFH in collaboration with concerned government, non-governmental, and private organizations is conducting the greenery and plantation drives in entire Karachi before onset of every summer for last some years, he said.
Mr. Qureshi said that his forum had in mind that students of VU spread all over the country and even Pakistani-origin students of the university in overseas countries were like a valuable asset to involve them in any campaign for the cause of environmental protection and conservation.
He said the country needed future leaders in all walks of life and professional fields, who were fully aware and knowledgeable about the cause of protection and conservation of environment, natural resources, and sources of energy facing threatening situation in the region.
He said the experts and professionals associated with his forum would do their best to promote best practices recommended for protection of environment, conservation of depleting natural resources, searching for alternative and renewable sources of energy.
Mr. Qureshi said that such practices would be highly helpful for the universityís students whenever they decided to enter in practical life as world over such professionals and managers were highly appreciated who had extra caution and care for environment, climate, and energy resources.
He said that among other things, special sessions would be held in which UVís students would be invited to train them regarding tree plantation and other pro-greenery and pro-environment initiatives.
He said that as the immediate follow-up of this MoU, his forum would invite VUís students enrolled with the partner institutions of the university based in Karachi to participate in upcoming citywide tree plantation drive aimed at planting some 300,000 tree saplings in next four months in collaboration with various land owning and civic agencies of the city.
Also speaking on the occasion, VU Registrar Prof Dr Masroor Ellahi Baber said the accord his university had signed with NFEH would be highly helpful for the varsityís students in pursuit of their goals related to higher education, research, skill development and orientation regarding numerous environmental challenges present in the society.
The MoU signed between the VU and NFEH has the provision of renewing the partnership between two entities after expiry of first three-year period of collaboration,
The document of MoU envisages salient features of the partnership as:
The partnership would work for recognition of mutual interests of both parties (VU and NFEH) in the fields of environment, related training, development and dissemination of knowledge. It would work to give recognition to the importance of VUís role in promoting industry collaboration and increased contribution to social development of Sindh specifically and Pakistan in general. Under the collaboration, both the entities would become partners in holding trainings, conferences, seminars, workshops, and related activities for the cause of environmental protection. They would organize orientation sessions related to environment (including tree plantation and other activities) for students. Both the organizations would conduct events/exposure visits for students and faculty-members of the university. The collaboration would also encourage the voluntary participation of the students in other events of NFEH. It would also offer prospects of projects, internships, guidance, and support initiatives for the VUís students.