Program Focus: 2008-2017
The strategic focus of this program is to improve knowledge and regional cooperation on environmental services and climate change adaptation and hazard mitigation to reduce the physical vulnerability of marginalized rural people.
The rural environment of South Punjab is vulnerable and degrading rapidly due to increasing natural and anthropogenic pressures. The poor are the major victims of environmental hazards, such as floods, nuclear waste dumping, pesticide sprays on the crops, and abusive use of fertilizers for more agriculture produce. In spite of this, the people are also expected to be the agents for environmental improvement through more sustainable land use and watershed management activities in their respective areas. In order to bring about lasting changes, provisions for scientific knowledge and policy advocacy to improve the environment are needed and both of these are integral parts of AWAZ’s mandate. In the past AWAZ has made substantial contributions to capacity building of institutions at various levels by providing credible information and technical assistance aimed at prevention and mitigation of monsoon floods. Now AWAZ is not only addressing the related issues of environmental service assessments, and compensation mechanisms but also responding to the continuing strong demand from local communities and other partners for expansion and follow-up in knowledge generation, capacity building, and policy support. Given the increasing linkage between environment and poverty in the context of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), opportunities have expanded to find innovative solutions to address physical vulnerability and reduce its impact on poverty.