Research Projects

Ongoing Research Projects

Project Title: Feasibility study of provision of safe drinking water through water conservation
Partners: Egypt and Nigeria
Duration: August 2021 to 2022
Co. Researchers: Dr. Umair and Muhammad Zahir
Principal Investigator: Dr. Toqeer Ahmed

Project Title: Sustainable bio energy development in emerging economies under global changes: current practice, perception, response and management
Funding Agency:Pakistan Science Foundation
Duration: July 2021 - July 2024
Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad

Project Summary:

The project proposes sustainable pathway of bioenergy development in emerging economies facing three global changes, i.e., climate change, urbanization, and energy transition. To reach this overarching objective, five research steps based on two empirical studies with one case from each country are designed. Firstly, by literature review and conducting social network analysis, we will clarify the status quo of bioenergy development in China and Pakistan, the involved stakeholders, their communication and the structure of the bioenergy industry. Secondly, after joint field trips of two countries in the form of face-to-face interviews, key-informant surveys and focused group discussions, we will perform the synergies and trade-offs analysis of the three global changes to understand the mechanisms of those impacts on bioenergy development. Thirdly, we will use factor analysis and structural equation modeling to sort out bioenergy stakeholders’ perceptions on and their responses to the three global trends and to identify the constraints and barriers that restrict them in adopting reactive measures. Fourthly, a bioenergy industry decision support system will be built, which is tailored to simulate local practices of both case studies and integrates identified stakeholders, their perceptions and reactive options. By mimicking their decision-making process under each scenario, an optimal profile of the institutional management will be proposed. Lastly, through comparing the analytical and simulation results from both case studies, a pathway for sustainable bioenergy development will be generalized for emerging economies along with the proposition of a business model for biotechnology transfer between China and Pakistan. By implementing this project, we could scientifically enrich the research on sustainable bioenergy development by adding unique perspectives of emerging economies; methodologically, promote the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods as well as enhance the research capacity of participant institutes; and practically design regional-specific pathways with the viable balance of economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Project Title: Identification and up-scaling of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices for sustainable food security in high altitude farming regions of Himalaya
Funding Agency:Asia Pacific Network on Global Change Research (APN-GCR), Japan
Duration: August 2019 - Feb 2022
Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad

Project Summary:

The proposed study identifies and up-scales climate-smart agriculture practices for sustainable food security in high altitude farming in HKH countries including Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan. For this purpose, the indigenous knowledge and CSA practices will be explored in order to identify better practices in the region. The study carries out field research in Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan and uses a variety of methods to explore climate change vulnerability of farmers and exploring the current strategies, barriers, farmers willingness, and role of social networks in adopting CSA in study areas. Moreover, sustainable and area-specific CSA practices are developed based on study findings, expert judgement and stakeholder interactions. In order to ensure the effectiveness of CSA for study areas, developed CSA practices will be validated and evaluated using dynamic simulation modelling like DSSAT keeping in view the local climatic conditions, local needs, socio-economic dynamics and institutional support. Further, scale-up pathways for CSA are developed using knowledge-transfer and policy push-models and expert consultations. In addition, a novel Decision Support System for CSA is also developed suggesting ways to improve coordination, institutional and informational access to farmers. The study also conducts capacity workshop on CSA for stakeholders. The project uses a variety of means to disseminate project findings and create awareness about CSA in HKH and other countries with homogeneous conditions.

Project Title: Improving assessment of Drought and its Impacts on Food and Water Resources in South Asia
Funding Agency: Asia Pacific Network for Global Change (APN)
Duration: August 2018- August 2021
Principal Investigator: Dr. Anjum Rasheed

Project Summary:

Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD) is working on a project ‘Improving Assessment of Drought and Mitigating its Impact on Food and Water in South Asia’ in collaboration with Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS), Nepal. The project has been awarded to KIAS by Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). This project aims to develop a suitable drought monitoring tool using satellite datasets for the purpose of assessing and monitoring drought in South Asia and to enhance the knowledge of local communities and stakeholders by awareness programs, science-policy dialogue and trainings. The project partners include (1) KIAS, Nepal; (2) CCRD, CUI; (3) Nagoya University, Japan; (4) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; (5) Nepal Water Conservation Foundation; (6) Tribhuvan University, Nepal; (7) Nepal Academy of Science and Technology; (8) Sikkim University, India; (9) Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, India; (10) South Asian University, India; and (11) Curtin University, Bangladesh.

Project Title: Mitigation strategies for enhanced Soybean production under changing climate scenarios in the Pothwar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Funding Agency: Agricultural Linkages Programme (ALP), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Islamabad, Pakistan.
Duration: July 2018- June 2021.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad
Co- Principal Investigator: Dr. Amir Raza, NIFA, Peshawar

Project Summary:

Mitigation strategies for enhanced Soybean production under changing climate scenarios in the Pothwar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This project was aimed for enhancing soybean production thereby mitigating the adversaries of climate change, and devising a comprehensive package for soybean cultivation in the selected districts of Pothwar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These objectives would be achieved through detailed investigation of the yield (grain and roots) responses of soybean under varying degrees of; Temperature, CO2 concentrations and moisture levels and making management interventions for successful crop husbandry. Moreover, crop model; DSSAT (Decision support system for agrotechnology transfer) would be used to simulate soybean growth and yield in different agroecological zones of study areas of Pothwar and KP. Financial support for this project is provided by the Agricultural Linkages Program (ALP) of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad. Collaborating organizations are; Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD) and Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Peshawar, where former has the lead role (PI; Dr. Saeed A. Asad). The project involves experimentation both under controlled and natural settings and is expected to increase the yield/production of soybean and improve socio-economic conditions of the farmers in the study area.

Project Title:Cross-seasonal hindcast analysis of smog/haze in Lahore-Gujranwala-Faisalabad triangle: Lessons learnt from weather research and forecasting (WRF) model
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan
Duration: Nine Months
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Athar Hussain
Project Summary:

Due to escalations in urbanization and industrial activities, the air quality of Pakistani cities is deteriorating day by day. Of particular interest is the Lahore-Gujranwala-Faisalabad triangle where winter smog and haze is being consistently observed since 2011. In order to combat air pollution, the primary causes, i.e., both natural (meteorological) and manmade (emissions from automobiles, road constructions, industries and biomass burning etc.) requires sound and scientific investigations. This ongoing research seeks to demonstrate the capabilities of weather research and forecasting model (WRF) thereby exploring the underlying meteorology of winter smog/haze in these cities; especially focusing on Lahore. Following are the key objectives of the project:

  1. To model the meteorological conditions in the study area during severe smog/haze days (20th October to 20th December) Vs non-smog/haze days (summer)in 2017.
  2. To investigate the contribution of anthropogenic emissions (air pollutants) in the formation of smog/haze by analyzing air quality data.

To conduct cross-seasonal comparison of weather and air quality parameters thereby exploring both natural and anthropogenic causes of smog/haze.

Completed Projects

Project Title: Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)/Environmental Impact Assessment EIA) of European Union's Eight Rural Development Programmes in Pakistan
Funding Agency: European Union
Project Duration: January 2017 - March 2018
Principal Investigator: Dr. Anjum Rasheed

Project Summary

Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), COMSATS University Islamabad completed the 'Pakistan Country Environment Profile' and 'Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of European Union’s Rural Development Programmes in Pakistan' for Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan under a service contract.

SEA and EIA have been conducted by CCRD for the following EU funded Programmes:

  1. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa District Governance and Community Development Programme (DGCD)
  2. Programme for Economic Advancement and Community Empowerment (PEACE) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  3. Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS)
  4. Balochistan Community Development Programme (BCDP)
  5. Aid to Uprooted People of FATA
  6. Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment Programme (BRACE)
  7. Pakistan Rural Employment and Business Opportunity Programme in Sindh
  8. Programme for Improved Nutrition in Sindh (PINS)

SEA and EIA have been carried out to integrate environmental considerations into preparation of the EU's rural development programmes prior to inception. The ultimate objective of SEA and EIA is to ensure that environmental impacts arising out of planned development activities are taken into account at the design stage.

Project Activities

Following activities were carried out under the project:

  • Collection of environmental baseline data
  • Impact identification and detailed analysis of potential environmental impacts
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Environmental risk analysis
  • Identification of environmental constraints and opportunities
  • Analysis of performance indicators Preparation of Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
  • Preparation of Pakistan Country Environment Profile

Project Title: Pakistan Low Carbon Scenario Analysis
Funding Agency: Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Khalid Riaz
Focal Person: Dr. Anjum Rasheed
Project Duration: April 2015 – October 2016

Project Summary

Project Partners:

  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)
  • Pakistan Industrial Trading Corporation (PITCO)

The project 'Pakistan Low-Carbon Scenarios Analysis' provided development of a reference case for GHG emissions, as well as identification of mitigation options for Pakistan to reduce its GHG emissions across key sectors.

Purpose of this project was to:

  • Improve understanding of climate change mitigation and identification of priority opportunities for low-carbon development; and
  • Improve mitigation planning – creation of evidence-base for INDCs, national communications, GHG inventory, Biennial Update Reports, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and REDD+ actions.

GHG Emission Reference Case Projection

Figure 1 provides the reference case estimates for year 2012 emissions, and Figure 2 shows the historical and the projected emissions.

GHG Mitigation Options Analysis

GHG mitigation options analysis demonstrated how the implementation of low-carbon development options can bend down emissions from the projected reference case in each sector. The overall work concludes with the identification of priority actions to enable low-carbon development and attract climate finance. Mitigation options were prioritized based on their financial and technical viability in Pakistan. Stakeholder consultation was undertaken with sectoral experts on these options for the purpose of seeking feedback on the results and identifying additional areas for GHG mitigation. The stakeholder consultation was led by the CCRD supported by IISD and PITCO.

Project Title: The Vulnerability of Pakistan’s Water Sector to the Impacts of Climate Change: Identification of gaps and recommendations for action.
Funding Agency: Govt. of Italy and United Nation Development Program (UNDP).
Duration: July 2015 October 2017.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad, Dr. Toqeer Ahmad and Prof. Dr. Amir Haider Malik
Project Summary:

The research project responds to the Government of Pakistan’s acknowledged need to better understand the vulnerability of its water resources to the impacts of climate change. The primary focus of the project was the completion of a systematic review of current understanding of the potential changes in Pakistan’s hydrological regime due to climate change, identification of critical knowledge gaps, and prioritization of the means by which these gaps might be filled on an urgent basis. In completing this analysis, the project aimed to improve decision-making capacity within government ministries, research institutes, and the general public in relation to water resources management in a changing climate. More specifically, its objectives were to: (1) Develop a fuller picture of current knowledge regarding the exposure of Pakistan’s water resources to the impacts of climate change and the potential socio-economic ramifications of these impacts. (2) Identify priority research gaps and barriers to be overcome to fill these gaps. (3) Present options to enhance understanding of and capacity to respond to the vulnerability of Pakistan’s water resources to climate change through revised or new policies, research programs and other initiatives. (4) Increase comprehension by the people of Pakistan regarding how climate change could alter the future availability of water resources. The project was funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and jointly executed by the Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Pakistan and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Canada. The final project report has been published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and can be accessed at;

Project Title: Bacteriological Water Quality Assessment of Different Institutions of Abbottabad City in KPK Pakistan.
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Duration: August 2013-2015.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Toqeer Ahmed
Project Summary:

The continuously deteriorating water quality situation in Pakistan is posing serious health threats to the population. The study aimed to assess the physicochemical and bacteriological quality of drinking water in different institutions of Abbottabad city and its potential health effects on staff and students. About 63 samples from 60 institutions across different locations of Abbottabad city were analysed for physicochemical (temperature, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS) and electrical conductivity (EC)) and bacteriological (total coliforms and Escherichia coli) analysis using standard methods. Water quality (n = 60) and health related (n = 300) information was obtained through pre-designed survey questionnaires. Results showed that all water samples were aesthetically acceptable. In physicochemical analysis, the mean temperature and pH values were found at 27.12 ± 2.47°C and 7.98 ± 0.24, respectively. Bacteriological analysis showed that THBC in water samples ranged from 10 to 58000 CFU/ml with 63.5% samples exceeding the WHO drinking water quality limits. Results of total coliform analysis showed most-probable-number values ranged between 0 and > 2400 per 100 ml with 42 samples (66.6%) exceeding permissible limits. Presence of total coliforms in 66.6% of water samples clearly indicates the need of monitoring at regular intervals, effective treatment processes and sound policy recommendations in Abbottabad city.

Project Title: Physico-Chemical Quality Assessment of Wheat Flour Collected from Different Mills of KPK, Pakistan.
Funding Agency: COMSATS University under COMSATS Research Grant Project (CRGP).
Duration: January 2014- January 2015.
Principal Investigator : Dr. Toqeer Ahmed
Project Summary:

Wheat flour samples (n=40) in triplicates of two different varieties (fine and super) were collected from various sources (Mills and Chakis) of Hazara Division, KP, Pakistan. Samples were analyzed for nutritional quality parameters (pH, moisture, ash, protein, hardness and wet gluten) by using standard methods and micro, macro and toxic elements by using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). All the parameters exhibited significant variations in outcomes of two different sources and two varieties. Low wet gluten (10.70 to 19.33% in Mills and13.7 3 to 26.23% in Chakkis) and high ash contents (1.73 to 10.86% in Mills and 1.8 to 11.06% in Chakkis) were observed during analysis. The concentrations of the micro and macro elements were found in the following order Mg>Ca>Fe>Zn>Cr> Mn>Cu>Ni while the concentrations of the toxic metals in samples of both the sources were detected as Pb>Cd> AS. Different concentrations of toxic, essential elements and physicochemical variations provide basis that a detailed survey should be conducted to assess the nutritional worth and health risks based on staple food among Pakistani population. P.I. grateful to COMSATS IIT, Islamabad for providing research grant (No. 6-41/CRGP/ CIIT/ABT/13/250) under COMSATS Research Grant program (CRGP) for this research work.

Project Title: Synthesis and Modification of Different Adsorbent for Environmental Remediation.
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Project Duration: October 2015 to October 2016.
Principal Investigator : Dr. Safia Zahid

Project Title: Financial Planning for Energy Security in Pakistan: The Way Forward for Renewable Energy Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Project Duration: August 2015 – July 2016.
Principal Investigator : Dr. Seeme Mallick

Project Title: Satellite Enhanced Snowmelt Flood and Drought Predictions for the Kabul River Basin (KRB) with surface and groundwater modeling. A regional project in collaboration with CIIT Wah Cantt, Kabul Polytechnic University, Kabul, Afghanistan, USAID and Kazakhstan.
Co Researcher: Dr. Toqeer Ahmed.
Research Contributors: Ms. Rabbia Murtaza, Mr. Muhammad Zahir
Project Summary:

The overall objectives of this research are to develop (1) the KRB flood prediction models using NASA satellite observations that capture the magnitude, timing, and spatial distribution of watershed scale snowmelt parameters; and (2) combined surface and ground water modeling and prediction analyses. The project aims to develop the integrated surface and groundwater modeling for the transboundary (Pakistan upstream and Afghanistan downstream) Kabul River Basin (KRB) with satellite enhanced snowmelt flood and drought predictions. The researchers will apply advanced NASA satellite data to track snow, snow melting, floods, surface water coverage, and droughts over the KRB. They will adapt cost-effective approaches using remote sensing data, with expertise provided by the U.S. partner Dr. Jacobs, based on her experience working on the NASA-supported project "Satellite Enhanced Snowmelt Flood Predictions in the Red River of the North Basin, USA." A lack of accurate snow depth and snow water equivalent data, and a lack of understanding of snowmelt processes and soil infiltration during soil freeze and thaw events in the KRB inhibit the ability to improve flood predictions. This project will improve the models by using satellite observations that capture the magnitude, timing, and spatial distribution of watershed-scale snowmelt parameters, as well as antecedent soil conditions. Most of the existing water-related research models were developed with separate components for the surface water and the groundwater, but this project will combine them into a more comprehensive model, which should facilitate better prediction analyses. 

Project Title: Sustainable food systems under climate change in South Asia.
Funding Agency: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany.
Duration: July 2017- June 2019.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad
Project Summary:

The project “Sustainable Food Systems under Climate Change in South Asia” was initiated with prime aims to; (1) Identify and suggest solution options for sustainable food systems under consideration of climate change, demographic growth and changing life styles. (2) Investigate inefficiencies and climate change impacts on both food production and consumption aspects in the region to identify sustainable solutions and (3) To build the research capacities of the South Asian institutes and European partners and expand their research network. Financial support for the project was provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. The project is being implemented by a consortium of academic and research organizations from Europe and South Asia. In this consortium, the Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD) at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) is working as a hub for coordinating with South Asian partner institutes. Partner organizations from Europe include; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Austria whilst from South Asia; the Centre for Climate Research and Development (Dr. Saeed A. Asad) CUI, Pakistan, University of Dhaka (DU), Bangladesh, Agriculture and Forest University (AFU), Nepal, Royal Thimphu College (RTC), Bhutan and Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), India form the project consortium.

Project Title: Public perception and valuation of climate-related risks and willingness-to-pay for Policy interventions in metropolitan cities of Punjab, Pakistan.
Funding agency: Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.
Duration: June 2017- July 2018.
Principal Investigator : Dr. Muhammad Abid.
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Saeed A. Asad
Project Summary:

The project was funded by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. This project aims to investigate the urban perceptions and impacts of climate change as well as to investigate the local willingness to pay (WTP) for different policy interventions in mitigating and adapting the cities to changing climate. For this purpose, a survey of 300 individuals was conducted across three cities in Punjab which are Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad in 2017-18. The study found that awareness of climate change in urban is low which is mainly due to lack of any public awareness campaign by public or private groups. As reported by people, who were aware of climate change, modern telecommunication sources like internet, TV and mobile phones and universities and education institutions play major role in building climate change knowledge and general awareness. Further, majority of the people were of the view that urbanization, deforestation, natural processes and industrialization were the key reasons for climate change. All this show that people in urban areas are equally being affected by the negative impacts of climate change and require support from government. Regarding policy interventions, majority were unaware of any public policy on climate change. This show that how government policies are hidden from general public due to lack of policy-public interaction. Here government could play an important role through building effective networking at community level and raise awareness of public about climate change and related policies. All this show that generally people are supportive of initiatives to mitigate climate change but are unable to financially contribute to this act due to different constraints. This low WTP is also mainly due to little awareness among public about this climate change issue. Therefore, through creating awareness government and private groups could motivate people to take initiatives at local level in order to effectively adapt to climate change.

Project Title: Elucidation of Larvicidal Effects of Metallic Nano-Particles against Vectors causing Malaria and Dengue Fever.
Funding Agency: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Duration: July 2017-July 2019.
Principal Investigator :Dr. Toqeer Ahmed
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Javed Iqbal Akhter (PINSAT)
Project Summary:

Mosquitoes are one of the major human disease-causing vectors, especially in the tropical region. Globally, vector-borne diseases comprise of about 17% of all infectious diseases, with mortality rate of about 700,000 per year. Mosquitoes as vectors spread infections including malaria, dengue, yellow fever, zika, Japanese encephalitis and lymphatic filariasis in humans. In Pakistan, 260,100 and 2,500 cases of malaria and dengue, respectively, were reported during 2016. To combat health challenges associated with mosquito-borne diseases, the larvicidal activity of metallic nanoparticles, food-grade polymeric nano-capsules and insecticides was investigated against larvae of mosquitoes as an effective control approach. The metallic nanoparticles of copper oxide, cobalt titanium oxide, nickel titanium oxide and silver were synthesized and characterized. Food grade nanostructures of curcumin encapsulated in three additive layers were developed. These synthesized nanostructures along with commercially available nanoparticles of silver and zinc oxide, and commercially available deltamethrin, alphacypermethrin and sumilarv larvicides were used to evaluate larvicidal activity against larvae of mosquitoes found in Pakistan. The second phase of the project is in progress and further investigations are being carried out on the same aspect.

Project Title: Smart Water Metering and Pricing project: A Step towards Sustainable Management.
Funding Agency: Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Islamabad.
Duration: May 2018-Novemver 2019.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Toqeer Ahmed
Project Summary:

Water availability and quality are alarming issues throughout the world including Pakistan. Water scarcity, aging infrastructure, water demand and urbanization are major concerns. Due to increasing water scarcity issue and increase in demand water quality is deteriorating. Water availability is decreasing in response to water demand. There is need to manage the existing water resources and water pricing is often suggested as a promising mechanism to reduce water demands. It is one of the integrated water management approaches and novel idea for installation of water meters and implementation of water tariff for water conservation. It is novel in the sense that very little has been published regarding experiences in willingness to pay, metering and enforcement of water tariff. It is one of the approaches to convert non-revenue water into revenue water in urban areas. Considering review, it is important to propose the water metering and implementation of water tariff. Further detail about objectives, partners, outcomes etc. is available on

Project Title: Impacts of Climate Change on Waterborne Diseases.
Funding Agency: COMSATS University under COMSATS Research Grant Project.
Duration: July 2018-July 2019.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Toqeer Ahmed
Project Summary:

Climate variability has significant impacts on waterborne diseases and human health. The shift in seasons, change in rainfall pattern, heavy rainfall may increase the contamination of water supply and may increase the chances of waterborne diseases. Samples from water supply of Rawalpindi/Islamabad especially the filtration plants and tube wells, used for drinking and other purposes are being collected and analyzed according to the standard methods. Effect of temperature and precipitation on the waterborne bacteria growing in water supply of the study area are being assessed. Prevalence of waterborne diseases caused by the bacteria belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae etc. will be assessed in Rawalpindi/Islamabad region. Waterborne bacterial species will be isolated and identified according to the standard microbiological methods. Parallelly data is being correlated from allied hospitals/ household survey in the study areas. Results will be shared with relevant authorities to improve the existing water supply and to provide safe drinking water to the inhabitants of Rawalpindi/Islamabad region. Assessment of Impacts of climate variability and seasonal variation especially during monsoon and dry weather on waterborne bacteria is in progress.