GC University Lahore is fully committed to meet SDG-15 through protection, conservation and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems while preventing land degradation and biodiversity loss in a sustainable way.
GC University Lahore has published 50 research articles related to SDG-15 between years 2019 and 2020 with overall cite score of 123.174.
Sustainable Development Study Centre of GCU has recently completed an HEC funded research project titled as “Ecological Valuation of Scrub Forest (Hayat-ul-Mir) and Plain Thorn Forest Community at Harappa: Pleading the Case for their Conservation and Sustainable Utilization.”
GCU has undertaken the responsibility to protect, conserve and restore the native dryland forest and habitats of wild flora and fauna. Several projects have been initiated in collaboration with national and international organizations including BGCI-UK, WWF- Pakistan, Punjab Forest Department and Archaeology Department Punjab to protect and restore rapidly declining native dryland ecosystems at Soan Valley, Harappa, Sheikhupura and Thal, Punjab. ( https://www.bgci.org/resources/bgci-tools-and-resources/dry-woodlands-restoration-in-pakistans-punjab-province/ ).
GCU in Collaboration with Punjab Archaeology Department is making efforts to restore the habitat of blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) at Hiran Minar, Sheikhupura. Mughal Emperor Jahangir built this monument ‘Hiran Minar’ in love of his pet deer; ‘Mansiraj’ (meaning light of the mind). Pilot restoration project is initiated to restore the tropical thorn forest, the crucial habitat for Antilope at Hiran Minar. Once the native species are restored then the herd of Antilope could be introduced.
Dr. Zafar Siddique from the Botany Department is working on a BGCI funded project aimed to increase the seed bank of thirteen native species at the three restoration sites including Harappa (thorn forest), Soan Valley (Scrub forest) and Shakargarh (Butea forest).
“Education for Sustainable Development: School Education Program” of GCU Botanic Garden is an ideal opportunity for primary and secondary school students to explore the world of fascinating plants, through learning and engaging with various conservation practices. The activities include, ecological walk, wealth from waste, waste free lunch challenge, measuring dangerous decibels, observing palm garden, growing a beautiful herbal garden, extreme survivor plants, discovering leaf structure, compost preparation and preservation and conservation of plants.
GCU is promoting eco-tourism at Harappa, Soan Valley, Sharkargh and Hiran Minar through plantation and clean-up drives. Display boards are fixed at these restoration sites in Urdu and English Languages to inform tourists about the historical distribution, ethnobotanical importance and conservation benefits of native vegetation. University students often visit the sites and interact with tourists to create awareness regarding sustainable tourism activities. Moreover, local school students are also invited at plantation drives at Harappa and Sharkargh restoration site.
Brochures in Urdu and English languages were distributed among the tourists to raise awareness regarding the importance of native vegetation and the restoration efforts made by the restoration ecology research group of Sustainable Development Study Centre, GCU Lahore.
Harappa Archaeological Site is of dual importance for archaeological and biological perspectives as it contains the remains and ruins
of Bronze Age City as well as it has the largest intact patch of relict vegetation of thorn species. Site is visited by thousands of national
and international tourists each year. GCU in collaboration with Punjab Archeology Department and WWF Pakistan is promoting ecotourism by
creating awareness regarding conservation and wise use of thorn vegetation. Display boards are also fixed at the sites to inform tourists
about the historical distribution, ethnobotanical importance and conservation benefits of these vegetation.
Environment Protection Society of GCU is raising awareness regarding ecotourism through several on site “clean and green campaigns” at Uchhali Lake, Kewai Waterfall Khagan Valley, Shalimar Garden Lahore, Katpana lake & Ban Rangah grassland at Skardu.
Restoration projects at Harappa, Hayat-ul-Mir, Rakh Khair-e-Wala and Hiran Minar engaged local community to build the sense of ownership among them. Local school students were also engaged in planation drives.
GCU is using electronic and social media platforms to raise awareness among the wider community regarding conservation and restoration of native ecosystem.
GCU is among the leaders to address local and national environmental challenges. Student societies like Environment Protection Society, Horticulture Society, Biological Society, Hiking and Mountaineering Society and Disaster Risk Management Society are continuously engaged in raising awareness regarding conservation of natural resources and their sustainable utilization through their activities at the campus and outside. Recent international webinars include, International Webinar on Ecosystem Restoration , International Webinar on Earth Day: Restore Our Earth , International webinar on role of youth for the conservation of global biodiversity and International Webinar on Rooftop Gardening .
Environment Protection Society and Sustainable Development Study Center, GCU, Lahore organized an International Webinar to celebrate World Environment Day 2021.
Environment Protection Society, GCU, Lahore conducted an awareness session on "Wildlife Legislation at National and International Level” to celebrate the World Wildlife Day 2021 based on the theme of "Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet".
Government College University, Lahore in collaboration with Primary and Secondary Heath Care Department, Govt. of Punjab, organized an awareness seminar followed by an awareness walk on “Prevention of Smog” on November 26, 2019. This initiative has been taken to raise awareness regarding prevention and control of smog.
Smog awareness desk by Environment Protection Society was set on November 02, 2020. Face masks were distributed among the staff and students to prevent from the adverse health impacts of smog.
GCU promotes native tree plantation on campus and controls alien species such as Parthenium hysterophorous, Broussonetia papyrifera and Prosopis juliflora within the campus and Botanic Garden.
GCU is making full efforts to make campus green. Several plantation drives have been organized to increase tree cover at 370 acres large campus at Kala Shah Kaku. GCU has engaged several local schools and NGOs in different planation campaigns. ( https://www.facebook.com/gcuhs/videos/522036262238056) ( https://www.facebook.com/gcuhs/posts/4789384657740593).
Plastics takes years to decompose, release toxins when decompose under sunlight and release toxic substances in air when burn. GCU is very conscious about the health of people and planet and has put complete ban on use of single plastic bags at book shops and cafeterias, on campus and GCU hostels (Notification)
Environment protection Society (EPS) arranged an interactive session on “Tackling Plastic Pollution in Pakistan” with WWF Pakistan. Students were informed how plastic is polluting our oceans, soils and ecosystems. Students got to know about different forms of plastic pollution & their harms to the environment.
GCU has adopted Health, Safety and Waste Management Rules. Hazardous waste is properly disposed off after treatment or autoclaving in case of microbial/infectious waste. Health & Safety Manager assists in making waste determinations, reviews requests for on-site disposal approval, advises laboratory personnel on regulatory compliance, and is responsible for the overall hazardous waste management program. Moreover, GCU has three bins system for the onsite waste segregation.