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Climate, Energy & Water Research Institute (CEWRI)

Climate Change And Geo-Informatics Programme
CAEWRI- NARC, Islamabad


CLIMATE CHANGE & GEO-INFORMATICS PROGRAMME earlier it was named Resource Use Planning and Systems Simulations Programme (RUP) was established in 1991 under WRRI. It was initiated by merging small scale projects and strengthened by several international institutions like JIRCAS (Japan), ICIMOD (Nepal), BOSTID (USA), UNEP, APN, IUCN, ICARDA (Syria), etc. The programme is dedicated to geoinformatics applications in agriculture and natural resources with the aim to promote geo-informatics in planning, development and research especially in the fields of agriculture and natural resources.

In response to the environmental degradation especially posed by increasing population pressure and human activities, Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Science (GIS) are becoming essential tools and techniques to understand, plan and monitor the complex interrelated natural as well as manmade systems. It is well established fact that RS can give a quick, economical and reasonably accurate mean to understand the resource base which at times is inaccessible. Under this programme a fully functional RS and GIS facility has been established. This facility is well equipped with hardware standard softwares to handle all sorts of spatial analysis using satellite remote sensing as well as ancillary data. A comprehensive digital database is available with the programme which is being continuously updated/enhanced. A multi-disciplinary team of scientists and technical staff trained nationally as well as internationally is capable of handling basic as well as advanced RS/GIS applications and trainings.


The primary objective is to generate resource and research based scientific information related to climate change impact assessment on water and agriculture, its adaptation and mitigation, agriculture, natural resources and environment with an aim to have systematic resource use planning for sustainable development of agriculture sector in the country.

The secondary objective is to use computer modeling and simulations for decision support and systems analysis so that generalized information can be used by planners, administrators, researchers, field managers and progressive farmers. 


The programme is involved in executing several national and international projects/programmes, on-job tailored trainings, consulting services, development of methodologies and technology transfer programmes. Some of thrust areas using RS and GIS are:

  • Climate change/variability analysis, impact assessment and adaptations

  • Risk assessment and management of hydrological extremes

  • Cryosphere monitoring

  • Water balance analysis and modeling at basin scale

  • Land use change assessment, monitoring and planning

  • Remote sensing based agro-met advisory services for farmers and other stake holders

  • Database development and management

  • Develop and strengthen national and international collaboration to implement climate adaptive water management and climate resilient agriculture in Pakistan

  • Characterization and classification

  • Resource inventories

  • Training

Spatial Database Development

A comprehensive data records/toposheets/thematic maps from various data collecting institutions like Agricultural Statistics of Pakistan, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Soil Survey of Pakistan, Pakistan Meteorological Department and Survey of Pakistan have been collected and a spatial digital database has been developed. This database has been updated now and then whenever current data sets are available/accessible. Some of the examples of such datasets are:

  • Crop databases on area and yield parameters: These databases were developed which are being used for identifying cropping patterns, trend analysis, and as supporting data for policy makers, researchers and progressive farmers.

  • The climatic database of temperature and precipitation were developed after segregation of data on seasonal, annual and decadal basis.

  • The resources database of Rawal watershed, selected catchments and command areas of rod-kohi areas, preliminary database of proposed small dams i.e. Ghabir, Darwat, Winder etc. have been developed in GIS which includes data layers of drainage network, elevation, infrastructure, landuse etc.

  • The wheat crop acreage of NARC field area was assessed through remotes sensing data analysis. The sub-pixel classification technique was applied to the data which found helpful in crop discrimination and area assessment.

Characterization and Classification

Considering the data limitation, using GIS layers and RS data, appropriate methodologies have been developed for characterization and classification. Some of the examples include:

  • Based on historical climatic data, the agro-climatic zones of Pakistan were identified and mapped on seasonal (Rabi and Kharif) basis and later merged into annual form. The classification criteria were based on Aridity Index (AI) and Crop Growth Index (CGI).

  • A methodology has been developed for delineating major cropping pattern zones of the country using seasonal crop data set of 2004-05. The cropping zones would be helpful in planning future agriculture in the country.

  • A spatial database of major landcover/landuse of the country were developed and maps were prepared using remote sensing data of Landsat ETM+ provided by M/S of Environment. The generated information will be helpful in effective planning and monitoring of landuse in the country.

Resource Inventories

The pre-request for resource use planning and monitoring is the knowledge of the existing/past state of the resource. Several studies have been carried out for resource inventory of various systems. The most important one among these is the inventory of glaciers, glacial lakes and potentially dangerous glacial lakes in HKH region of Pakistan. It is a regional initiative supported by ICIMOD, APN, UNEP and START. Under this study a comprehensive database on glaciers and glacial lakes of northern Pakistan covering Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush Ranges has been developed and potentially dangerous glacial lakes have been identified. The information is available in the form of CD and can be accessed on request from the institute.


Trend/Impact Analysis

Based on various GIS layers, trend/impact of any development/ management activity or natural disasters can be studied. Some of such studies accomplished include:, watershed analysis in various ecologies for identification of management strategies, resource monitoring in national parks, game reserves, wetlands, impact of flood 2010 on landuse, crops of the country, impact of drought on agriculture and natural vegetation of Balochistan etc.





Climate Change Impact Analysis

In order to analyze the climate change impact on water resources i.e. glacier environment, selected glaciers and associated glacial lakes were studied in Northern Himalaya and Karakoram Range of Pakistan using remote sensing technique. The effect of climate change on selected glaciers and lakes of Astore River Basin, Himalaya indicated recession of glaciers and expansion of associated glacial lakes. The small glaciers had shown higher melting rates than larger ones. The response of selected glaciers was found least significant in Hunza River Basin, Karakoram Range. There is need for detailed analysis of glaciers mass balance, hazard assessment and predicting river flows for irrigation and hydro-power generation in context of changing climatic condition in the country.


The staff of various national research and development organizations and educational institutions are trained in basics of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Science and their applications. The programme has the capacity to tailor the training courses according to the client's requirement. Under this activity several training manuals for various level courses have been developed. Furthermore, students from educational institutions do their research work and complete their internship as a part of their master's degree programme. Academic support is being provided to the students of NUAS to develop geoinformatics base in the country. 


The programme has a dedicated research environment for a wide range of geoinformatics applications. The facilities include: standard hardware, raster and vector based softwares, Mobile Mappers/GPS receivers, etc. Besides, a database covering SRS and ancillary data is also available which is regularly updated based on the availability/accessibility of current datasets. A multidisciplinary team of dedicated personnel is busy in developing methodologies and application of geoinformatics at various levels ranging from farm level to national and regional level.

The facilities of the programme are open to any government, non-government, private or international organization for training, research and development in the field of remote sensing, GIS and GPS. We warmly welcome short and long term enthusiastic visiting research fellows/students to join our team to work on ongoing projects/activities and will happily be sharing our research facilities and data archives for the promotion of RS/GIS application.



Resource Person:

Dr. Bashir Ahmad

PSO / Program Leader

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Climate Change, Alternate Energy and Water Resources Institute (CAEWRI),
National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC),
Park Road, Chak Shahzad, Islamabad – Pakistan
Ph. No. 051-9255806, Fax No. 051-9255074




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