Pakistan’s economy is dependent on agriculture which contributes about 18.9 % of the gross domestic product. Agriculture is one of the largest sectors of economy which provides 42.3% percent of the labor force. Agriculture is providing raw material to various industrial sectors of the economy. Many of the manufactured exports of country like textile are also dependent on agriculture. About 60% of industrial units in Pakistan are directly dependent on agriculture for raw material. Pakistan has been declared as the 4th largest producer of cotton, 5th in sugarcane, 8th in wheat, 10th in rice; and fourth largest producer in the world of milk production by Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations.
Pakistan’s agricultural productivity is due to its fertile soils spreading from mountains of Himalays in north to plains of Punjab and Sindh in south. The soil is a nonrenewable natural resource which is very important for sustainability of agriculture, environment, and ecosystem. Healthy soils can only ensure agricultural productivity, environmental quality, and ecosystem sustainability. However, in the era of industrialization and urbanization, soil and water resources are under stress due to various degradation phenomena like soil degradation through soil erosion, salinity/sodicity, nutrient depletion, low organic matter, shortage of good quality irrigation water, environmental pollution, and climate change. In addition to soil degradation, environmental pollution and climate change are also dependent on soil quality as soil is recipient of all types of pollutants and serves as major terrestrial reserve of carbon. Soil degradation is instrumental in triggering environmental degradation and climate change. The concern regarding the deterioration of safe environment is growing with the passage of time and measures must be taken to protect the environment against the degradation. There is a dire need to protect the precious, nonrenewable natural resources like the soil, water and environment against degradation processes. This is prerequisite to enhance soil productivity potential on sustainable basis while protecting the environment through development of suitable technologies and management practices.
Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences has transformed itself to face the challenges of the new era. Keeping in view the requirements of new era, this Institute has widened its scope and has witnessed paradigm shift in its academic and research activities from traditional domain of Soil Science to Environmental Sciences and Climate Change. Currently, Institute is endeavoring to excel in academics and research in the fields of Soil, Environment and Climate Change. To meet the academic and research requirement of the modern era, Institute is providing education and conducting research in the fields of soil and environmental sciences and climate change.