ISLAMABAD: Sitara Parveen from Gojal Valley of Hunza completed her PhD Heidelberg University, Germany, studying the impact of climate change on farming communities in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Sitara started her early education in Gulmit, and then moved to the Aga Khan Academy, Karimabad. She went on to study in Islamabad and Peshawar for her higher education. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Geography at Fatima Jinnah Degree College for Women Gilgit.
Sitara told Pamir Times that her PhD degree started at Bonn University in Physical Geography, mainly Climatology. After studying there for two years, she moved to Heidelberg University to adopt an interdisciplinary approach of Human Geography by analyzing the socio-economic changes taking place in the mountain region of Gilgit-Baltistan along with climate changes.
Her PhD thesis, entitled “Socio-hydrological nexus of mountain agriculture in Gilgit-Baltistan, Northern Pakistan”, analyzed the impact of climate change on the farming communities living in 10 villages of Gilgit-Baltistan, including Hushe, Khaplu, Shigri Khurd, Satpara, Eidghah, Gudai, Danyore, Aliabad, Hoper and Shimshal.
Dr. Sitara also studied four glaciers located in Upper Hunza, including Batura, Passu Glacier, Ghulkin Glacier and Gulmit Glacier, to identify the environmental and socio-economic factors influencing the local farming communities and their adaptation strategies.
Dr. Sitara said that the ‘the adaptation strategies [of the local communities] are shaped by the dynamics of the cryosphere, the glacio-fluvial hazards as well as by the available workforce. The sophisticated human-environmental relationship is also challenged by the off-farm activities and migration of young people from the region.
To her credit, Dr. Sitara has authored and co-authored several research papers published in journals and presented at conferences. Some of the papers include:
- Parveen, S. Winiger, M. (2013) “The dynamics of the cryosphere and its consequences on livelihood and settlements in the Karakoram-indigenous knowledge and adaptation strategies.
- Parveen, S. Winiger, M. (2014) Glacial fluctuation and its consequences on the livelihoods of mountain people at ICIMOD Nepal.
- Parveen, S. Winiger, M. (2014) glacial fluctuation and its impact on the irrigation system in Hunza at Upper Indus Basin conference Islamabad, Pakistan.
- Parveen, S. Winiger, M. (2015) “The dynamics of the cryosphere and its implications for the farming communities in the Karakoram Valleys of Pakistan” at the International Conference on Mountains and Climate Change” at Karakoram International University (KIU), Pakistan.
- PARVEEN, S. et al. (2015): Irrigation in Upper Hunza: Evolution of Socio-hydrological interactions in the Karakoram, Northern Pakistan. In: Erdkunde 69 (1), 69-85.
- Parveen, S. Winiger, M. SCHMIDT, S. & NÜSSER, M. (2016) “Glacier-fed Irrigation Systems in upper Hunza: Evolution of socio-hydrological Interactions in the Karakoram, Northern Pakistan at the Hi-Aware PhD Academy Kathmandu, Nepal.
- PARVEEN, S., WINIGER, M., SCHMIDT, S. & NÜSSER, M. (2016): Glacier-fed
Irrigation Systems in upper Hunza: Evolution and Limitations of
socio-hydrological Interactions in the Karakoram, northern Pakistan. EGU
Assembly (CR3.7/NH8.5). Vienna (Austria).
- PARVEEN, S., SCHMIDT, S., DAME, J. & NÜSSER, M.: (2017) Socio-hydrological interactions and dynamics in the western Karakoram, Northern Pakistan – a case study from Upper Hunza. EGU Assembly (HS5.3) Vienna
- Nüsser, M.; Dame, J.; Parveen, S.; Kraus, B.; Baghel, R. and Schmidt, S. (under review): “Cryosphere-fed irrigation networks in the north-western Himalaya: Threatened livelihoods and adaptation strategies under the impact of climate change.” Mountain Research and Development.
Before joining the government in the year 2000, Dr. Sitara worked at the Aga Khan Education Service as an HR Officer.
Dr. Sitara said that she is enthusiastic about continuing her career as a researcher, she said that she hopes to transfer the acquired knowledge and skills to her students.
Dr. Sitara is married and mother of three children. She is the daughter of Ustad Ali Panah and Ms. Bibi Nigar. Her parents are among the pioneering teachers of Gojal region.