Distinguished Guests, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me great pleasure to inaugurate the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists. I am particularly happy at the choice of theme for this year’s conference i.e. “Environment and Natural Resource Management: Issues and Challenges”, as it shows the deep concern of Pakistani economists that economic development and growth cannot go on indefinitely without limit and without regard to our habitat and environment. I will invite your attention to a few areas which are impacting Pakistani development strategies. Our planet just cannot sustain its present and future population numbers, if the current global trends of consumption continue in the attitude of business as usual. We have witnessed the effect of this most acutely in the last couple of years, with major increases in prices of most food commodities, minerals and metals, and of course fossil fuels. Globally, the amount of land on which we grow our food has been shrinking every year, and has actually fallen to less than half of the hectares per capita used for grain production fifty years ago.