The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO on its 50th Commemorative Anniversary, held on 22nd June 2011 at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris , awarded Professor Dr. S.M.Haq of Pakistan a Commemorative Medal for his outstanding contributions to the program activities of the Commission in Ocean Science and Services.
Dr. Haq is the first Pakistani to have received this award from the IOC of UNESCO.
Dr. Haqâ€™s involvement in the IOC program and activities dates back to 1961, when he, at the invitation of the IOC/ Scientific Committee of Oceanic Research (SCOR) of ICSU, participated in its meeting held in Delhi to finalize the arrangements for the launching of the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE ; 1960-65) with IOC as the coordinating body. As part of Pakistanâ€™s participation in the IIOE activity, Dr. Haq, with the support of the University of Karachi and in close cooperation with and support of the Directorate of Hydrography of the Pakistan Navy, led oceanographic cruises, consisting of a team of young national scientists, on board the P.N.S. Zulfiquar, covering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The data collected during the cruises were later incorporated in the Indian Ocean Atlas, published by the IOC.
Serving as Head of the Capacity Building program activities of the IOC, (1978-1990) Dr. Haq was responsible for the introduction and implementation of a wide range of measures to enhance marine science capacity of a number of coastal and island states of the Caribbean, Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and East and West African coasts. These activities were timely, considering the adoption by the international community of the final text of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS : : 1982) and, later, the provisions adopted by the UN Conference on Environment for Development (UNCED : 1992), which triggered national interest world-wide for marine sciences in new and extended areas of national jurisdictions offshore.
The overall result of these contributions was seen in the progressive involvement of developing countries in regional and global scientific program as well as their increased awareness of the importance of coastal and ocean sciences in the context of national development.
Born in Hyderabad (India) and educated at the Osmania University, Dr. Haq immigrated to Pakistan in 1954. He is now a US citizen, residing permanently in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Haq obtained his Ph.D. in 1960 in Marine Science from the Marine Science Centre of University of N. Wales. He was a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mass., (1963-65) and a recipient of the post-doctoral Nuffield award at the Marine Biological Association of the U.K. (1973). His scientific work covered the vast areas of the Irish Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Western Atlantic, the Arctic Ocean as part of his research studies. He Published numerous scientific pares in international journals, including as joint editor of a book on â€œCoastal Management imperative for Maritime Developing Nations,â€ published by the Kluwer Academic Publishers of the Netherlands.
At the national level (Pakistan), Dr. Haq served as the founder-director of the Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Karachi, 1970-78. He was a member of the Pakistan Delegation to the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (1976), where he made important contributions to the negotiating text dealing with the role of Marine Scientific Research in the New Ocean Regime.