UK - Researchers from the UK and China met last month in Beijing to discuss ways that China can deal with environmental challenges and ensure food security.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Agricultural University met with colleagues from the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, James Hutton Institute and Lancaster University to share current experience and best practice from UK, Europe and China.
The China-UK Summit for Environmental Science to Policy Roundtable was opened by Zhang Laiming, vice-president of the Development Research Centre (DRC) of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to China, also highlighted the importance of research excellence and the need for sound evidence in support of policy.
The discussion focused on three aspects: engaging with stakeholders in environmental sustainability and food production in both the UK and China; developing a timetable on how to develop an integrated approach to environmental and food security policy; and developing a framework for collaboration on developing a science-policy interface.
Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of Research Impact at the James Hutton Institute, said: “The best environmental policies are those supported with robust scientific understanding and that requires the policy and research communities to work closely together.
"We aim to share experiences between our countries to meet that challenge.”
Professor Shiji Gao, Director General of the DRC’s Institute for Resource and Environmental Policies, commented on the need to “work together to continue this dialogue, and to increase the cooperation between UK and Chinese scientists, policy analysts and decision makers in our united fight against environment pollution in China as well as in the world.”
Professor Alan Jenkins, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, commented: “Many of the environmental problems faced in China have been addressed in the UK in the past.
"Sharing our experiences in environmental science and in making this available to policy makers is a clear opportunity.
"In return, we have much to learn from the current environmental ambition in China and the restoration and remediation techniques being employed on a vast scale.”
Similarly, Professor Kevin Jones from the Lancaster University Environment Centre, said: “This roundtable brought UK scientists and some of China’s policymakers concerned with issues of environmental protection, food security and sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity protection together.
"I think this meeting signalled a genuine willingness to work closely between countries and areas of specialism, which could lead to exciting collaborations.”
TheCropSite News Desk
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