Ensure - Joint Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Resiliance University of Exeter China University of Hong Kong

CUHK-Exeter partnership to achieve sustainability through forest management and rock glacier investigation

ENSURE newly awards two projects in forest management and water resources, fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations to address issues emerging from the changing environment and their influences on human health and wellbeing.

CUHK and the University of Exeter (Exeter) established the HK$20 million Joint Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Resilience (ENSURE) in June 2018 to advance global sustainable development. The joint centre has been fostering interdisciplinary collaborations through projects to address issues emerging from the changing environment and their influences on human health and wellbeing.

During its first two years of operation, ENSURE launched three collaborative projects in the areas of food security, coastal ecosystems, and air pollution, engaging over 30 researchers of the two universities to build capacity and international profile. Entering its third anniversary, the centre recently awarded two new projects in the amount of HK$4.2 million which will commence in May 2021. They include a project led by Prof. Amos Tai of the Earth System Science Programme which evaluates different approaches of implementing large-scale tree-planting programmes in China and the UK, considering all pros and cons to reduce trade-offs to ensure co-benefits for human health, economic opportunities, social equity and climate resilience. The other project is led by Prof. Lin Liu, also from the Earth System Science Programme, which assesses rock glaciers as a potential water resource by developing climate projections and a hydrological model to understand their future behaviour.

To complement the joint work, Exeter offers a PhD in Environmental Intelligence Programme to which CUHK students are welcome to apply. Led by Prof. Gavin Shaddick, Co-Director of ENSURE at Exeter, and offered through the UK Research and Innovation Centre for Doctoral Training in Environmental Intelligence, the programme pioneers new research in using data science and artificial intelligence to understand the complex interactions between the environment, climate, natural ecosystems, human social and economic systems, and health. A limited number of fully funded 4-year studentships are available for exceptional international applicants. The programme is currently recruiting students for the term commencing in September 2021 (deadline: 15 April 2021). For more information, please click here.

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