Scotland-Gujarat universities pact on new India climate research
Two universities in Scotland – St Andrews and Aberdeen – have joined the Ahmedabad University to investigate new approaches to the management of coastal wetland habitats in India following research funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
Their project, ‘Sustainable Coastal Habitats, Blue Carbon and the Challenges of Net Zero’, will focus on India’s coastal wetlands and mangrove forests as important blue carbon systems which can deliver sustainable management solutions for coastal environments and their communities.
Led by the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at St Andrews, with the University of Aberdeen and Ahmedabad University, the project is funded by the RSE’s Scottish Asia Partnerships Higher Education Research Fund (SAPHIRE).
The fund is a new grant scheme funded by the Scottish Government with the aim of enhancing the existing international research partnerships between Scottish universities and partners in India, Japan and Pakistan, the University of St Andrews said on Tuesday.
The research team will investigate nature-based solutions that point to sustainable futures for highly threatened coastal habitats in India and demonstrate their ability to contribute to the implementation of an emissions inventory for national greenhouse gases, and deliver new opportunities for emerging climate change and green recovery plans in India.
The university said: “Mangrove forests are unsustainably exploited in many of India’s unprotected coastal wetlands, due to factors including pressures from land use change and deforestation”.
“Mangrove forests provide livelihoods to India’s rural poor, while also providing important ecosystem services, such as nursery grounds for coastal fisheries. The research conducted will seek to establish the basis to implement an emissions inventory for coastal wetlands across India”.
Lead researcher Bill Austin from St Andrews said: “Our project offers the opportunity to help meet the global health, wellbeing, social and other challenges caused by Covid-19…We will expand the partnership opportunity in higher education research within Scotland and between Scotland and India, by focusing on research which addresses the global climate emergency and builds on expertise at St Andrews, Aberdeen, Ahmedabad and beyond.”
The university’s statement on the project quoted Ahmedabad University vice-chancellor Pankaj Chandra as saying: “The project aligns well with Ahmedabad University’s focus on interdisciplinary research as it brings together experts from diverse disciplines”.
“This would help build research links between Ahmedabad University, the University of St Andrews and the University of Aberdeen and open up new opportunities for future research collaborations.”
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