Climate scientists and farmers working together to tackle water security in South Asia

Dr Lisa Bunclark

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World Water Day is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis and ensuring adequate water for food production is another important aspect of water security. Researchers at Newcastle University are currently working on a project that will help to ensure that small holder farmers in South Asia have enough water for their crops into the future.

The work of Professor Hayley Fowler and Dr Nathan Forsythe, builds upon multiple collaborative initiatives with research institutes in South Asia, and focuses on finding grassroots-scale solutions to mitigate drought impacts on local communities and build resilience to climate change impacts. The project looks at ways to mainstream climate adaptation in three countries across South Asia with case study villages in contexts such as the rural areas of Nainital district in Uttarakhand state, India. Similar focus areas will be selected in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The project focuses on translation of sophisticated climate model outputs into pragmatically useful “climate services” that help communities prepare for climate change, and understand its effects on crop yields at the local level. Cropping simulations generated from large-scale regional climate models will be refined based on information generated by the smallholder farmers themselves.

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Partnerships essential for the UN SDGs to transform lives

Dr Alison Vipond & Brett Cherry

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“To successfully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must swiftly move from commitments to action. To do that, we need strong, inclusive and integrated partnerships at all levels”. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

Partnerships are vital to making the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality for everyone across the world. This requires developed and developing nations working together on all 17 Goals, spanning environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainable development.  The Goals are universal applying to all countries, including the UK, which has provided leadership in helping to make the Goals an agreed global vision of what the future of our world should look like.

Newcastle University’s Institute for Sustainability recently joined the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development, (UKSSD): a network of businesses, civil society and academic organisations who are working to advance sustainable development in the UK. UKSSD’s mission is to help transform the UK into a sustainable society, by generating new partnerships, innovative solutions and providing thought leadership to achieve the Goals. The UKSSD second annual conference on 1st March 2017, focussed on the question of how we translate the ambition of the Goals into transformative action in the UK. Dr Graham Long provided an insightful introduction to how the UK is faring on the Goals – there is still a long way to go.

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Calling all guest bloggers!

We are on the lookout for guest bloggers! We want the blog site to have a range of opinions and discussion points about sustainability-related topics, and we are particularly interested in posts that are topical; we’re not averse to controversial viewpoints, all in the interests of getting a good, healthy debate started!

We are looking for posts that could be used as either a single post or as a mini-series, so if you think you have something suitable please get in touch by e-mailing sustainability@ncl.ac.uk. We look forward to receiving your contributions!

Chilean hydrology – changing patterns

Dr James Bathurst, of the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University, has been on sabbatical at the Universidad Austral de Chile at Valdivia during April-August 2013, researching the impact of forest plantation on soil erosion. In this final of a 3 part series, he reflects on the changes in water availability and land use in Chile. This series is based on an article published in the British Hydrological Society’s newsletter Circulation, issue 118, August 2013.

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Chilean hydrology – thirst for power

Dr James Bathurst, of the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University, has been on sabbatical at the Universidad Austral de Chile at Valdivia during April-August 2013, researching the impact of forest plantation on soil erosion. In this second of a 3 part series, he discusses hydropower and Chilean politics. This series is based on an article published in the British Hydrological Society’s newsletter Circulation, issue 118, August 2013.

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Chilean hydrology – setting the scene

Dr James Bathurst, of the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University, has been on sabbatical at the Universidad Austral de Chile at Valdivia during April-August 2013, researching the impact of forest plantation on soil erosion.

In this three-part series, he sets the scene of Chilean hydrology and water resources. This series is based on an article published in the British Hydrological Society’s newsletter Circulation, issue 118, August 2013.

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