Scientific exchanges, joint research projects, training and policy advice were discussed when members of the Chinese Government’s environmental research institute visited Lancaster.

The visit followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and Lancaster University last year.

The Beijing based Academy is part of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and is at the forefront of work to deal with the many environmental problems facing China. 

The delegation took a boat trip on Lake Windermere to learn about a water quality research project involving the Lancaster Environment Centre. This was of particular interest to the Academy’s president, Professor Meng Wei, who is the chief scientist for China’s national water programme.

“Professor Meng is also a member of National People’s Congress and is very influential in developing environmental policy in China,” said Dr Hong Li, from the Lancaster Environment Centre.

“The Chinese government is currently developing a soil protection law, so we have agreed to advise on the development of this policy in areas where we have experience and expertise such as persistent organic pollutants”

The delegation met Lancaster University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mark E Smith, and Professor Kevin Jones, the Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre who has a long history of working in China.

They agreed to set up partnership offices in both countries to support staff and student exchanges, and to build on the many research links which already exist between the institutions. They will work together on:

  • Developing world class research on environmental issues of global concern;
  • Providing high quality training on chemicals management and environmental risk assessment for China;
  • Developing methodologies and technologies for environmental criteria, risk assessment, monitoring and surveillance;
  • Providing advisory and technical support for chemicals management and chemicals risk assessment;
  • Delivering information and advice to help develop Chinese environmental policy
  • Promoting exchanges of scientists and graduate students;
  • Providing technological consultancy to help Chinese industry manage chemicals responsibly