UNEP-WCMC were pleased to welcome a delegation from the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IEDA-CAAS) in mid-May 2019.
Director General (Prof.) Zhang Yanqing led the delegation to UNEP-WCMC’s base in Cambridge, UK where discussions were had about how to enhance collaboration between the two institutions - particularly around the role of biodiversity and ecosystems for sustainable agriculture in the face of a changing climate.
The meeting also explored areas for promotion of South-South cooperation between China and other developing countries. As well as building on existing projects such as the Development Corridors Partnership, a UNEP-WCMC-led project that aims to build capacity for sustainable development corridors in East Africa, the meeting discussed the potential for collaboration projects that emphasised adapting to climate change in the context of conservation and sustainable use – and so lessening climate change’s impact.
Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC, said: “These international collaborations are at the heart of truly sustainable, comprehensive change, and we were pleased to welcome our colleagues from China to UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge. Our shared objectives are to ensure that the best science is used to inform the development of new corridors across Africa, and to create opportunities to streamline the exchange of knowledge. Agriculture and infrastructure drive sustainability – and by strengthening the science-policy and practice linkages, we can create better outcomes for people and nature.”
Director General (Prof.) Zhang Yanqing commented: “As a recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows, biodiversity plays an absolutely critical role in sustainable agriculture. China is amid a transformation, moving its economy towards green and climate-resilient development, investing in biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, and combating the climate crisis. These are all issues on which we already collaborate with UNEP-WCMC, and we very much look forward to building on that and taking our work to the next level. I am delighted that our talk with Director Neville Ash was so productive.
Professor Yinlong Xu, one of the delegation members from IEDA-CAAS, and a UNEP-WCMC Research Fellow, added: “Coming here reminded me of all the reasons I was so delighted to be nominated as a Fellow - it is a great honour to me. UNEP-WCMC’s reputation and standing, and its network of experts working to confront the greatest biodiversity challenges of our time, are truly inspiring. I very much look forward to contributing my expertise in climate change adaptation to integrate biodiversity and ecosystems into the heart of a sustainable and resilient food value-chain.”