Funding secured to lead international workshop on food security

Julie Ingram and Kenny Lynch Newton-Fund-logo 270px(School of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire) have secured funding from the UK’s Newton Fund to work with researchers from Egypt and South Africa on understanding water and food security issues. The support comes from a British Council Researcher Links award.

Julie and Kenny will be leading a workshop in September with colleagues from Stellenbosch University and the American University Cairo to develop understanding of how new methods in ecosystems services can help secure our water and food security. The workshop will take place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

Researcher linksJulie commented,
“Human well-being depends on the services provided by nature, but these are under increasing threat from climate change, land degradation and resource depletion These ecosystem services (supporting, regulating, provisioning and cultural) underpin food and water security and are essential to people’s livelihoods, especially in Africa.”

The workshop aims to equip early career researchers from South Africa, Egypt and the UK with the conceptual and analytical tools for evaluating ecosystems services and for demonstrating their importance when considering development actions.

Kenny added,
“The challenges of evaluating and managing these services in natural and agricultural systems are complex, and beyond the scope of a single field of research such as economics, geography, soil science or biology. Instead they require interdisciplinary evaluation methods which combine scientific and social science approaches. The aim is to develop a cohort of young researchers, able to evaluate these issues, and ensure this kind of research is effective, relevant and applicable to poorer populations whose livelihoods are dependent on their environments and the services they provide.”

National Research Foundation The workshop will give the researchers a chance to share their research findings, discuss ideas for future research, meet experienced researchers and take part in some site visits to research locations where food and water security are being actively researched.

The research team is now inviting applications from leading young researchers from all three countries to attend the workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Researcher Links programme.

The deadline for applications is 3rd June. More information and the application form can be downloaded from the links below.

[ddownload id=”10909″ text=”Download Newton Fund ‘Call for Participants'”]

[ddownload id=”10939″ text=”Download application form”]

See our press release for extra information.