International collaboration can help combat climate change and WA and Chinese researchers are joining forces to improve climate adaptation strategies and pass on the subsequent benefits to growers.
As part of a A$1.9 million project, the University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture is collaborating with China’s Lanzhou University on a sustainability initiative for dry and cold ecosystems, using west China as a model.
According to Institute Director, Professor Kadambot Siddique, the 'Sustainable Development of Agriculture in Dry and Cold Ecosystems of Loess Plateau’ project will develop long term climate adaptation strategies that will be extended to Australian growers.
“It aims to train researchers and post-graduate students in the environmental characterisation of dry and cold eco-systems and develop improved crop and pasture production technologies and animal husbandry practices for the arid and cold areas of western China,” Professor Siddique said.
“The lessons learned from the project will directly apply to WA broadacre dryland agriculture,” he said.
The Chinese Ministry of Education launched the ‘111’ program in September, 2006, aiming to invite 1000 world class academics from the world’s top 100 universities to establish 100 innovative research bases in China.
Director of the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, Professor Neil Turner and UWA School of Plant Biology Senior Lecturer and Deputy Leader of Plant Production Systems Program, Dr Guijun Yan, accompanied Professor Siddique on a recent visit to Lanzhou University to commence the newly funded initiative.
“UWA’s Institute of Agriculture was privileged to be invited to participate in the program, which was in recognition of UWA’s world class dryland agriculture expertise,” Professor Siddique said.
“We discussed a range of topics, sharing information about dryland agriculture, water-use efficiencies, dryland crop and pasture breeding management, genetics research and profitable animal production.
“Further alliances between the universities were established, including the development of a memorandum of understanding.
“We agreed to promote co-supervision of PhD students, exchange of university academics, joint applications for research grants and expanding the current collaboration within the 111 project framework,” he said.
To expand and sustain the collaboration, Professors Siddique and Turner and Dr Yan were appointed Honorary Professors of the Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Adjunct Professors of the National Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology and Guest Professors of Lanzhou University.
Professor Kadambot Siddique, Telephone (+61 8) 6488 7012, Mobile 0411 155 396