A group of researchers from Wageningen University and China, coordinated at the Wageningen side by dr. Nico Heerink (Development Economics Group), has successfully applied for funding (ca. 3.1 million Euros) with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KWAW) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in China to form a "Strategic Scientific Alliance on Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Adequate and Safe Food Provision" (SURE+).
The project will be carried out during the period 2016 – 2021. It consists of six sub-projects related to (1) Scale enlargement and environmental pollution, (2) Water pollution and water use in agriculture, (3) Improved manure management, (4) Institutional frameworks for adequate and safe food provision, (5) Impact assessment of resource management interventions, and (6) Integrated management interventions in food systems. Project leaders are Dr. Nico Heerink (DEC), Prof. dr. Carolien Kroeze (SOQ), Prof. dr. Oene Oenema (SOQ), Prof. dr. Peter Oosterveer (ENP) and dr. Maarten Voors (DEC).
The aim of the alliance is to carry out interdiscipilinary research on the land, water and food nexus in China, to formulate coherent recommendations for adequate and safe food provision based on sustainable resource management, and to develop innovative methodologies that can be applied for examining similar problems in other parts of the world. It builds on existing long-term relationships of research groups in Wageningen with Nanjing Agricultural University (Development Economics Group, since more than 20 years), Tsinghua University, Beijing (Environmental Policy Group), China Agricultural University, Beijing (Soil Quality Group), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang (Water Systems and Global Change Group).
Representatives from relevant ministries in China and from the industry (FrieslandCampina, Eurofins Agro Laboratories) will also take part in the alliance that will be funded for 4.5 years. A major expected output of the alliance is the creation of a Virtual Centre of Excellence of international repuation which will further the cooperation between social and natural scientists and other stakeholders in the governance of natural resources and environmental management of food systems in China and elsewhere in the world.