GSD seminar: Modelling for Sustainability

Date: May 11-12 2009

Venue: Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

Organisers: Carlo Jaeger and Ralph Dum

A joint seminar of the GSD Project (Europe) and the Integrated Risk Project  (China)

Importantly for GSD, this event was a bridge between European scientists and their Chinese counterparts, both of whom demonstrated a real passion for exploring ideas along the same paths.

One specific example of this came during discussions of the input papers to the session on water shortages, which centered on the use of particular software. Dr Fang Weihua was able to give an impromptu discussion of the software and display some results he had achieved using the software for wheat growth in China.

Energy sourcing is also a significant issue since approximately two thirds of China’s energy comes from coal. Much of the rest comes from hydropower, with only 1% coming from renewable sources. With the future development of China’s economy and increased urban development, energy demand is set to increase. Lord Hunt raised the issue of carbon capture and storage – a point that requires considerable further discussion, as do alternative mitigation policies.

There was also discussion of how the effects of climate change are already influencing Chinese policy making. During 1960 to 2000 China saw a 10% reduction in its forest to land ratio. However since then there has been a policy shift to adapt land use to provide mitigation for climate change. There has been a increase of forest planting with levels now returned to the 1960 ratio. This has been achieved by an enormous investment in forests and grasslands. Indeed on  the day of the workshop a newspaper article showed how willow trees were being planted near desert sites to stabilise land and provide a renewable energy source once the trees had matured.

A number of areas for collaboration were mooted during the seminar, and many excellent contacts were made.

Input papers:

For additional Information and login area see: IRG-Project