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Massey scientist Bruce Glavovic has been appointed to a world-leading funding group that will allocate €20 million to coastal vulnerability and freshwater security research.
Professor Glavovic, who is associate director of Massey’s Joint Centre for Disaster Research, will serve as vice-chair of the Belmont Forum’s International Opportunities Fund Panel of Experts on coastal vulnerability.
The Belmont Forum, which is a high-level group of the world’s major funders of global environmental change research and science councils, joined with the G8 Heads of Research Councils to create the fund.
It aims to speed-up global environmental research on sustainability by mobilising international resources. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom and United Sates are backing the fund with a combined €20 million.
Professor Glavovic says the appointment is an honour. “This Belmont Forum is hugely significant in shaping what research on a global scale will unfold.
“My role is to evaluate and select proposals and cast a vote on what research will be undertaken on coastal sustainability issues. It’s a hugely important responsibility.”
Importantly, the fund identifies and gives global recognition that coastlines are at the forefront of sustainability issues, he says. “Coastal zones are the frontline of our struggle to build resilient and sustainable communities. Coasts are the primary habitat of humanity – the locus of population growth and economic development.”
But he explains coastal hazards are pervasive – from extreme waves, storm surges, coastal erosion and tsunamis to rising sea levels and other climate change impacts. Research proposals will focus on protecting vulnerable coastal environments and supporting the evolution of resilient coastal communities.
Professor Glavovic will help to select panel members and the group will meet in London in September and Washington DC in March, to review and recommend research proposals.