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Project launching and consultation workshop of the UNEP-NSFC key international cooperation

A joint international cooperation key project "Study the sustainability and resilience of forests under different management systems and its impact on livelihoods in Kenya" funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the United Nations Environment Programme (NSFC-UNEP) was launched at the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Guangzhou on October 11, 2020.

Together with the launching ceremony, a consultation workshop was held by the Dinghushan Forest Research Station to validate the detailed project work plan and access its progress. More than 40 experts and researchers from SCBG, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Kenya, International Ecosystem Management Partnership of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-IEMP), Sun Yat-sen University, etc. participated in the online and offline conferences.

This project aims to design and conduct a comprehensive research on spatial and temporal pattern of tropical forest ecosystem, to explore the service function maintenance mechanism of forest ecosystem in context of increasing human population, climate change, commerce and misplaced forest management policies. Six forests with different management policies and varying intensities of government involvement have been identified in Kenya, to focus on these six types of typical forest ecosystems, take forest coverage, species diversity, forest productivity, soil characteristics, gas fluxes, and the livelihoods of the people in and around the forests as parameters, analyze the impact of forest structure, function, ecosystem service function and humanistic community livelihoods on ecosystem services. It is proposed to provide a forest management strategy system to meet drought stress and increase of forest nitrogen caused by agricultural activities.

Professor Stephen G. Agong, the vice chancellor of JOOUST, noted that Kenyan forests are indeed under threat and viewed the project as a right step towards understanding forest functions and their relation to the local populations who are in direct contact with these forests. Ms. WANG Guoqin, the programme manager of UNEP-IEMP, also affirmed that the project has special value to the overall research plan of IEMP, and hopes that this project can provide a solid scientific basis for the implementation of Kenya's sustainable development goals and Green Kenya Initiative.

With this project, SCBG hopes to continue to deepen multi-party cooperation with the UNEP and the Universities of Kenya in terms of talent training, achievement output, academic exchanges, and strengthen scientific and technological exchanges and international cooperation.

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