Zealander to Advise China on the Environment

New Zealander to Advise China on the Environment

The Chief Executive of a New Zealand research organisation has been asked to be a special advisor to China on drinking water and other environmental issues.

FoodHQ partner, ESR’s CEO Keith McLea is the only New Zealander who will attend meetings organised by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development as a special advisor.

ESR was the organisation that investigated the Havelock North water supply after the gastro bug that hit the Hawkes Bay town.

Chinese officials are interested in working with ESR due to its expertise in micro biology, food safety, infectious disease surveillance and epidemiology.

Mr McLea said ESR can offer strong expertise on drinking water but there are a number of areas ESR and its Chinese counterparts can work together.

“Being asked to be a special advisor could well be the start of something great for us as we have identified areas of common interest with China in food safety, other areas of water quality and forensic science.”

The role of Special Advisor involves sharing relevant information of Environmental Science development matters of mutual interest to New Zealand and China. It could also lead to ESR being asked to contribute to Policy Research Initiatives identified by the Council.

The invitation follows New Zealand recently signing an agreement with China’s largest national environmental research organisation: the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES).

ESR engages in scientific activities very similar to CRAES, especially in the areas of improving the safety of freshwater and groundwater resources for human use and the safer use of bio-wastes.

“The new relationship will be beneficial for both organisations and countries. We can partner in a wide range of technologies, testing methods and research to improve the environment.”

Mr McLea will attend a series of meetings this week on subjects such as Yangtze River Protection and River Basin Governance, Global Ocean Governance and Eco-civilization and Green Urbanisation and Clean Energy Strategy and Climate Change,

“In the future we foresee many opportunities to work together to improve the understanding of each other’s science and research. Jointly we may potentially explore research projects in New Zealand, China and internationally.”

Article first appeared here.