Research into sustainable trade

The University has been awarded a grant of £500,000 from a new global fund to support sustainable trade in wild species and agricultural goods.

Professor Zoe Davies and Dr Bob Smith from the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE) in the School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC), will lead the Kent team for the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF)  Trade, Development and Environment Hub.

The project, led by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, will look at data on trade originating in Brazil, China, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, and Tanzania will be linked within a global modelling framework to identify different possible trade futures and how these might benefit or impact on marginalised people and nature.

Professor Davies said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Kent, DICE and the School of Anthropology and Conservation to work on a multi-million pound international project that will trace the trade of wildlife, wild meat and agricultural goods from their origin in eight countries, and then throughout the entire world.’

The project is one of 12 research hubs funded by the £200m UKRI GCRF, a key supporter of the UK Aid Strategy which places UK-led research at the heart of efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Announcing the 12 UKRI GCRF Hubs alongside 16 other international research partnerships, Science and Universities Minister Chris Skidmore, said: ’The UK has a reputation for globally influential research and innovation, and is at the centre of a web of global collaboration – showing that science has no borders.

‘We have a strong history of partnering with other countries – over 50% of UK authored research involves collaborations with international partners.

’The projects being announced today reinforce our commitment to enhance the UK’s excellence in innovation at home and around the world, driving high-skilled jobs, economic growth and productivity as part of the modern Industrial Strategy.’

Professor Andrew Thompson, UKRI Champion for the Global Challenges Research Fund, said: ’The sheer scale and ambition of these Hubs is what makes them so exciting. They enable us to deliver a coordinated global response with UK researchers working in partnership with researchers, governments, NGOs, community groups and international agencies across developing countries. Each Hub has the potential to transform the quality of life for multitudes throughout the world and safeguard our planet for future generations.’