Good Development

Good Development is a series of short informal conversations between the UK science minister and our climate scientists and innovators. 

Climate change research and action is vital for the future of the planet. Researchers are working to find innovative solutions to tackle the impact of climate change.

These conversations give researchers a platform to talk about their work. Why it matters. What the impact has been or will be. And how this contributes to UK and international climate ambitions.

The first conversations in this series were recorded with the former UK science minister, Amanda Solloway. 

 

International Partnerships Programme (IPP) CommonSensing

Ms. Leba Gaunavinka and Mr Unnikrishnan Nair joined Minister Amanda Solloway to talk about their project focusing on how to equip small island nations with satellite remote sensing data and skills to tackle the impact of climate change.

Climate Science for Service Partnership (CSSP) Brazil

Dr Liana Anderson and Dr Robin Chadwick joined Minister Amanda Solloway to talk about their project: translating information on climate science, to support Brazilian decision makers with policy and planning for natural disasters caused by climate change.

Peak Youth, Climate Change and the Role of Young People in Seizing their Future

Dr Anna Barford, Dr Anthony Mugeere and Bernard Isiko joined Minister Amanda Solloway for a conversation about their project focusing on the impact of climate change on the youth of Uganda. 
A group of students
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How young people in Uganda are living the climate crisis

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More climate research

Glacier retreat in the Peruvian AndesPlay

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[Music]
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Caption:
Palcacocha glacier, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

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Speaker 1:
Peru is interesting it contains about 70 percent of the world's tropical glaciers.
As you can imagine the tropics isn't a great place for glaciers.
Many mountain regions around the world are warming at much higher than the global average
and that's true also in Peru.
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Palcacocha glacier

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Speaker 1 (Jemma Wadham):
Glaciers in Peru have been retreating,
over the last few decades they've lost about 30 percent of their area.
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Caption:
Jemma Wadham, Professor of Glaciology, University of Bristol
Jemma Wadham sitting in chair

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The very special thing about Peruvian glaciers is actually they are vital as a water resource for the region.
So during the rainy season the glaciers receive snowfall and they're nourished,
and in the dry season, when there's less rain, they then melt and continue to provide meltwater for local communities.
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Palcacocha glacier

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So they really buffer a kind of low water supply during the dry season when the rain stops.
So they're really, really important in providing water to people to croplands, to animals as well.
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Jemma Wadham sitting in chair

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With any big grand environmental challenge it's so much more powerful to be able to bring
people together,
across disciplines across borders and I think the project we're running is a unique example of that.
So I'm a glaciologist from the UK, I've done a lot of work on glaciers,
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Three researchers walking towards Palcacocha glacier

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Raul Loayza-Muro, my collaborator in Peru, he's an ecotoxicologist,
so he's very up on the impact of water quality on people and an ecosystem
so together we actually bring a really unique set of skills together,
which enables us to kind of address this grand challenge about water quality and glassy retreat in Peru.
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Two researchers sit and examine rocks

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The glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca they sit on top of these rocks which are very metal rich
As the glaciers are retreating they are exposing those rocks in front of them, they get washed
by the rain,
they're open to the atmosphere, the metals get dissolved out of the rock sand and that process produces acid.
So the rivers are becoming acidic and very metal toxic.
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Shots of the glacier

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What we don't know is which rivers that's going to happen to, which rivers that's not going to happen to.
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River flowing

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So what we're hoping to do through our project is to produce a vulnerability map of that whole region for the water resource managers.
So they can see which rivers are going to be a problem as the glaciers retreat, which ones we don't think will be a problem,
and then on the flip side of that, to work with these communities to help them to remediate
some of the toxic waters in the rivers which is happening due to glacier retreat.
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Researchers working by river and collecting and analysing samples

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So they're constructing artificial wetlands, and by working with these communities I think what's quite nice,
is actually we're kind of implementing a solution to the problem,
rather than just diagnosing the fact that there is a water quality problem in the mountains
in that region.
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Researchers and local community members discuss the problem together on a mountain in Peru

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Speaker 2 (Dr Raul Loayza-Muro):
Wetlands are ecosystems that are unique to high-altitude Andes. They are characterised by native
Flora, consisting of moss and grasses.
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Caption: Dr Raul Loayza-Muro, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Dr Raul Loayza-Muro

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This ecosystem is like a sponge that keeps water and also filters the water.
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Close up of grasses

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So learning about the functioning of these ecosystems make us think about designing green infrastructure.
One example what happens here in the Shallap catchment. Glacier retreats has produced oxidation, acidification of water and transport of metals.
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Surrounding mountainous landscape

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This has been channelized down to an artificial wetland, where we are aiming to treat a part of this acid water coming from the upper parts,
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Dr Raul Loayza-Muro

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so we can improve the quality, delivering water to reservoirs, so that local people can use this water for their lands, for crops for example, for cattle raising.
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Arial shot of artificial wetland
Researcher testing water quality
Local people and cows walking through field

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Speaker 1 (Jemma Wadham):
May the memory of my people not rage against me.
I never wanted to murder the valley.
And let everyone know, I did not cause my own death
So this evening I’m about to perform in a play about changing glaciers in Peru,
where I will actually be becoming the glacier.
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Caption: Performance at UK ambassador’s residence, Lima
Jemma Wadham dressed as a glacier performing on stage

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So the performance is linked to a programme called Trans.MISSION. It's jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council in the in the UK,
with the Hay Festival, which is one of the world's greatest literary festivals,
and Hay kind of paired me with a storyteller and actress in Peru, which is Erica Stockholm,
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Jemma Wadham sitting down

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and she's written a beautiful story about the changing glaciers from the scientific results that I've kind of discussed with her.
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Erica Stockholm and Dr Raul Loayza-Muro address an audience

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I really think that there should be more collaboration between scientists and artists
because I think at the moment it's pretty clear that the science messages about what's happening
need to get out there in a more accessible way,
and artists have a brilliant way of doing that actually and there's something quite powerful what happens when art meets science
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Jemma Wadham performs on stage

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I really believe that if people come together across disciplines and across different nations, that you can actually solve some of these problems.
You will come to a problem with a different mindset and a different skill set,
and actually these kind of projects, they help you open up a little bit
and see things from another perspective, to bring in different types of solution
so I really, really believe that international cooperation is key with solving grands environmental challenges.
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Jemma Wadham sitting down

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[Music]
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Closing slide with text:
Play written by Erica Stockholm
Play music and violin: Pedro Avila
Filmed and edited by Jon Spaull
Music for fil composed by Jim Howard
The CASCADA project is funded by
NERC and CONCYTEC through the
Newton Paulet Fund
The play was funded by the
Hay Festival/NERC Trans.MISSION programme
CONCYTEC logo, Natural Environment research Council logo, Newton Paulet Fund logo

A nature-based solution to the problem of climate changePlay

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Caption: UK-CHINA Research and Innovation Partnership Fund world class research and innovation partnership
Newton Prize (logo)
Newton Fund (logo)

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Caption: Applying nature-based coastal defence to the world's largest urban area - from science to practice (ANCODE)
Dr Judith Wolf, Physical Oceanographer and Marine Modeler, National Oceanography Centre and Dr Zhan Hu, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science, Sun Yat-sen University

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Professor Zhan Hu walks towards the camera.
Professor Zhan Hu is conducting marine related experiment;
Professor Zhan Hu is observing glass container;

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Speaker (Dr Zhan Hu)
In the current world, flooding induced by sea level rise and typhoons is very challenging.
And our project aims to develop innovative and sustainable measures
To create safer and greater coasts.
In urban deltas, like Pearl River Delta,
We are facing greater risks of coast flooding.
And the lost in each year is enormous.
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Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Caption: Dr Zhan Hu, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science, Sun Yat-sen University China
Flooded land and woods;
Ocean flooded trees at the coast with green hills in the back;
A bridge connects the island in the ocean with the woods at the coast;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Some fishing boats are drifting on the sea with leaves dancing in the foreground;
Tree trunks are drowned in the sea;
Many wastes lie on the sandy shore;

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Speaker (Dr Zhan Hu)
By our project, we want to promote natural-based coastal defence
To use coastal wetlands like mangroves and seagrass
Into future integrated coastal protection schemes.
And right now, we are looking at how to better preserve and restore those valuable ecosystems
In order to use them in future coastal defense.
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Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Boats drift in middle of the sea with leaves and wetland in the foreground;
Boats drift in middle of the sea with a sapling in the foreground;
Under the blue sky is the wetland with green hills in the back;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
An egret walks through the wetland in the distance.
A crab walks out of a hole in the wetland.

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Speaker (Dr Zhan Hu)
Our project is already making difference in wetlands restoration.
We can fence a national wetland park in Yangjiang to create oyster reefs
To protect mangrove seedlings and to facilitate to mangrove creation.
To our knowledge, it is the first time that such measures been taken in China.
And we hope in to see such measures will be applied in many more coastal areas.
If we have the prize,
We will have the chance to test more ideas for mangroves protection and management.
We want the future with beautiful and safe coasts,
With vibrant and healthy ecosystems.
Thanks to the Newton Fund and we can collaborate with our UK partners.
And truly think our partnership will help to build better coasts in the future.
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Crabs bustle around the wetland in a mangrove forest;
Crabs bustle around the wetland with saplings in the back;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Two farmers are working in the wetland with houses and hills in the background;
A close view of 2 or 3 mangrove roots;
Seawater is rippling on the mangrove root;
A farmer is planting in the wetland with houses and hills in the background;
Many crabs are bustling in the wetland which reflects the sunset;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Crabs are bustling around the wetland with fishing boats in the distance at sunset.
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Many crabs are bustling in the wetland which reflects the sunset with trees and house in the background;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Thick leaves are dancing in the wind;
Researchers stand in the wetland in rain boots;
Researchers are collecting data in wetland;
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.
Green leaves flutter in the wind with hill in the back;
A large woods in the front with villages and hills in the distance.
Professor Zhan Hu is speaking in front of the camera in a marine specimen lab.

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Caption:
The Newton Fund is devoted to achieving the
UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

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Caption:
Global Goals for Sustainable Development Logos of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

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Caption:
Global Goals for Sustainable Development Logos of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

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Caption:
Executive Producer
Zhan Zhang
Directed,Filmed,Edited by Manman Yang
Second Cameraman
Wei Wang
Produced by Believing is Seeing Studio Guangzhou

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Caption:
Special thanks
UK Research and Innovation China
British Council
British Consulate General Guangzhou
Sun Yat-sen University

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Caption:
Newton Fund Delivery Partners
UK
Academy of Medical Sciences
British Academy
British Council
Met Office
Royal Academy of Engineering
Royal Society
UK Research and Innovation

Newton Fund Delivery Partners
CHINA
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Chinese Academy of Engineering
Chinese Meteorological Administration
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Science and Technology
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

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[Music]
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Caption:
Newton Prize Logo
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