Big research funding post

A Palmerston North professor has been selected as vice-chairman of a world-leading funding group that will distribute 20 million euros to environmental research.

Massey University's Bruce Glavovic, a professor in natural hazards, resource and environmental planning, will help choose research proposals on how to tackle coastal sustainability issues for the International Opportunities Fund Panel of Experts.

The money comes from the Belmont Forum, a group of the world's major funders of global environmental change research and science councils, and the G8 Heads of Research Councils.

The panel will select what coastal vulnerability – the likelihood of coastline areas eroding – and freshwater security research will be given money from the 20 million euros funding pool, which was made available to speed up and support sustainability research.

Prof Glavovic said he was honoured to be given the position.

"This Belmont Forum is hugely significant in shaping what research on a global scale will unfold," he said.

"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."

He said coastlines were at the forefront of the world's sustainability issues.

"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."

Prof Glavovic said research proposals would focus on protecting vulnerable coastal environments and supporting the evolution of strong coastal communities.

He will travel to London in September to help select other members for the panel.

Manawatu Standard