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Academy establishes Asia Center to protect the environment
Date:4/3/2008

PHILADELPHIABuilding on nearly 15 years of biodiversity and climate change research in Mongolia, The Academy of Natural Sciences today announced formation of its Asia Center to forge international partnerships for the study, protection and sustainable use of environmental resources.

One of the first partnerships established, and involving St. Josephs University in Philadelphia, is with Nanjing University, one of the most selective universities in China and among the worlds oldest institutions of higher learning. A focus of the collaboration involves training faculty and students to monitor the highly polluted Lake Tai, Chinas third largest lake, which serves as a drinking water and food source for 6 million people and is on the verge of serious ecosystem damage. Rapid economic development in China and other parts of Asia has led to rampant exploitation of natural resources. This development, coupled with global climate change, is accelerating widespread environmental degradation and loss of ecosystems, with the potential to seriously affect food and water supplies for millionsif not billionsof people.

Now is the time to act, said Academy President and CEO William Y. Brown. Water, air and biodiversity are under siege in China and elsewhere in Asia. Science, and Academy scientists, can help stabilize the region through research and by training young scientists and environmentalists in the places impacted.

Through the Asia Center, the Academy will work with host nations and other partners to train researchers and to apply the knowledge to protecting the environment, especially in areas involving climate change and water quality issues. Evoking the 17 million plant and animal specimens under its own care, the Academy also seeks to ensure the preservation of research specimens, images and data in collections in other institutions.

Later this year, Academy scientists and St. Josephs University faculty will begin training senior-level
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Contact: Carolyn Belardo
belardo@ansp.org
215-299-1043
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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