CityU hosts mainland-HK symposium on marine research

Karen Cheng

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About 150 marine environmental scientists, academics and students from Hong Kong and the mainland attended a symposium on climate change and marine pollution at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) from 9-10 January.

The symposium was a joint effort between the Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology (MERIT) led by CityU and the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), Xiamen University. It provided a forum for scientific exchange and technical communication between scientists in Hong Kong and the mainland, with a view to providing useful information for formulating policies and devising cost-effective environmental solutions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the symposium, Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Acting President of CityU, said the meeting was of great relevance to marine scientists in Hong Kong, the mainland and around the world.

"In our age, climate change and marine pollution are the two most important and pressing global issues that pose a significant threat to sustainable development," said Professor Ho. He added that the meeting would help solve these imminent problems by devising cost-effective environmental solutions and formulating sound environmental policies.

Welcoming participants to the symposium, Professor (Chair) Rudolf Wu Shiu-sun, from the Department of Biology and Chemistry at CityU and Director of MERIT, said CityU had been collaborating with MEL for more than 10 years in various activities, including the staging of workshops and the training of students.

He added that as MERIT was in the process of applying for the status of a State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, there was a lot for them to learn from MEL.

In the two-day meeting, participants learnt about a variety of innovative technologies for environmental diagnosis and also discussing various marine environmental issues, including ecosystem recovery, risk assessment, pollution control and bioremediation.

MEL is a key research institution in China carrying out marine environment research at the national level, with a special focus on marine biogeochemical processes, mechanisms and their ecological effects.

MERIT is one of the eight Areas of Excellence in Hong Kong selected by the University Grants Committee. It focuses on the development of innovative technologies for early detection, assessment, prediction and control of impacts arising from anthropogenic activities in the marine environment. It is led by CityU, in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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