Challenge

SUNRISE theme 2 aimed fill a knowledge gap by attributing the main causes of degradation of air quality, water and soil systems and by determining the key factors that affect both rate and stability of recovery.

Overview

Restoration and remediation involves alleviation of degradation pressure[s] and, typically, measures that initiate and/or enhance recovery. Development of mitigation options therefore requires research aimed at identifying and quantifying the factors causing degradation, while successful restoration requires an understanding of what drives recovery. Research in this theme focused on process understanding critical to the nexus between air quality, agricultural practices and water quantity/quality. It sought to fill a knowledge gap by attributing the main causes of degradation in study systems and determining the key factors that affect both rate and stability of recovery of water, soil and air and the subsequent resilience of restored natural systems to future change. The findings informed new policy and management approaches in India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and sub-Saharan Africa, but with global relevance. In the long term, the research outcomes will facilitate enhanced delivery of environmental services that are fundamental for health and well-being: clean air (SDGs 7 & 11), clean water (SDG 6) and restored productive land (SDGs 2 & 15).

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Chamber collar in riparian buffer used for greenhouse gas sampling with local collaborators from SMARTRI, Riau, Indonesia
Chamber collar in riparian buffer used for greenhouse gas sampling with local collaborators from SMARTRI, Riau, Indonesia

Work Packages

SUNRISE Theme 2 was lead by Prof. Niall McNamara and comprised 4 different work packages:

2.1 Quantifying rural impacts on urban air quality (Lead: Eiko Nemitz)

Indoor and outdoor air pollution causes millions of premature deaths worldwide, with the majority occurring in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. In addition to being a human tragedy, the economic costs are great. This work package sought to quantify the contribution of agricultural activity to urban air pollution and investigate abatement measures to inform cost-effective strategies for ensuring economic growth and human well-being. 

2.2 Degraded waters - Kenya (Lead: Linda May)

This work package focused on the sustainable development of fisheries in and around the Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria, aiming to improve food security for a growing population whilst minimising the impact on the environment.  This involved mapping conservation areas, cage fish farm sites, fish capture sites, water hyacinth hotspots and levels of pollution, which in turn helped classify different areas of the Gulf in terms of their suitability for siting fish farms. A particular aim of this work was to provide evidence to inform improvements to the regulatory framework that controls fish farm development. 

2.3. Restoring yield and degraded agricultural land in Indonesia and Malaysia (Lead: Niall McNamara)

This work package aimed to co-develop strategies to restore and remediate degraded agricultural systems in Southeast Asia for delivering socioeconomic and environmental benefits. This research recognised the multiple constraints on agricultural productivity in developing countries including land availability, its quality and access to resources for remediation and the distortional impacts on low-income groups. A central aim of this work was to rehabilitate soils and ecosystems through improved management strategies and nutrient use efficiency.  

2.4 Degraded waters - India (Lead: Laurence Carvalho)

Enhancing freshwaters - India focused on enhancing water security in rural and urban India through improving the water quality and ecological health of freshwaters. It aimed to support Indian communities and stakeholders with (1) identifying the main sources of pollution and priorities for river basin management, (2) evaluating low-cost and low-energy solutions to water treatment to enhance quality, (3) providing data, information and guidance to support communities to sustainably exploit freshwater systems, and (4) providing training and guidance to researchers, communities, practitioners and policy makers on enhancing India’s water resources. You can find out more on the Degraded waters - India web page.

Partners

India

Indonesia

International

Kenya

Malaysia

UK

Impact Stories

Coming Soon

Leads

Theme 2 & WP2.3 lead: Restoring yield and degraded agricultural land in Indonesia and Malaysia
Environmental Physicist; Group Leader "Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange & Effects"
WP2.1 lead: Quantifying rural impacts on urban air quality
WP2.2 lead: Degraded waters - Kenya
WP2.4 lead: Degraded waters - India