The programme is jointly supported by NERC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which have invested £3m including support from the Newton Fund, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), which is providing matched equivalent funding.
The Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards in Earthquake Prone Regions of China programme will be delivered by UK and Chinese scientists as a strategic research partnership, facilitated by RCUK China. Projects include research into mapping risks using new data, enabling communities to plan for disasters and manage risks and investigating how science can best inform governance and policy around risk-reduction and managing disasters. The programme will develop new expertise on disaster resilience that can be shared in the UK and China.
NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham said: ‘The economic and social costs of earthquake-related disasters are immense, affecting the lives of millions globally. They impact on long-term health, housing and education and cause huge disruption to local and regional economies. We are pleased to be working with Chinese partners to deliver a programme of research with the potential to increase resilience to natural disasters around the world.’
NSFC’s vice president Liu Congqiang said: ‘Natural hazards continue to cause enormous human and economic losses across the world. China in particular, has experienced some of the most devastating earthquakes in human history. This strategic partnership between NSFC and the research councils is supporting international, multidisciplinary research that will look to understand the hazard chain leading to disasters; improving our ability to build the level of resilience to hazards, as well as to enhance recovery.’