NWU UESM leads 24 national and international research projects

Belinda Bantham -- Tue, 06/12/2018 - 11:24

NWU UESM leads 24 national and international research projects

Currently, researchers in the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management (UESM) in the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences are leading 24 national and international research projects.

These projects are funded by several government funding agencies as well as the private sector and is valued in excess of R45 million. Funders include the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Water Research Commission (WRC), the National Health Laboratory Services, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DAFF), Eskom, Sasol, SA Sugarcane Research Institute, the Maize Trust, Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR), Belgium and the World Bank Group. 

Funded projects range from research on air, water and soil quality to developing tools for the sustainable utilization of ecological resources in South Africa.

As the unit recognises the importance of socio-ecological systems and resilience, emphasis are also placed on projects pertaining to disaster risk reduction practices and capacity building support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The latter is being funded by the World Bank Group.

Other flagship projects include:

  • The development of the Bush Expert program to assess and evaluate bush control and rehabilitation practises to improve ecosystem services (funded by DAFF).
  •  A baseline assessment of air quality and air quality drivers in Sharpeville (funded by Eskom).
  • Development of pest management strategies for the Fall Armyworm (funded by the Maize Trust).
  •  Environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials (funded by the National Health Laboratory Services).
  • The transport and fate of antimicrobial residues, microbial contaminants of emerging concern (funded by the NRF).

More about the UESM

The aim of the unit is to generate research that safeguards nature while promoting the social and economic development of South Africa’s people.

Located in Potchefstroom, the unit supports the optimal utilisation of natural resources within the limitations of ecosystem resilience. To ensure long-term relevance, the UESM seeks a balance between fundamental and applied, market-oriented research.

Currently our research is conducted in eight subprogrammes: Climate Change, Air Quality and Impacts; Aquatic Ecosystem Health; Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology; Ecological Interactions and Ecosystem Resilience; Environmental Management; Integrated Pest Management; Geology Soil Science, and Spatial Planning and Implementation.