Green centre gets the nod

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 October, 2008, 12:00am

A marine research centre in Hong Kong has been designated a Regional Centre of Excellence by a United Nations body at a conference in Tokyo.

The Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology (Merit), which is based at City University, was designated a Regional Centre of Excellence in Marine Pollution by Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (Pemsea).

Pemsea, which is an organisation under the UN Development Programme, has partnered with 11 East Asian nations to achieve sustainable development in the region's coastal areas.

Merit involves six Hong Kong universities and a number of universities overseas, and is conducting research on chemical, biological and engineering technologies for monitoring and controlling the effects of development on East Asia's coastal regions - many of which are under threat from human pollution.

Rudolf Wu Shiu-sun of City University's department of biology and chemistry, who is the director of Merit, said the designation was 'prestigious'.

Professor Wu said it showed Merit was not just one of the best marine pollution research centres in China but in Asia.

'I hope the centre will be able to help governments in the EAS region and around the world to address the issue of marine pollution and better manage our environment,' he said.

In an announcement, Pemsea called Merit 'a dynamic collaboration of scientists and researchers from six universities in Hong Kong and various universities outside the EAS region, which has gained international recognition for the development of innovative technologies'.

It also stated the technologies Merit had developed 'show considerable potential for widespread use by government agencies and other researchers'.

It said the centre 'is a productive training ground for graduate students and researchers aspiring to be future environmental professionals in the forefront of technology'.

Professor Wu said Merit's leadership position in researching and managing marine pollution meant it would be able to provide expert advice and training to regional governments on marine environmental issues.

I hope the centre will be able to help governments in the EAS region and around the world to address the issue of marine pollution