Thursday 13 April 2017

Marine ecosystems and the law to be explored through new research centre


Ocean coral
The new Centre aims to safeguard the future of marine ecosystems

At MERGeR, we will investigate how the law promotes or hinders resilience in the face of threats and challenges.
Professor Elizabeth Kirk, MERGeR co-director
We need the law to understand and address the impact of human activities on the resilience of our natural systems.
Professor David Ong, MERGeR co-director

A new research centre which examines the intersection between marine ecosystems, the use of natural resources and the law is to be launched at Nottingham Law School.

The aim of the Centre for Marine Ecological Resilience and Geological Resources (MERGeR) is to promote the engagement of law, lawyers and legal systems with the environment and resources in order to safeguard the continued and future resilience of the world’s ecosystems.

MERGeR will be led by Professors Elizabeth Kirk and David Ong, experts in international environmental law, and will have a particular focus on marine resources and marine ecosystems, but also including fresh water and terrestrial issues.

The Centre will create a hub for both early-career and experienced researchers from the UK and beyond who are working on these issues, and aims to move into new and emerging fields of research, policy advice, teaching and outreach in marine ecological resilience and geological resources.

Professor Elizabeth Kirk, who will lead the research stream on marine ecological resilience, said: “Many ecosystems have been badly degraded by human influence, whether through climate change, other forms of pollution, or through over-use of resources. At MERGeR, we will investigate how the law promotes or hinders resilience in the face of these threats and challenges.”

Professor David Ong, who will focus on geological resources, added: “The conjunction of marine ecological resilience and geological resources brings together two significant strands in the general debate on the relationship between the environment and law.  We need the law to understand and address the impact of human activities on the resilience of our natural systems, while a complementary focus on geological resources means we can apply a critical approach to natural resource use in line with ecological resilience.”

MERGeR will officially launch on Wednesday 3 May with an inaugural lecture by Professor Elizabeth Kirk on Mapping International Law to Dynamic Three-Dimensional Ecosystems.

For further information and booking please visit the Nottingham Law School website 

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Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University’s five-year strategic plan Creating the University of the Future has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally and Empowering People.

The University holds a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.  It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Nottingham Trent University is recognised as the most sustainable university in the UK, having been ranked first in the prestigious People and Planet University League 2016