#PlanetPartners: Creatures great and small get help from Reading research
Release Date 25 May 2021
Animals ranging from huge elephants to tiny insects are being studied by University of Reading researchers seeking to identify threats and challenges they face, and how we can protect global biodiversity.
The University’s institutional and research efforts are underpinned by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aimed at tackling societal and environmental challenges across the planet and are closely aligned with the University’s own strategy.
This May, the University of Reading is running a new #PlanetPartners campaign, inviting its entire community to share examples of work towards all the SDGs.
SDG15: Life on Land comprises efforts to protect natural habitats like forests, and monitor and prevent changes to these areas and their biodiversity due to climate change or human action.
“Understanding animal behaviour, biology, and how they interact with the world and humans is vital for helping us in the fight to conserve our natural wonders for future generations.” - Dr Tara Pirie, University of Reading
Examples of work by the University to address SDG15 include:
- Launching a new project investigating the use of weather forecasts to aid elephant conservation, amid challenges caused by human and elephant coexistence.
- Hosting research on a range of issues, such as how microplastics are affecting ecosystems, how soil supports on Earth, how poachers have instigated a vulture crisis in Africa, and the role zoos play in wildlife conservation.
- Playing a major part in Bees’ Needs Week, which highlights the decline of pollinating insects and the vital role they play in global food production.
- Sourcing the majority of the beef served in our campus canteens from our own Red Tractor-certified farms.
- Running an online course on sustainable farming and food production.
- Producing the next generation of botany experts who go on to have successful plant-related careers.
- Publishing a biodiversity policy on campus that aims to enhance biodiversity on campus.
Dr Tara Pirie, a zoologist at the University of Reading whose work involves improving protection for rare species worldwide, said: “Understanding animal behaviour, biology, and how they interact with the world and humans is vital for helping us in the fight to conserve our natural wonders for future generations.”
The UN’s SDGs incorporate themes across the ‘five Ps’: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. These align with the University of Reading’s own strategic themes: Community, Excellence, Sustainability and Engagement.
This campaign follows the publication of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021, in which Reading participated for the first time and ranked in the top 200 globally, which scored participating universities on their support of the individual SDGs.
The University’s latest campaign is a continuation of the #PlanetPartners campaign launched by the University in October 2019, which is highlighting ways the University is working with global partners on projects that benefit the environment.
Follow the campaign and share your examples of work on Twitter: @UniofReading | Facebook: /theuniversityofreading | Instagram: @uniofreading | LinkedIn: University of Reading | TikTok: @uniofreading using the hashtags #PlanetPartners and #sdgoals