Cocoa and climate expertise showcased to Nicaragua diplomats
01 November 2022
The Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK visited the University of Reading Department of Meteorology on 1 November.
The Ambassador was shown demonstrations in the fluid labs before meeting with staff and students. Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, joined an informal conversation about the University’s recent initiatives.
Topics for discussion included the Planet Partners campaign and #ShowYourStripes initiative, which aim to increase understanding of climate change to people around the world. The delegation visited the Reading Atmospheric Observatory, site of Reading’s Met Office weather station and climatic research measurements, and the David Grimes Reading-San Francisco Libre Association and Trust projects, set up in memory of a former Department of Meteorology colleague.
Professor Paul Hadley, from the School of Agriculture, was also in attendance to talk to the Ambassador about the work of the cocoa research group.
After visiting the University, the Ambassador met the Mayor of Reading to discuss the Reading town twinning link with San Francisco Libre – a town on Lake Managua in western Nicaragua.
Later in the day, a photo exhibition about San Francisco Libre and the work of the David Grimes Trust was the venue for a small reception. The Mayor of Reading, the Ambassador, and other invited guests viewed the exhibition at the Reading International Solidarity Centre, and tasted Nicaraguan rum and chocolates, gifts of the Ambassador.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort, said “The University of Reading has strong international links that add enormous value to the work that we do. Many of our strengths, including in the study of climate science, agriculture, and food, map onto the areas of great interest to our counterparts in Central and South America.
“We intend to build on the work we are already doing in San Francisco Libre and strengthen our partnership with Nicaragua. With a global crisis in cocoa production, the synergy between Nicaraguan agriculture and research, and our own work with the international cocoa community, we hope this will continue to be a particularly valuable partnership for individual farmers and the global cocoa trade.”