Two million for climate study

Two million for climate study

Focus on three 'rural labs'

31-03-2022 · News

Together with RIVM and the universities of Nijmegen and Wageningen, the UM managed to obtain two million euro for climate research. What are the consequences of the changing climate for our health?

Take, for example, the rise in the number of ticks, says co-ordinator Pim Martens, professor of Sustainability. “That is unmistakably linked to global warming. Or new mosquito species and the danger of new infectious diseases.”

With the two million euro – received from the NWO programme National Science Agenda – the researchers are going to map out the health risks, but also propose solutions. The focus is not on the cities but on the countryside, taking into consideration the nitrogen problems, the agricultural transition, biodiversity and population characteristics.

Salinization

The UM is working together with the universities of Nijmegen and Wageningen, Leiden university of applied sciences, RIVM, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving) and Naturalis on this so-called MANTRA study. The project will focus on three regions, to which also local organisations such as the Area Health Authorities contribute: Hogeland (North-east Groningen), the Alblasserwaard, and North-east Brabant.

The regions each have their own signature and problems, says Martens. “Hogeland is contending salinization of the land and a reduction in biodiversity. Moreover, it is an area characterised by lack of money and an ageing population. That is reflected on health anyway, but especially in times of climate adaptations.”

Groundwater

The Alblasserwaard – Zuid-Holland – is closer to the Randstad, and offers opportunities for tourism and recreation. “More so than in the very north of Groningen, people have already made headway in the fields of biodiversity, water management and the agricultural transition.”

North-east Brabant differentiates itself by intensive cattle breeding, of which the emissions have consequences for the quality of air and the groundwater. “We will zoom in on these rural labs, as we call them, but we also present all-over conclusions and a general framework. How can you limit, as much as possible, the consequences of climate change on health in the countryside? That is what we are trying to answer, together with the local population.”

Categories: Science
Tags: climate,pim martens

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