OBOR Could Be Environmental Superhighway: Study

The “New Road for Telecoupling Global Prosperity and Ecological Sustainability” report by Michigan State University scholars states China’s ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, involving more than 100 countries and international organizations, could create routes filled with opportunity.

The authors use the new integrated telecoupling framework, which allows scientists to understand and govern the interconnections of socioeconomic and environmental issues that span the globe.  The approach factors in changes that ripple across regions, accounting for what otherwise might be unforeseen and unintended consequences.

The stakes are particularly high with environmental concerns such as climate change, air and water pollution and food security demanding immediate solutions, said Jack Liu, director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) and the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at Michigan State.

“Environmental challenges like climate change; biodiversity loss; desertification; air, water, soil, and ocean pollution; and natural disasters rarely honor man-made borders, so now is the time to start building mechanisms to create environmental wins. But this also requires a sophisticated way of understanding the impacts that come with change,” he said.

The report recommends roles for groups like the United Nations in climate adaptation and mitigation, poverty alleviation and other areas.  The group also suggests building infrastructure to allocate people, resources and energy equitably and efficiently; boost technological transfer with cultural and religious exchanges, and so on.

– Xinhua

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