Alongside the 5 main projects there have been a number of supplementary awards granted. One of these is the Knowledge Exchange research package that is within the China-UK Karst CZ project. It aims at understanding the current Knowledge Exchange (KE) practices in China and improving science effectiveness.
A large of amount of progress has been made to date. Firstly a broad scale analysis about what type of KE delivery exists in China was conducted. The understanding from this analysis is now written as an academic paper ready for submission. This was followed by surveys and interviews to collect data about a) current KE practices, b) type of learning and c) the existing science-policy-practice interface. Scientists have been surveyed from all 5 projects within the UK-China CZO programme. In November 2016, we surveyed 15 county leaders, 8 town leaders and 24 village leaders along with totally 312 farmers in 7 villages. An official report to Puding government comprising the project summary and some survey results and an academic paper on the Puding county data are being written up.
The work outlined above has resulted in the following KE understanding:
- Results of the literature review show the temporal and spatial variation of knowledge management activities (including KE) between China and the globe. Limited amounts of two-way KE practice have being conducted in China for environment management and science-policy interface.
- The understanding gained from 1) is consistent with our survey results, reporting that more training is needed for the local farmers from the government and scientists to improve their catchment knowledge and land use practice. Currently farmers mainly learn farming methods from their families. Furthermore, the survey and interviews provide important information about the different preference of farmers/leaders to gain/share the new farming and catchment knowledge: the farmers prefer farm visiting by the scientists with face-to-face communication, whereas leaders would prefer to pass knowledge on through training. Written instruction does not go down well with the farmers.
- In addition, the survey data indicates the farmers are facing two top issues: inadequate labour and lack of water for irrigation. Our CZ research results hopefully will help them with the water issue, but more communication between scientists and farmers is required, which is however lacking of at the moment in Puding.