Earth and Environmental Sciences International Webinar Conference2021 a Resounding Success

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Earth and Environmental Sciences International Webinar Conference2021 a Resounding Success

Earth and Environmental Sciences International Webinar Conference2021 a Resounding Success

The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) in conjunction with Chinese institution Chang’an University recently hosted the very first  Earth and Environmental Sciences International Webinar Conference on the  1st  and 2nd of February 2021.

Coincidentally, the conference was held on the same day as World Wetlands Day with this year’s theme ‘Wetlands and Water. which highlights the importance of wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages action to conserve and restore them.

The webinar came as a result of a National Research Foundation (NRF) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) funded project which was established in 2015. Through the initiative, the two institutions have established student exchange, workshops and training programs and has jointly published research articles in reputable journals.

The thought-inciting conference had a total of 760 registered participants from all over the globe and has established International collaboration with 17 universities worldwide.

Held as part of UNIZULU’S 60th anniversary celebrations, the aim of the recent two-day conference was to discover advances, experiences and innovative ideas on issues related to Earth sciences. It also presented the opportunity to share experiences and research findings, discuss challenges encountered and solutions adopted as well as to develop opportunities to establish new productive academic and industry research collaborations.

In her welcome address, UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor Professor Xoliswa Mtose said that the organisers had secured the presence of eminent personalities in the field to wet the attendees’ appetite. “This assembly, the meeting of different scholars from different background from different countries, is a sentiment of our interconnectedness. At the same time, it is a celebration of what scholarship is all about- the research for truth, the search for (the revelation) of nature’s mystery and most importantly, the search for knowledge to improve our lives. This gathering is a testament of our commitment to resolve the problems. This assembly is a symbol of human spirit at its best. It is a spirit that combines our sense of morality, our obligation to the planet we call our home,” she highlighted.

Deputy Minister Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Honourable David Mahlobo, in his introductory remarks, said that academics in the field of Earth and environmental science have been assigned a great task to analyse Earth’s environmental issues and how these should be best dealt with.“Your session today, which is the inaugural session, and beyond should seek to contribute to finding sustainable solutions to climate change that has (had) devastating effects which include drought and floods” , he said.

Looking ahead, the conference chair Professor Vetrimurugan Elumalai, Professor at Department of Hydrology, said that the organising committee have planned to continue hosting the conference biennially, further collaborating with other countries. Prof Elumalai left the invitation open to national and international researchers, institutions and water management boards to join hands with UNIZULU in future conferences.


  • Precious Shamase



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