Restoring Environments, Societies, Ecosystems and Trees (RESET)
  Africa is due to experience the most rapid urbanisation and population growth in this century. The combination of these phenomena in other countries has led to two dire outcomes: enormous loss of ecosystems, biodiversity and natural land (i) and Gigatonnes of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere as a result of building materials and construction activities (the so-called embodied carbon of buildings). RESET aims to address this incredibly complex challenge from a strongly interdisciplinary perspective to explore the possibility for Africa to leapfrog to future sustainability avoiding the urbanisation pathway experienced by the Global North. Starting from Chad as the ‘live’ case study for piloting our approach, and with additional desk-based scoping-studies in Uganda, Ethiopia and Madagascar, the project team will address the key role of reforestation programmes in order to promote carbon storage and bio-based construction materials from four different disciplinary angles: engineering, carbon accounting, social science and the natural sciences. The engineering stream will focus on understanding the potential for bio-based construction, while the carbon accounting stream will evaluate the economic benefit of scaling up nature-based solutions for carbon dioxide removal and storage. On the other hand, the social science will inform and support a meaningful engagement with local communities to facilitate their understanding of the climate crisis and the role that nature-based solutions can play, and to empower them in ‘owning’ an important climate solution through the preservation and increase of forest areas, and an intelligent use of bio-based materials for long-term carbon storage in built assets. Lastly, the natural science stream will ensure that key criteria of ecosystems preservation, geological monitoring, land degradation, and water resources are factored in to inform outputs that are viable from all different disciplinary angles with a realistic pathway to sustainable implementation at their heart.

  • Start Date:

    24 November 2021

  • End Date:

    28 February 2023

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Royal Academy of Engineering

  • Value:


Project Team