Thompson Rivers University has received a big grant towards creation of a chair position focussed on the future of our environment.

The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia has granted $150,000 to the university in support of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) industrial research chair position.

“This investment by the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. is the second major donation supporting reclamation research that will take restoration and climate change ecology to the next level at TRU,” said Alan Shaver, university president and vice-chancellor.

“This investment will have a positive impact on the tools available to ensure the environmental sustainability of our region – one of TRU’s major strategic priorities.”

Genome B.C. has granted $250,000 towards the position.

The university hopes a chair focused on development of industry-based solutions to environmental problems would take it one step closer to the creation of a Centre for Ecosystem Reclamation at TRU. It would the first of its kind in Canada.

“Sustainable management means that we meet our immediate needs without compromising the needs of future generations, including environmental, social and economic needs,” said Dr. Lauchlan Fraser, full professor and candidate for the NSERC industrial chair. “A key aspect of sustainable management is the restoration and remediation of lands that have been disturbed because of industry practices.

“Funding from the Real Estate Foundation will allow us to pursue targeted research in ecosystem restoration that will benefit the British Columbia Interior.”

Industry-specific regulations exist for the mining, oil and gas, forestry and transportation industries, and the university believes a Centre for Ecosystem Reclamation would add innovative strategies to restoration management plans.

“Mining reclamation standards and policies that will be developed through the industry research chair have the potential to transform land use attitudes and practices around resource extraction and restoration of healthy ecosystems,” said Jack Wong, CEO of the real estate foundation. “In particular, REFBC is pleased to support collaboration between the mining industry and a variety of partners, including researchers, First Nations, and the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, to achieve a lasting positive impact.”