3. Description of the applicant 3.1 When was your organisation founded and when did it start its activities?
University of Wales, Bangor
The University of Wales Bangor (UWB) began as the University College of North Wales in 1884. In 1893, it became one of 3 constituent colleges of the University of Wales. In 1996 the University was integrated with Coleg Normal, a teacher training institution founded in 1858 also providing BA degrees in a range of academic subjects.
Centre for Arid Zone Studies
Within the University, the Centre for Arid Zone Studies (CAZS) is a semi-autonomous self-funding Centre. Founded in 1984, CAZS has 18 years' experience of rural development work in some of the world's poorest countries, where it has applied, and at times pioneered, a holistic approach to improve rural livelihoods. Although primarily established to promote integrated agricultural and forestry development and to provide technological and scientific innovation to improve natural resource allocation and management in arid and semi-arid regions, our work has evolved to encompass virtually all agro-ecological zones.
The formation of the Centre resulted from a combination of historic events. In 1955, a scholarship foundation was established by Sir William Roberts, a local man who served in the Indian Agricultural Service and who in 1916 became the first Principal of the Punjab Agricultural College (now Faisalabad Agricultural University, a partner in the application). This enabled many Pakistani postgraduates to study in Bangor and established strong connections with Pakistan. In the 1970s a successful experimental farm was established by University staff at Hofuf, Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water and the UK Government's Overseas Development Administration. Out of these and related activities, individual members of natural resources departments at Bangor developed interests in the agricultural and forest problems of arid and semi-arid lands, and a group was set up to draw on their skills to aid development. From small beginnings, CAZS has grown to its present complement of around 30 full- and part-time staff and has established itself as a leading agency in international development.
3.2 What are the main activities of your organisation at present?