In December 2006, the School of Geographic Sciences at Southwest University of China (SWUC) in Chongqing announced that it had been awarded a grant of 4 Million Yuan (~US$512,000) from China's Ministry of Science and Technology for the project, "Comprehensive Rehabilitation Techniques and Models for the Deteriorated Karst Ecosystems in Mountainous Regions of Chongqing." The five-year project focuses on water and soil conservation and poverty reduction in Chongqing Municipality's mountainous karst regions, which are dominated by soluble bedrock where water typically flows underground rather than at the surface.

The MoST-funded project complements SWUC's involvement in the USAID-sponsored China Environmental Health Project (CEHP), in which scientists and graduate students from Western Kentucky University (WKU) are providing training at SWUC along with laboratory and curriculum development for the study of karst hydrogeology, water resources, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computer mapping technology. As part of the CEHP karst work, the China Environment Forum and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction will train Chinese NGOs to work with the SWUC and WKU scientists to increase involvement in the research and proposed solutions. CEHP partners expect that the increased academic infrastructure at SWUC resulting from USAID's support will directly enhance the success of the new SWUC grant.