Conference on the “Role of Higher Education for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation” and 1st UN-CECAR Workshop, Tokyo, 10-12 June 2009

Representatives from more than 18 universities and research organizations from across the Asia-Pacific, as well as international and intergovernmental organizations, gathered at UNU headquarters in Tokyo to put higher education on top of the climate change adaptation agenda. The first of its kind in the region, the three-day event entitled ‘The Role of Higher Education in Adapting to Climate Change’ was jointly organised by the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace, and theInstitute for Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) of the University of Tokyo.

The event successfully established a regional network that will provide the foundations for a comprehensive postgraduate educational programme to produce the necessary students, educators, and research needed for effective adaptation to climate change. More than 100 educators, researchers, policy makers and administrators participated.
The first day of the event, June 10, was a public conference featuring four keynote speakers: Prof. Janette Lindesay, Deputy Director, Australian National University Climate Change Institute; Prof. Diqiang Li, Director, Chinese Academy of Forestry; Prof. Nobuo Mimura, Director, Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science; and Prof. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, Director-General for The Center for Research and Development Strategy, Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Panelists were drawn from presidents, deans and heads of departments from leading universities in Japan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The conference also provided an ideal opportunity for the UNU to ask keynote speaker, Prof. Nobuo Mimura, about the recent landmark report he lead on the economic costs of climate change for Japan.
During the two-day closed workshop that followed, participants shared information on existing climate-related teaching and research within their institutions, with the final day dedicated to brainstorming innovative ideas for a regional curricula, joint research projects and resource sharing, as well as future action plans. The conclusion of the event was celebrated by a round-table commitment to further develop this initiative, with follow-up workshops to be held this year in Vietnam (September), Ghana (October), and next year in Indonesia (February). The outcomes will make an important contribution to UNU-ISP’s graduate study programmes which will begin in 2010.

Download Conference Proceedings.