2010 Courses on 'Building Resilience to Climate Change'



The current and likely future impacts of climate change are considered among the most important issues faced by human beings. Countries, regions, economic sectors and social groups differ in their degree of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. People in least-developed and developing countries are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, yet have the least capacity to cope with those impacts. Rapid and holistic actions based on mutual understanding and international cooperation are required to address the vulnerability of these groups. Such actions should be focused on building the adaptive capacity and resilience of the most vulnerable so that they can adapt to the impacts of climate change in ways that minimize those impacts. In addition, integrated climate change mitigation efforts are required in various sectors in order to minimize the risk of dangerous rates of global warming and climate change.


The aim in this program is to provide the foundations for developing future global leaders with the necessary breadth of understanding of the challenges and solutions to climate change, and with a commitment to mainstreaming climate change into decision and policy making in all sectors of our societies and economies. Such leaders will be committed to increasing the adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change of the most vulnerable countries, regions, economic sectors and social groups.

The program, including two intensive courses over two weeks, provides students with an understanding of the fundamental science and impacts of climate change and of the context, key concepts and issues associated with vulnerability, adaptation and resilience.

Special emphasis is placed on contemporary methodologies and approaches in the rapidly-developing field of climate change adaptation, especially in building community-based resilience to climate change through appropriate approaches to adaptation.

Competencies/Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understanding of the science & impacts of climate change.

  2. Understanding of the key issues, context and concepts of adaptation and resilience.

  3. Understanding of methodologies and approaches in climate change adaptation.

  4. Resilience competencies in climate change-relevant contexts, including teamwork, communication and problem solving.

  5. Ability to synthesise multi-disciplinary information and develop problem solving strategies using integrative approaches & systems thinking.

2010 Course Information

Course 1, Week 1: Science, Impacts and Vulnerability

Course 2, Week 2: Approaches to Adaptation

Duration: 13 Sept 2010-1 October 2010

The programme runs for three weeks, from September 13, 2010, and are open to students who are currently enrolled in a university postgraduate programme and who have already identified their thesis topic prior to arriving in Japan.

The first course: Building Resilience to Climate Change I is offered in the first week and focuses on “Science, Impacts and Vulnerability”.

The second course, Building Resilience to Climate Change II, offered in the second week, focuses on “Approaches to Adaptation”.

The final week provides training on geographic and climate models and software, with time allocated for students to complete their research paper.

As part of the research requirement, students must link their thesis topic to climate change.

Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a certificate with transcripts from UNU-ISP. Each course is designed to be 2 credits worth with 30 hours of teaching time. While a number of universities have credit transfer agreements with UNU-ISP, it is ultimately the decision of the home university and degree programme that the student is enrolled in that will decide whether the credits are transferrable.

Visit the UNU-ISP website for application details: http://isp.unu.edu/grad/cecar/index.html

Read our Blog: 2010 Building Resilience to Climate Change


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