Knowledge for climate is a new international network for climate change adaptation, research and education. This international network brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from Switzerland and from two major world regions, South Asia and Latin America.
Climate change adaptation is a complex process
The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on “Climate Action” recognizes climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our time, fundamentally undermining the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. While climate change affects all countries on all continents it disproportionately affects the developing world, with unprecedented and increasing risks to life, livelihoods and ecosystems. Adaptation to changing and new environmental conditions is therefore of fundamental importance to sustainability and implies interdisciplinary scientific knowledge. However, climate change adaptation (CCA) is not a straightforward but a complex and interwoven process. The current translation from research to CCA practice shows important limitations. Moreover, it is widely recognized that human capacities and knowledge, and thus education, are a critical resource to address CCA, but comprehensive teaching curricula at the university level are missing in Switzerland and countries in the South.
New teaching programs
This COFER (Consortia for Education and Research) addresses this major challenge by developing and implementing dedicated joint teaching programs and introducing new approaches to put research into value for practice and development. For this purpose, we systematically adopt a joint knowledge production (JKP) approach where researchers, policy makers and groups of civil society engage and cooperate in a framework of different forms of knowledge to ultimately negotiate adaptation. We directly respond to SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 4 (Quality education), and also contribute to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).