University Network for Climate and Ecosystem Change Adaptation Research (UNCECAR)

University Network for Climate and Ecosystem Change Adaptation Research (UNCECAR)

The University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UN-CECAR) is a collaborative initiative established in 2009. Comprised of universities and organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, UN-CECAR focuses on developing postgraduate research and education programs related to climate change adaptation, ecosystems change adaptation, and sustainability science.

By leveraging the collective expertise and resources of its members, UN-CECAR aims to deliver interdisciplinary courses and training that inform the design of effective policy and development strategies in response to climate and ecosystems change. The United Nations University's Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) in Tokyo serves as the secretariat, coordinating various programs within the UN-CECAR framework.




UN-CECAR Objectives

The objectives of UN-CECAR are as follows:

  1. Collect and customize international knowledge on climate change adaptation to the local level.
  2. Assess existing and emerging climate change-related research and degree programs in the region.
  3. Identify topics for development based on the needs of students and educators, while also addressing market demands for climate change graduates.
  4. Initiate and support the development of joint or dual degree programs, as well as common courses with credit sharing schemes.
  5. Promote the establishment of joint research programs, including resource sharing, frameworks for collaboration, and fundraising activities.
  6. Facilitate training programs to retrain professionals, specialists, policymakers, and educators on emerging climate change issues, science, and methodologies.
  7. Establish connections with and contribute to international and national processes and conventions related to climate change, such as the work of the IPCC, the Bali Roadmap and Nairobi Action Plan, and national adaptation plans.
  8. Create a regional curricula framework on climate change adaptation.

.UN-CECAR Framework

  • UN-CECAR's activities are managed by an International Coordinating Committee (ICC).
  • The ICC consists of representatives from prominent postgraduate universities in the region.
  • The United Nations University's Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) serves as the secretariat of the network.
  • UNU-ISP is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the activities of the network.
  • The ICC, along with UNU-ISP, plans, develops, and implements the initiatives of UN-CECAR
  • UNU-ISP serves as a repository for education programs and research outcomes generated by the UN-CECAR network.
  • Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed between UNU-ISP, representing UN-CECAR, and each member university.
  • The MOUs acknowledge and agree upon the network objectives and operational mode.
  • The university network is designed to tackle global-scale research needs and disseminate information to local communities in each country.
  • This dissemination is achieved through the postgraduate programs offered by the member universities.

Joint Research Programme

The research programs related to climate change and sustainability issues within the UN-CECAR network are developed collaboratively by the entire group, as well as smaller subsets based on similarities in impacts and vulnerabilities. The joint research programs are broadly categorized into two groups:

  1. Rapid Onset Changes: This category includes research programs focused on studying and addressing the impacts of sudden and severe events such as floods, cyclones, and landslides, which can have immediate and significant consequences.

  2. Slow Onset Changes: This category encompasses research programs that investigate and tackle the long-term and gradual changes associated with climate change, such as land degradation and biodiversity loss. These changes may occur over an extended period, but still have substantial environmental and societal implications.

The UN-CECAR network engages in research activities within these categories to enhance understanding and develop effective strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change and sustainability challenges.