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Climate Change, Adaptation and Higher Education: Securing our Future

University of Mauritius, Mauritius, 21-22 October 2010 

SARUA convened a two-day Leadership Dialogue Event, bringing together Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors and Scientists from the southern Africa region to consider how universities in the region might respond to the challenge of climate change and adaptation. The conference title, “Climate Change, Adaptation and Higher Education: Securing our Future” recognises that higher education institutions have an important role to play in facilitating and where possible, directly contributing to building adaptation capacity within society. A series of papers were presented during the first day to lay the foundation and stimulate discussion in the Commission on Teaching and Learning and the Commission on Research and Knowledge Production the following day.

The conference explored trends in regard to the integration of climate change and adaptation concerns in curriculum development and the discussions in the commissions emphasised the need for mainstreaming climate change across programmes in the university. The conference further explored the challenges inherent in researching climate change issues in view of the complex nature of the this phenomenon and the limitations of current paradigms, methodologies and analytical tools. In view of this, discussions in the Commission on Research and Knowledge Production emphasised the need to move beyond the silo-based institutional structures of universities and promoting multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches.

Download the Participants List

Day 1 Presentations

Prof. Pius Yanda Director of the Institute of Resource Assessment and the Pan-African START Secretariat, University of Dar es Salaam Climate Change and Southern Africa: Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation
Prof. Bruce Hewitson Climate Systems Analysis Group: University of Cape Town Climate Change Scenario Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dr. Dominic Mazvimavi Institute of Water Studies: University of Western Cape Climate Change, Water Availability and Supply
Prof. Heila Lotz-Sisitka Murray & Roberts Chair of Environmental Education and Sustainability: Rhodes University Mainstreaming Climate Change in Higher Education: The Case of Public Health
Prof. Coleen Vogel University of the Witwatersrand Adaptation, Higher Education Leadership and Management: Key Challenges
October, 2010