Posted by: Hendra Siry | 20 June, 2010

Postgraduate Courses on Building Resilience to Climate Change

The United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), Tokyo, invites applications for the new intensive 3-week postgraduate programme on Building Resilience to Climate Change, developed under the framework of the University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UN-CECAR). UN-CECAR is a collaborative initiative of more than 20 leading universities across Asia. It is committed to developing postgraduate educational and research programmes on climate and ecosystems change, adaptation and sustainability science. UNU-ISP acts as the Secretariat for UN-CECAR.

The new courses, conducted at UNU-ISP, cover a range of issues on sustainability and adaptation to climate and ecosystems change. Topics include climate and atmospheric science, impacts assessment, climate and society, ecosystems resilience, risk and uncertainty, integrated solutions for mitigation and adaptation, mainstreaming adaptation into development planning and community-based adaptation. Students also will receive practical training in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and in downscaling rainfall forecasts.

Assessment will be based on a research paper, presentations, class participation, and intermediate tests. The courses are practically-oriented and will be taught by a highly qualified and diverse team of natural and social science scholars.

Target applicants:

• Students who are currently enrolled in a masters or Ph.D. programme, in any discipline, and
• who wish to deepen their knowledge on, and gain practical training in, building resilience to climate and ecosystems change, and
• who desire a future career as a climate change specialist.

Course Information

The programme runs for three weeks from 13 September 2010. It is 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. Week 1 focuses on Science, Impacts and Vulnerability, and week 2 focuses on Approaches to Adaptation. The final week provides training on geographic and climate models and software, with time also allocated for students to complete their research paper. A requirement for the research paper is that 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 worth 2 credits and comprises of 30 hours of teaching time. While a number of universities have negotiated credit transfer agreements with UNU-ISP, ultimately the decision on whether credits are transferrable will be made by the student’s university. Please note that the topics listed below may be subject to change.


The application deadline for the autumn 2010 courses is 15 July 2010 for overseas applicants, and 31 July 2010 for applicants currently residing in Japan and who are enrolled in a university.
For detailed information on the application and admission procedures, and to download the application form, please visit the UNU-ISP website at:


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