Climate resilience in universities

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Research at FNU’s College of Humanities and Education (CHE), Professor Nii-K Plange.

A CONFERENCE will be held next week with discussions focused on both enhancing climate resilience of universities in Fiji and their contribution to resilience of communities, businesses including government.

The Fiji National University (FNU) in conjunction with the Commonwealth Climate Change Resilience Network (CCRN) will host a conference, convened by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) on October 22 and 23 at the Tanoa Plaza in Suva.

The workshop’s primary focus is to provide a space to enable discussions by participants to further shape the focus and activities of the network.

The network was proposed and endorsed by the Ministry of Education at the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) held in February this year.

The members of the CCRN are:

  1. Fiji National University
  2. The University of the West Indies
  3. The University of the South Pacific

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Research at FNU’s College of Humanities and Education (CHE), Professor Nii-K Plange said the outcome of the workshop will be of great value to the Association of Commonwealth Universities as well as determine the future functions and activities of the network.

Professor Plange said the core focus of the network was to work with universities on the front line of climate change, using an interdisciplinary approach to the issue of climate resilience.

“The network will focus on both enhancing the resilience of universities themselves, and universities contribution to resilience of communities, business and government,” said Professor Plange.

“The workshop will provide a multidisciplinary network that would link universities in climate vulnerable setting with each other and collaborate through their relevant expertise, to develop and exchange knowledge and practice in relation to climate resilience and adaptation.”

Professor Plange, who is leading the preparations for the workshop, said FNU would benefit tremendously from the shared experiences of other universities that were in climate vulnerable settings including those from small island states.

“FNU will also benefit from potential opportunities for collaboration including staff exchange, teaching and research” he said.

Around 70 participants are expected to attend the workshop from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and New Zealand with representatives from the universities, government sector and stakeholders including regional and non-governmental organisations.

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