Applied research on Sustainability and Climate Change
Applied research on Sustainability and Climate Change: The SCCP carries out research on sustainability and climate change using the sustainability framework shown in Figure 1. The starting point is the nested hierarchic relationship between the 4 pillars of development, namely: economy, society, environment and governance. Climate change is added as a cross-cutting issue, and covers both mitigation and adaptation. All research will focus on real-world challenges in order to support policy decision making on sustainability and climate change issues. Consequently, the governance aspect of the SCCP covers three interlinked elements: (i) policy; (ii) institutional arrangements; and (iii) regulatory frameworks (including issues related to the Constitution). To provide an evidence-based approach to policy decision making, studies are carried out to investigate the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability and climate change using best available knowledge and tools.
Figure 1 illustrates only a few examples of research and tools that can be applied. Although, each example can be developed as a stand-alone research project, the underlying premise of the SCCP is to always hold a systemic approach to addressing real-world issues. This will require the use of a toolbox with a diversity of tools. The proposed framework captures a combination of hard and soft approaches, systems thinking and transdisciplinarity that will make it a ‘hotpot’ wherein researchers with different skills and interests will be able to collaborate beyond disciplinary and administrative boundaries. Importantly, the linkages between sustainability and climate change sciences, and local stakeholders will be sought and pursued. The SCCP is projected to grow organically over time to reflect the dynamics of real-world problems and the interest of researchers and collaborators. Building local, regional and international partnerships - as part of its inclusive and participatory approach - is a cornerstone element of the transdisciplinary approach. Also, UdM is dedicating human resources towards implementation of the SCCP with a strong partnership with development partners, mainly the Agence Française de Développement.