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INATE- International Network for Advancing Transdisciplinary Education

The University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UNCECAR) proposes to establish an International Network for Advancing Transdisciplinary Education (INATE) to promote transdisciplinary approach to knowledge generation and project implementation by invit- ing academia, professionals, local governments, private sec- tor and communities to work together to share expertise and experiences.

Only through such a network can we secure the best available knowledge, reconcile values and preferences and create ownership of problems as well as solution options, which are all seen as necessary both to solve our real-world problems and to meet our sustainable development objectives. INATE is envisioned to serve as a platform for joint knowledge creation and as an incubator for the translation and imple- mentation of this knowledge to transdisciplinary practices in addressing global change challenges. INATE will conduct a series of research/demonstration projects on a few selected themes to achieve these objectives. Such projects can serve as a catalyst for the development new interdisciplinary courses and training programmes based on the needs arising from their implementation. In addition, these research/demonstration projects will also address some of the important elements of design and implementation of transdisciplinary projects such as;

  • Identification of critical societal needs to be addressed within the scope of the project.
  • Customisingglobalknowledgetolocalcon- ditions.
  • Avoiding conflicts in a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder setting.
  • Encouraging active and continuous par- ticipation of stakeholders throughout the project duration.
  • Maintainingsustainabilityoftransdisciplinary projects
  • Leadership and accountability for imple- mentation of transdisciplinay projects 
  • Disseminating and creating adequate awareness among decision takers and planners at local level.

At the end of these research/demonstration projects, it is expected that all stakeholders will have a clear understanding of the challenges, complexities of project implementation and each other’s expectations from the outcomes. The research required for customizing available knowledge and methods to local conditions and confirmation of methodological ap- proaches also can be carried out during this pilot project phase. At the end of the research/demonstration project, this common understanding and the outcomes can be upscaled into development projects by local or national governments.

Based on the experience of the UNCECAR it is envisaged that the Postgraduate Sector of a committed network of universities would be best suited to create platforms for multi- stakeholder participation for such pilot project design and im- plementation. UNCECAR was established as an outcome of the Conference on The Role of Higher Education in Adapting to Climate Change held on 10-12 June 2009 at the United Na- tions University (UNU) headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. It was conceived as a regional network that will provide educational and research programmes to produce the necessary students and educators as well as research programs that are needed for effective adaptation to climate and ecosystem changes. It has developed 6 postgraduate courses and two training programmes which are regularly offered through a network of universities and practitioners to different stakeholders in the region. The courses include building resilience to climate change, leadership for sustainability, renewable energy and training on climate projection downscaling and application in food and water sector.

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