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COFER KnowledgeForClimate

About the project

The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on “Climate Action” recognizes climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our time, fundamentally undermining the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. While climate change affects all countries on all continents it disproportionately affects the developing world, with unprecedented and increasing risks to life, livelihoods and ecosystems. Adaptation to changing and new environmental conditions is therefore of fundamental importance to sustainability and implies interdisciplinary scientific knowledge. However, climate change adaptation (CCA) is not a straightforward but a complex and interwoven process. The current translation from research to CCA practice shows important limitations. Moreover, it is widely recognized that human capacities and knowledge, and thus education, are a critical resource to address CCA, but comprehensive teaching curricula at the university level are missing in Switzerland and countries in the South. This COFER addresses this major challenge by developing and implementing dedicated joint teaching programs and introducing new approaches to put research into value for practice and development. For this purpose, we systematically adopt a joint knowledge production (JKP) approach where researchers, policy makers and groups of civil society engage and cooperate in a framework of different forms of knowledge to ultimately negotiate adaptation. We directly respond to SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 4 (Quality education), and also contribute to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

Project summary


Partner Institutions

Swiss Partners

Department of Geography (UZH GIUZ), University of Zurich
Prof Dr Christian Huggel and Dr Veruska Muccione

Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg
Prof Dr Ivo Wallimann-Helmer

Weather and Climate Risks ETHZ/MeteoSwiss (ETHZ WCR), ETH Zurich
Prof Dr David N. Bresch

School of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Bern University of Applied Sciences and Arts (BFH)
Dr Christine Jurt and Prof. Dr. Roland Staehli

Department of Design, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Niklaus Heeb and Jonas N. Christen


South partners

Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeon Canas", El Salvador
Dr Mauricio A. Pohl

Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Parameshwari Kattel

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru
Prof Dr Augusto Castro Carpio

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Prof Dr Ashok Priyadarshan Dimri

National University of Colombia, Colombia
Prof Dr José Daniel Pabón-Caicedo