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Update | Climate Change & Natural Resources Knowledge & Research

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The Global Development Network (GDN) joined over 1,000 scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers from around the world at the Cape Town Adaptation Futures Conference 2018, which was held for the first time in Africa, to advocate for the role that Universities –  especially those teaching social sciences in least developed countries – can play in closing the knowledge gaps in adaptation for Climate Change. The conference had several sessions highlighting the importance of involving different stakeholders in the co-production and management of knowledge that can be shared and be translated into learning. This builds on the work that GDN is doing through the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme, which provides knowledge support on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Read the outcome document from the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative Roundtable held in Delhi - “Closing Priority knowledge Gaps on Agriculture in the HKH, South and Southeast Asia regions: Next Steps”.

Over the last few months, GDN has been building links to create more support for its climate change adaptation and natural resources work. GDN’s earlier work on natural resources management demonstrated new ways to mobilize research and knowledge for better environmental sustainability. For instance in Madagascar, GDN supported research, which provided technical input from satellite maps of land cover, was coupled with raising local awareness on the link between the environment and livelihoods, creating multi-stakeholder support for environmental protection through the natural capital accounting method. GDN believes that such efforts should be scaled up with urgency, to meet global climate targets.

Another GDN effort, PANCANet – which is an open network of researchers and practitioners who collaborate for the joint production and use of natural capital accounts – seeks to aggregate the knowledge available on natural capital accounts in the region and turn it into policy-relevant information. A paper on this effort, which stresses, among other things, GDN’s positive experiences with local researchers from developing countries taking development in their own hands, will be presented at the World Social Science Forum in Japan 2018. 

GDN is developing programs in climate change under three strategic pillars: strengthening the role of universities in national adaptation planning through research and training; producing research on how to scale up adaptation outcomes, and convening actors to advance adaptation work as part of development discussions and action.

Notably, GDN has also recently signed up a partnership agreement with the Green Climate Fund to help share information and develop joint knowledge products related to climate action evaluation.

To get involved with GDN’s efforts on Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, contact:

Pierre Bertrand, Fellow | Economic Transformation &  Ecological Transitions. Email:

Arianna Flores Corral, Fellow | Climate Change & Education for Sustainable Development. Email: