Climate Adaptation and Climate Justice

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
15 Apr 2024 - 26 May 2024

Professor Olivia Sylvester

To achieve sustainable peace we need urgent action to adapt with climate change and its impacts. In this course students learn how to speak climate change language through their examination of key theories and concepts (e.g., vulnerability, adaptation, resilience, and transformation). Students will use this new knowledge to analyze climate change issues including: food security, natural resource use, seal-level rise, and climate-related displacement. Students will also learn how to approach climate change and its impacts through human rights and gender lenses. Responding to the action paralysis in the climate adaptation arena, our class will focus on solutions to key climate challenges through the examination of exemplary real world case studies at the fore of climate adaptation. If you are interested in understanding the key concepts and theories that inform current climate policy, research, and adaptive actions; and, if you are interested in understanding the how climate adaptation relates to gender equality, sustainable, peaceful and inclusive communities, clean energy, and zero hunger among other sustainable development goals, this course is for you.

Olivia Sylvester

 Olivia Sylvester, holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management and is the Head of the Environment & Development Department at the University for Peace as well as an Associate professor. She is also an adjunct professor for Oregon State University. For over a decade, Dr. Sylvester’s research program has focused on sustainable food systems, agroecology, Indigenous and feminist methodologies, food security/sovereignty, gender, and climate/environmental justice; she has published 30 articles and book chapters on these topics. Dr. Sylvester has also worked closely with Indigenous communities in Costa Rica to develop protocols for ethical research. She is currently the coordinator of one MA programme (Environment, Development & Peace) and two MSc programmes (Water Cooperation & Diplomacy and Ecology & Society) and teaches across these programmes. Dr. Sylvester is also a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Society of Ethnobiology, and the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project, and the Society for Agriculture and Human Values. Being active within these networks allows her to work at the interface of policy and practice. 

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