Climate Adaptation and Justice

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
13 Apr 2020 - 22 May 2020

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, Ph.D., is the Head of the Environment, Development and Peace Department, and assistant professor at the University for Peace. She is also an adjunct professor for Long Island University and teaches in their Global Studies programme. In the last decade, Olivia’s research program has focused on food security, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental justice, and gender. Specifically, she works with Indigenous people, women, small-scale farmers, and youth on these topics. Her research is driven by social and environmental justice and she uses relevant methodologies (e.g., Indigenous, feminist) to achieve these goals. Olivia is also member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Society of Ethnobiology, and the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project. Being active within these networks allows her to work at the interface of policy and practice.


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