ECOPAS: European Consortium for Pacific Studies

“ECOPAS (European Consortium for Pacific Studies) is a new multidisciplinary project in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme (Dec. 2012 – Dec. 2015). It is designed to provide coordination and support to research and policy communities on issues connected to climate change and related processes in the Pacific Islands region, in order to define better options for sustainable development.

ECOPAS aims to restore the human dimension to climate change. The Pacific is notable for the discrepancy between the contribution of its small economies to global climate change, and the severity of climate change effects experienced by its peoples. Linkages developed by ECOPAS between research networks and policy interfaces will contribute to more context-sensitive EU external action, and will set a future research agenda for social science and humanities in the Pacific. ECOPAS is the first-ever network to develop extensive, durable collaboration in the social sciences and humanities between European and Pacific scholarly institutions, as well as between research institutions and local, national and international political agencies. While the emphasis of ECOPAS is on developing a long-term strategy for SSH research on the Pacific, strong links are also forged with climate research in the natural sciences, both at Pacific and European institutions institutions.

Built on seven interrelated and complementary Work Packages, the ECOPAS Work Programme aims to define and strengthen the potential of European research in the Pacific by creating a platform and portal for knowledge exchanges, a long-term plan for capacity building both in Europe and the Pacific, and a strategic plan for Pacific state and non-state involvement. The close involvement of major Pacific institutions, and the linkages with diplomacy and regional organisations developed by ECOPAS, will provide for a process of policy reorientation informed by Pacific perspectives and experiences. ECOPAS participants are four European university centres of excellence on Pacific research, in Norway, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands (BPS – Bergen, CREDO – Aix-Marseille, CPS – St. Andrews and CPAS – Nijmegen), and two major Pacific institutions of research, education and policy (the University of the South Pacific – Fiji and the National Research Institute – Papua New Guinea).

The ECOPAS web site is at: www.pacific-studies.eu. For further information, contact ECOPAS Coordinator (Professor Edvard Hviding) or ECOPAS Administrator (Ms Eilin Holtan Torgersen) at ecopas@uib.no.”

This post reproduced from the latest PaceNET Newsletter

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