Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in SIDS
Status of initiative: Inactive
Description/achievement of initiative

The partnership was initiated at an international conference on the theme of Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States at the University of Bristol in July 2014. The objective of this partnership is to support a wider global process of learning from the sharp end experience of SIDS in dealing with environmental uncertainty and climate change through developing a wide and inclusive network of post-secondary and tertiary education institutions, specialists, and international organisations.

Implementation methodologies

Indicative events include: 1. September 2014: Research coordination meeting at the University of the South Pacific with USP, Bristol and Nottingham Partnership members2. September 2014: Commonwealth Human Ecology Council Side Event at SIDS Samoa Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States,A Commonwealth for the Blue Economy: Sustainable Oceans and Fisheries3. May 2015: Annual conference of the Caribbean Studies Association Working Group on Environment and Sustainability4. Spring 2015: Sazani Associates Annual Conference will allow for Partnership members to share approaches, projects and innovations on the themes of the partnership5. September 2015: A Symposium and/or Special Fringe Event for all Partnership members at the 2015 Education and Development Forum (UKFIET) Conference Terra Sprague as UKFIET Conference Convenor with the 2015 conference theme on Learning for Sustainable Futures6. Autumn 2015: Commonwealth Human Ecology Council in partnership with International Ocean Institute (Malta) and partners including CERMES (tbc), invitation to all partnership members: Sustainability of Fisherfolk Livelihoods and Coastal Communities in the Commonwealth (Side Event Proposal for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Malta 2015).7. Bristol University International Education for Sustainable Development Conference part of Bristol's European Green Capital activities and an opportunity to share learning about sustainability and education in Higher Education, with session lead by Sazani Associates and inputs from the Partnership8. Additional seminars coordinated by Cabot Institute, CHEC and ICS, USP, and other small state tertiary partners during the lifetime of the partnership.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

1. Joint bid writing, research collaboration and output development: Building research skills with partner organisations, especially those in SIDS, towards the progression of current, and development of further research partnerships2. University Professorship Arrangements: Professor Michael Crossley serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of the South Pacific, and as Visiting Professor at Maldives National University, supporting teaching and research training in both institutions. 3. Web platforms for sharing and to support partnership activities: a. e-sharing of outputs from the recent 17-18 July 2014 Conference and Research Workshop on the theme of Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States¯ at the University of Bristol. These products - presentations, videos, blogs and recordings - will be shared among the partnership and available more widely as a way to support wider international learning from the Sharp End of SIDS about the realities of living with environmental uncertainty. b. Website/blog component of a joint University of the South Pacific / British Academy funded, collaborative research project in the South Pacific will allow for researcher reflection and learning about research collaboration processesc.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

This partnership builds upon existing collaboration and synergies amongst members of the 20 year strong Education in Small States Research Group (www.smallstates.net) and participants organisations from a July 2014 Conference and Research Planning Workshop on the topic of Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States. A Steering Committee will be established to coordinate activities of the Partnership. The Education in Small States Research Group will serve as a Secretariat, led by Professor Michael Crossley and Research Fellow Terra Sprague to coordinate communication and activity, including monitoring and reporting of objectives.


Organisations with lead contact individual in brackets: University of Bristol Education in Small States Research Group (Professor Michael Crossley and Terra Sprague) University of Bristol Cabot Institute (Professor Rich Pancost, Director) University of Bristol Graduate School of Education (Dr Angeline Barrett) University of Bristol Research Centre for International and Comparative Studies (Professor Michael Crossley, Director) University of Bristol Human Rights Implementation Centre (Professor Rachel Murray, Director) University of Nottingham, Centre for International Education Research (Professor Simon McGrath, Director) Professor Colin Brock (University of Durham, School of Education) University of the South Pacific (USP) (Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President) Maldives National University (Professor Ali Shareef, Deputy Vice Chancellor) State University of Zanzibar (Dr Mohammed Sheikh, Chair, Centre for Graduate Studies and Research) *University of Belize (Jay Coombs) Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, St Lucia (Dr Merle St Clair Aguste, Vice Principal) University of the West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (Professor Robin Mahon, Director) *Freie Universität Berlin, Environmental Policy Research Centre (Dr Nicholas Watts) University of Malta, Institute for Islands & Small States (Professor Lino Briguglio, Director) University of Hong Kong, Comparative Education Research Centre (Professor Mark Bray, Director) Sazani Associates (Dr Cathryn MacCallum, Director) Commonwealth Secretariat (Dr Pauline Greaves) Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (Dr Nicholas Watts) Indian Ocean Commission ISLANDS Project (Virginie Torrens) UNESCO/IIEP (Michaela Martin) UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre (Dr Shyamal Majumdar) * still to be confirmed
Submission of research bid emerging from work undertaken at the July 2014 Conference and Research Planning Workshop in Bristol
Scoping and enhancing existing research and policy document repositories (online and other) in the thematic content areas represented by the partnership. Making these more visible and accessible. Supporting the development of SIDS-specific components within existing systems.
Development of a SIDS professional learning community with peer exchange to support development and delivery of contextualised curricular that link sustainable development to local livelihoods
Project Reports and associated outputs from two research projects: a) joint USP/ British Academy research project drawing out implications particularly for ESD and Teacher Education, and b) study of Resilience in Small Island States drawing out implications for environmental resilience conceptualisations for international discourse strengthening
Resources devoted to implementation
In-kind contribution
Meeting spaces and web hosting for seminars, workshops and platforms identified in objectives and outputs
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
Researcher and practitioner expertise from those based in Belize, Fiji, Maldives, Malta, St Lucia, UK and Zanzibar
Staff / Technical expertise
Secretariat Coordination undertaken by the Education in Small States Research Group
Staff / Technical expertise
Secretariat Coordination undertaken by the Education in Small States Research Group
Progress reports
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: ongoing
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Terra Sprague, terra.sprague@bristol.ac.uk

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