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This course is now complete. At this stage there are no dates for 2022.

ANU is one of the world’s leading universities, recognised internationally for our teaching excellence and cutting-edge research.  With the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) is offering a fully funded course to limited number of successful participants that will provide an understanding of the knowledge required for identifying and defining climate change impacts and vulnerability, development implications, legal frameworks, governance, sectoral contexts and socio-economic rationales underpinning climate change adaptation. Successful participants will acquire knowledge to assist them with evidence-based policy development and reform, as well as enhancing interpretation and analysis skills, and identification of  socio-economic impacts and policy interventions.

The course will be a mix of formal and applied learning, including the development of an Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) that can be implemented at individual, community or institutional scales.

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 14 July 2021


The course will be delivered in the form of an intensive 6-week online course. Course activities will occur between 10am and 3pm, with a more specific schedule of activities developed closer to the start date. Each week, participants will be expected to attend:

  • 3 to 4 (1-hour) lectures
  • 1 Group Activity (1-hour)
  • 1-hour of individual work on their AAP, with the option of utilising a 15-minute drop in session, that will be scheduled each week
  • 1-hour interactive session

Course outline

The program will include an interactive  mix of lectures, practical exercises, workshop sessions and discussions groups delivered via six individual week modules. The complexity and intersectionality climate change adaptation and mitigation will be delivered via six modules incorporating economics, ecology, sustainability, governance, regulation, environment, human rights, gender and social inclusiveness.

Week 1 - Why climate change adaptation? Understanding drivers of action: Moving from Science to action

  • Lecture - An introduction to systems thinking; systems analysis and climate change vulnerability assessment, including understanding influence diagrams, coastal systems thinking and adaptation exercise.
  • Group Activity - regarding current stresses and climate change and climate variability - reflecting on sites visited and how to better include marginalized groups in policy.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development session.
  • Lecture - What does climate change mean for effective decision making? Climate change and decision making: challenges, tensions and opportunities.
  • Interactive session - Moving from science to practice – implications for action in this session participants will work on visioning exercises (past, current and future) to begin to think about adaptation (incremental and transformative) in ‘real’ world contexts.
  • Lecture - Climate change governance – implications for action. 

Week 2 - Climate change adaptation science

  • Lecture- What is climate change and variability in the Pacific context?
  • Group Activity – Data gaps, consistencies/ inconsistencies and tensions in complex Pacific contexts
  • Lecture - Climate change adaptation is more than data? Working with big and ‘small’ data
  • Lecture - Uncertainties and certainties in forecasts at global and regional scales; how useful are global climate change scenarios and how reliable are regional scale forecasts?
  • Interactive session - Climate change adaptation pathways, co-dependencies and real options.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development session.

Week 3 - Sectoral adaptation responses

  • Lecture – Agriculture, fisheries and climate change, food production, security and value chains.
  • Lecture - Health and climate change in high and low-income countries.
  • Group Activity - Identifying complexities in decision making.
  • Lecture - Water management and climate change and other conflicts.
  • Lecture – Climate Change and natural resource management and conservation
  • Group activity- Intersection of climate change and natural resource management issues.
  • Interactive Session - Natural disasters and disaster risk reduction exercise.
  • AAP session 

Week 4 - Integrated adaptation policy responses

  • Lecture - Defining ‘adaptation policy’ and role of institutions.
  • Group exercise - Role of governments at different scales for adaptation.
  • Lecture - International institutions theory and praxis of adaptation
  • Interactive Session - Coastal adaptation and island jurisdictions.
  • Lecture - Different approaches to, ecosystem-based adaptation.
  • Lecture – Onehealth or SDG’s as a framing for integrated climate change adaptation responses.
  • AAP session

Week 5 - Stakeholder and Social inclusion

  • Lecture - Social network theory lecture and practical activity using social network analysis.
  • Group activity - Managing water and water use, stakeholder engagement, industry and marginalised groups (Murray Darling Basin)
  • Lecture - Gender and the climate? How does gender affect people's ability to respond to climate change? How should gender be approached in climate change adaptation plans?
  • Lecture and group activity - Psychology of adapting to climate change
  • AAP sessions

Week 6 - Integration and AAP completion

Group Session - comparison of participants’ assessment of their national adaptation strategies.

  • AAPs final development
  • AAP presentations
  • Closing ceremony and graduation 

Requisite Knowledge

Successful applicants to this course will be mid-career professionals with and English-speaking background, working in Government, NGOs or private business with an interest in issues related to climate change adaptation, mitigation and/or disaster recovery

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, Participants will:

  • Understand key foundational and advanced concepts and practices required for effective climate change adaptation policy development and implementation, and comprehend the political, socioeconomic, regional and international risks, costs and benefits these may entail;
  • Understand the science behind climate change impact and vulnerability assessment, including data collection and monitoring/surveillance mechanisms for assessing the status of environmental changes;
  • Experience methods and tools for developing and accessing climate change adaptation options with stakeholders;
  • Understand the management of the environment, regulation, and legal aspects of governance as socio-ecological systems in which human behaviour management is an intrinsic component;
  • Identify and critically consider the core components of international and regional legal frameworks, treaties and institutions for responding to climate change for Asia-Pacific policy makers, including adaptation financing
  • Appreciate the complexities of national and regional coordination around climate change adaptation at different scales of governance, from the complexities of effective engagement with traditionally marginalised stakeholders, to the complexities of multi-lateral action;
  • Understand shared challenges and contextual differences in climate change adaptation across Asia and the Pacific and the regional and national legal and policy responses in the region.

Who should enrol

ANU is committed to promoting and supporting gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness. We encourage mid-career professionals working in Government, NGOs or private business on issues related to or interest in climate change adaptation, mitigation and/or disaster recovery from the following eligible countries.

Please Note: Only residents of the following countries are eligible to apply:

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Mariana Islands
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor Leste
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

In addition, to complete your application you will need the following documents:

  • Current CV
  • Evidence of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above, OR
  • Evidence of (certificate) a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 and above
  • Letter of recommendation from Employer