CHILDRN, an interdisciplinary project to strengthen Maldivian climate leadership

In Education Research

The University of Liège, through its Hugo Observatory, has just received European Erasmus+ funding to develop its CHILDRN project - Climate cHange dIplomacy, LeaDership and ResilieNce - which aims to improve the quality, accessibility and availability of climate change education in the Maldives.


his archipelago of more than 1199 islands (202 of which are inhabited) suffers disproportionately from the impacts of climate change, due in particular to its ecological profile, as well as its economic dependence on limited sectors. Another explanation for their vulnerability lies in the education system, whose curriculum is poorly or not at all adapted to educate young people about the current problems of environmental and climate degradation. The lack of resources and funding for climate change research has led the Maldives government and private institutions to rely on global research and data on global climate change. Although reliable, these data do not directly correspond to the needs and requirements of the Maldivian context, nor do they take into account its human dimensions such as impacts on public health, multi-sectoral economic impacts, or impacts on migration and displacement phenomena.

Improving the quality, accessibility and availability of climate change education today is therefore essential to prepare tomorrow's climate leaders. This is the basis of the CHILDRN project, led by the Hugo Observatory of the University of Liège - in collaboration with the National University of Maldives (MNU), the University of Economics of Bratislava (Slovakia), and the University of Paris (France) - and financed by the European ERASMUS+ fund. Future climate leaders need in-depth, comprehensive and exhaustive education," explains Caroline Zickgraf, Deputy Director of the Observatory.  Programmes must take a global and interdisciplinary look at the effects of climate change on human societies and possible prevention and adaptation strategies, according to local realities. ».

To achieve this goal, the CHILDRN project has three main objectives. Each objective has been developed jointly with the National University of the Maldives in order to respond effectively to local realities:

  1. To improve and strengthen the teaching capacities of partner institutions in climate studies
  2. Encouraging interdisciplinary academic cooperation and academic exchanges in order to strengthen the research capacities of partner institutions.
  3. Implement and develop joint activities, events, publications and projects related to diplomacy, leadership and resilience to climate change.

ULiège will work closely with the National University of the Maldives (MNU), which has more than 10,000 students. This collaboration will allow the implementation of a new Master's programme dealing with climate issues. The project also includes student exchanges between the partner countries, as well as seminars given by ULiège professors in the Maldives. In addition to improving research and teaching capacities, the partners will participate in joint project proposals, such as joint publications, teaching activities, panels and project proposals concerning environmental diplomacy and geopolitics.



Hugo Observatory  | Department of Geography | Faculty of Science

Photo : Shutterstock

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