On Africa Day, 25 May 2015, UWA will formally launch its interdisciplinary Africa Research Cluster, a new initiative to develop, coordinate and promote high-quality, relevant and ethical Africa-related research at UWA, and to develop and deepen UWA collaborations and engagements with relevant local, national and international partners.
The University of Western Australia invites you to attend the launch of its UWA Africa Research Cluster , on 25 May 2015, which is International Africa Day.
The launch will comprise a keynote speech (see below for details), followed by networking with snacks and drinks and featuring African music from Shangara Jive.
To attend the event, register online by 21 May 2015.
Keynote address: Understanding structural vulnerability to climate change in Africa'
Africa is often labeled the continent most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. Although vulnerability in several African countries and among many groups of people such as subsistence farmers, pastoralists, and the urban poor is undoubtedly very high, recent and more sophisticated understandings of vulnerability highlight persistent inequalities and intersecting dimensions of marginalization as key drivers that put millions of people at risk of shifting patterns in climate variability and trends as well as extreme events such as droughts, floods, and heat waves.
Excellent research emerging from Lagos, Nigeria, for instance, reveals how structural violence, institutional neglect, and social stigma make poor women in the city's slums highly vulnerable to urban flooding. My own work with rural communities in Ghana and Tanzania stresses the role of adaptive capacities and anticipatory learning, including participatory scenario building, in buffering livelihood resilience against future climatic and non-climatic risks.
Presenter: Petra Tschakert, UWA's newly appointed Centenary Professor in Rural Development.
Professor Petra Tschakert is an internationally recognized scholar working at the intersection of climate change adaptation, social-ecological resilience, and participatory research within a development context.
She has a long-term commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and has undertaken extended periods of field work and capacity building in several parts of Africa.
Her research activities and practice focus broadly on human-environment interactions and more specifically on rural livelihoods, environmental change, marginalization, and social learning. Her main interest lies in the theoretical and empirical intersections of political ecology, socio-environmental justice, and complex systems science,
She was coordinating lead author on Livelihoods and Poverty (Chapter 13) of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II on Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation, and a member of the core writing team of the Synthesis Report.