Pacific universities launch climate change partnership

The Fiji National University (FNU) and Monash University have today officially launched their partnership to establish the Monash-FNU Pacific Island Countries Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC). 

The CCRC, which will be jointly based at the two institutions, is designed to support collaboration and provide exceptional research leading to policy advice on a range of climate change mitigation and adaptation issues. 

It will also provide high-quality training and capacity building for policymakers in Pacific Island Countries.

Launched by Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Economy and the Minister responsible for Climate Change, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the partnership offers significant advantages for Fiji and the region. 

Sayed-Khaiyum said the establishment of the Centre is aligned with the Government’s objective for FNU to become an internationally recognised and credible university.

“This Research Centre that is being set up is critically important to be able to bring not only those people who are the coalface of climate change but to bring people from all different schools of thought and different facets, from academia, from practitioners, from researchers to be able to address climate change holistically,” stated Sayed-Khaiyum.

FNU Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May said there is an already growing pool of climate researchers within the university, and the partnership ensures a greater scope for growth within the area of study. 

“This collaboration can assist Fiji and the Pacific in human capital development, producing graduates ready for a job market that will need to respond to climate change realities into the future.”

Monash University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Senior Vice-President Professor Rebekah Brown said the partnership with FNU presents a vital opportunity for producing exceptional research with real-world impacts within the Pacific region and globally.

“Fiji and Pacific Island Countries are witnessing first-hand the impacts of climate change. By focusing on informing policy and generating evidence-based solutions, this research partnership offers an unique opportunity to tackle climate change at the front line,” says Brown.

“Importantly, this collaboration is underpinned by Monash’s and FNU’s commitment to working hand-in-hand as equal partners, in a new model of international research collaboration, anchored in the Pacific, for the benefit of the region and its people.”