As covered in the last edition of Monday Paper, UCT's African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), is gearing up to address issues of climate change with their compass pointed directly at Africa.
Under the leadership of newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark New, the ACDI will enhance the value of UCT's climate change research capacity in addressing Africa's climate and development challenges from an African perspective, and will support further growth of the knowledge and research capacity in climate change at UCT.
The ACDI will further strengthen UCT's role as the leading institution for anyone wishing to research climate change and development on the continent.
New and his UCT colleagues will join an extensive network of multi-disciplinary scientists throughout Africa who will tackle a number of research projects linked to all aspects of the climate system.
New will have to cross the divide between disciplines and departments and research groups, something he was part of at Oxford, where his department's Environmental Change Institute fostered the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that the ACDI seeks to bring about at UCT.
"I think the key is to create an enabling environment," says New. "True interdisciplinary research is not easy ... but when it is successful, the results can be very exciting and novel."
New will also be working with long-time collaborator and NRF Chair in Climate Change, Professor Bruce Hewitson, who heads up the Climate Systems Analysis Group at UCT.
"There are a lot of different activities going on at UCT on climate change, and we are in a good position to be a leader on the continent, but it requires bringing some synergy to our efforts to be a voice on the continent," observes Hewitson.
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