Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

PROGRAMMES

Centre for Climate and Sustainability

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Introduction

Links between climate change and sustainable development are strong. The UN 2030 Development Agenda identifies climate change as “one of the greatest challenges of our time” and states that “its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development”. Hence environmental sustainability is the underlying theme connecting the SDGs.

Despite not being the major contributor to global warming, the Global South is expected to suffer the most from it as developing countries will be adversely affected by the anticipated shocks to their social, economic and natural systems. Pursuing climate action and sustainable development in an integrated and coherent way offers the most effective approach to enable countries to achieve their objectives under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 2015 Paris Agreement.

Climate policies can be more effective when embedded within broader strategies designed to make national and regional development paths more sustainable. Not only has climate change been given its dedicated target (Goal 13), but it has been integrated into almost all of the other SDGs.

The Commission on Science & Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), as an inter-governmental organization of developing countries dedicated to the mission of promoting science and technology for the economic and social development of the Global South, took cognizance of the dual relationship between sustainable development and climate change, i.e., i) increasing importance of climate action to advance international efforts to achieve the SDGs and ii) significance of partnerships as an important mechanism under SDG 17.

To provide an institutional platform for coordination, facilitation, advocacy, and regional and international collaboration, COMSATS took the initiative, in August 2018, to set up COMSATS Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS) in its member states.

COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS)

Based at COMSATS Secretariat, COMSATS Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS) is a virtual and physical network of centres, institutions and organizations working on environmental risks to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

CCCS is a unique initiative that would focus on the nexus between climate change and sustainable development in developing-country settings. CCCS will work in the framework of South-South & Triangular Cooperation to promote, coordinate and facilitate South-South & Triangular Cooperation in regard to climate action and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in line with the policy and practices of developing countries and their international obligations.

The Network

So far twelve COMSATS member countries have joined the COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS) network and are engaged in establishing CCCS in their respective countries. These are: Colombia, Ghana, Iran, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Other COMSATS member states are preparing to become members of the CCCS network. China has expressed support for CCCS and is involved through institutional partnership through COMSATS Centre of Excellence in the country, the international Centre for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES).

The Network nodes are being established at the National Focal points, Centres of Excellence and other nominated institutions in these countries:

For Colombia, Tanzania, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Jordan the following Centres of Excellence are hosting the Centre: International Centre for Physics (Colombia), Tanzania Industrial Research & Development Organization (Tanzania), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan); Al-Quds University (Palestine); Industrial Technology Institute (Sri Lanka), and Royal Scientific Society (Jordan).

Iran and Philippines are establishing the Centre at the University of Tehran, University of Tabriz & University of Zanjan (Iran), and Department of Disaster Resilience (Philippines).

The Ugandan node is being established at Uganda National Council for Science & Technology (National Focal Point);

Ghana, Nigeria and Pakistan will soon be designating their institutions for setting up CCCS.

Mission

To work together with institutions from the Global South in promoting climate resilience and sustainable development through South-South and Triangular Cooperation by bringing together global and regional partners to promote connectivity, consultation and collaboration for implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and achievement of relevant goals of the 2030 Development Agenda.

Objectives

CCCS has the following major objectives:

  • To promote regional and global partnerships to take effective action for climate and sustainability;
  • To combat climate change through adaptation and mitigation for sustainable growth and development;
  • To assess impacts of environmental and climatic variability on livelihoods and economic development;
  • To enhance scientific knowledge of the South on climate change for appropriate climate action and advocacy;
  • To develop knowledge bank of information and data to inform evidence based policy making;
  • To improve societal knowledge and capacity building on climate change and environmental issues.
Work Programme

CCCS will take a trans-disciplinary approach to promote key drivers for resolving the climate-sustainability nexus to address climate change challenges and achieve related SDGs by promoting collaborative action on:

  • Impact assessment of environment and climate change on water resources, agriculture, health and economy,
  • Adaptation, planning and building climate resilience,
  • Mitigation activities,
  • Application of appropriate & affordable technological development,
  • Integration of climate and environmental considerations into development sectors like energy, industry, agriculture, waste management, and transport,
  • Funding from international financing mechanisms for implementation of planned activities, knowledge sharing, good practices and capacity building,
  • Improving understanding of climate change and its risks in promoting sustainable development,
  • Cross-sectorial partnerships at national, regional and global level to strengthen international efforts for promoting climate action and achieving sustainable development.

Partnerships

In pursuit of developing a wide range of partnerships the Centre is establishing an extensive network of local, national, regional and global partner organizations. Partners of the Centre will comprise institutional and collaborative partners, inter-governmental institutions, international organizations, donor agencies, civil society organizations, academia, research institutes, community based organizations and private sector.

To take the CCCS initiative forward, cooperative linkages and partnerships have been established in areas of learning, capacity building, international networks to share data and scientific information, training on SDGs, and funding for activities. These partnerships include: United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation; European Commission; World Bank; Commonwealth Secretariat; Commonwealth Climate Finance Hub; UN Economic & Social Commission for Asia-Pacific; The Royal Society, London, UK; Imperial College London, UK; University of Kent, Canterbury, UK; Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK; British Council; National Institute for Economic & Social Research, London; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany; Berlin School of Sustainable Futures, Germany; University College Dublin, Ireland; American Institute of Pakistan Studies; University of Indiana, U.S.; Intelligence in Science, Brussels, Belgium; International Centre for Climate & Environment Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Ambassador Shahid Kamal
Founder of CCCS Network & Adviser
Environment & Climate Change
COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Mobile & WhatsApp: +923215655305
Email: shahid.kamal@comsats.orgshahidkamal_amb@hotmail.com