Short Courses: Beyond the Classroom

The first ICCCAD course held in Dhaka, November 2009, opened a window to the climate change adaptation arena for me. At that time, as a Research Fellow of United Nations University, I worked on agrodiversity projects that looked at on-the-ground realities to develop identify alternative ways of enhancing the coping capacity of rural communities and developing policy that impacts the diversified land use systems of the marginalized areas in Asia. Placing a high value on local knowledge and farmers’ experiences on the ground, some projects faced the need of expanding research scope beyond local reality. In the course I learned a lot through case studies and discussions with participants from Bangladesh, India and other part of the world, and it helped to develop my views to work in the realm of development as well as expand my networks.

Today, the importance of an interdisciplinary approach and perspective cannot be over emphasized in the development arena in order to address climate change and cross-cutting issues as unprecedented multi-dimensional changes and challenges, globally, regionally and locally. Drawing on the course, own project experience with UN, and my current work on developing JICA safeguard policies to mitigate environmental impacts, I wish to contribute to climate change arena by bridging realty of adaptation on the ground and ‘normal’ development as well as research and development.

Bangladesh embraces rich potentials to develop as I see it: the ICCCAD, Asia University for Women, people, and Mother House, a Japanese apparel company launched in Bangladesh to produce brand bags from developing countries (personally I support the entrepreneurship) to name a few. All of them will successfully demonstrate achievements with a living show-case story from Bangladesh to the world. I look forward to seeing it in the next decades.

Written by: Shimako Takahashi, Short Course 1, ICCCAD November Newsletter 2013