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Environmental Politics Institute

The CODESRIA Environmental Politics Institute is an interdisciplinary forum which brings together African scholars undertaking innovative research on topics related to the broad theme of environmental politics.

The aim of the Institute is to promote and sustain the development of coherent social sciences engagement with environmental issues in Africa. The Institute will promote research and debates on issues related to environmental politics especially as they relate to democratic decision making in climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and programs on the continent. The Institute will be launched in 2012 and subsequently held annually in Dakar, Senegal. It will serve the critical functions of forging links among a younger generation of African intellectuals and meeting the scientific needs of these intellectuals in terms of access to recent documentation, participation in current debates, the retooling of their research capacities, and the updating of their conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches. The Institute will also seek to engage African policy intellectuals and civil society activists, thereby permitting a judicious mix of researchers, activists, and policy makers to be achieved in the admission of participants. It is anticipated that a total of fifteen African researchers drawn from across the continent and the Diaspora, and a few non-African scholars will participate in the Institute each year.

Objectives:

The main objectives of the Environmental Politics Institute are to:

- Build the capacity of young African scholars in Social Science research into environmental politics issues;
- Catalyze the development of a core of an epistemic community of social scientists engaged with environmental issues;
- Encourage the sharing of experiences among researchers, activists and policy makers from different disciplines, methodological and conceptual orientations, and geographical/linguistic zones on a common theme over an extended period of time;
- Promote and enhance a critical inter-disciplinary engagement in a manner that allows Africans to effectively identify and tackle the environmental issues confronting their continent; and
- Foster the participation of scholars in discussions and debates about the environment taking place in Africa especially in the context of the global climate change discourse.

Organisation:

The activities of all CODESRIA institutes centre on presentations made by resident researchers, visiting resource persons, and the participants whose applications for admission as laureates are successful. The sessions are led by a scientific director who, with the help of invited resource persons, ensures that the laureates are exposed to the range of research and policy issues generated by or arising from the theme of the Institute for which they are responsible. Open discussions drawing on books and articles relevant to the theme of a particular institute or a specific topic within the theme are also encouraged. Each of the laureates selected to participate in any of the Council’s institutes is required to prepare a research paper to be presented during the course of the particular institute they attend. Laureates are expected to draw on the insights which they gain from the Institute in which they participate to produce a revised version of their research papers for consideration for publication by CODESRIA. For each institute, the CODESRIA Documentation and Information Centre (CODICE) prepares a comprehensive bibliography on the theme of the year. Access is also facilitated to a number of documentation centres in and around Dakar.

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