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Platform on Environment and Climate



is to contribute to informed and improved, sustainable natural resource management and environmental protection considering the needs for sustainable livelihoods, including adaptation and mitigation to climate change – through research capacity building in Ghana and Tanzania.


The world is facing substantial challenges regarding freshwater, land and biodiversity resources and environmental sustainability.

A steadily increasing global population (predicted 8 billion in 2050) along with an increase in agricultural production are leading to increased risks of ecosystem and biodiversity loss, pollution of surface and groundwater, of water for drinking, irrigation and industry, and to an increased pressure on ecosystem services such as soil quality, food production, pollinators, firewood, medicinal plants, and non-timber forest products in general.

Today, 1.1 billion people lack safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack safe sanitation, resulting in a considerable disease burden.

Growing proportions of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems as well as agricultural soils are severely degraded; notably tropical deforestation continues unabated at approx. 10 million hectares per year.

Furthermore, the current and predicted future climate change will result in a marked redistribution of precipitation, and droughts will spread to larger areas of the world, further exacerbating soil degradation and enhancing desertification.

Many developing countries (e.g. in Africa) will be particularly sensitive to changes, and there is a risk of massive climate-driven tropical forest loss, threatening not only biodiversity and food security, but also the regional and global climate.


Both Ghana and Tanzania are facing great challenges from climate change effects and environmental degradation, which are already affecting their economies.

These challenges are among those addressed under the UN Millennium Development Goals, and they are recognised in national strategy documents in Ghana and Tanzania (PRSPs) as well as being an increasingly important component in Danida’s aid programmes and the Danida Strategy for Development Cooperation.

Coping with the challenges requires well researched knowledge as well as educated citizens and skilled researchers which points at universities for producing up-to-date BSc, MSc and PhD graduates that can deal with these issues.

Similarly all four African universities have the overall goal of strengthening the quality of education and research following the national strategies, and as part of a transformation process away from mostly producing BSc graduates to also having a significant share of MSc and PhD graduates. The direct motivation is that the newly acquired academic staffs often lack the required formal PhD degrees and sufficient research background to fill academic posts at the universities, as is also the case at other research institutions and in the industry.

Based on this need assessment BSUEC focuses on teaching and research capacity development specifically for PhD and MSc students to gain cross-disciplinary teaching-, research- and problem-solving skills.


Denmark has a long standing experience in high-quality education and research within environment and climate. For many decades Danish universities have successfully contributed to research capacity development through implementation of joint Africa-Danish research programmes and to capacity development (in particular through the Danida-supported ENRECA programme).

The majority of projects have emphasized research education through training of young PhD students and by today several hundreds of associated PhD candidates have graduated from African or Danish universities.

BSUEC covers a total of 58 key Danish researchers of which several have world class standards in science and outreach. BSUEC further covers 63 researchers with extensive capacity-building experience.

Building Stronger Universities
Platform on Environment and Climate

Phone: +45 87158743

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