In dealing with climate change, scientific cooperation between emerging countries and industrialised nations is of particular importance. The GIGA is part of the Climate and Environment Centre SAGE – one of four global centres on the topic, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service and the Federal Foreign Office. SAGE will contribute to empowering Middle Eastern societies to create a science-based, adaptive and sustainable management of natural resources in a changing world.
The main obstacle for implementation of scientific findings into application is the common practice of scientists defining research questions by themselves and then attempting to ‘sell’ the results to stakeholders retrospectively. When application is the goal, this approach is bound to fail because it is not oriented towards the needs of practitioners and decision-makers. Therefore, SAGE applies a transdisciplinary approach where scientists and stakeholders embark on an iterative process of co-design (prior to starting research), co-creation and co-dissemination of research. This approach guarantees ownership of scientific findings with decision-makers and a smooth transition into application.
The centre builds bridges across political and religious divides. People from the region will come together in SAGE to find sustainable solutions to the ecological problems of their common region. This is possible because the scientists involved have been researching in the region for many years and have been involved in numerous cross-border cooperations like this. The new climate centre can build on these contacts and the trust associated with them.
An interdisciplinary Master's programme on climate change and resource management will be established, which will cover a broad range of topics from the natural, economic and social sciences. The courses will be held at the University of Jordan and at German partner universities. A second pillar of the centre is a graduate college, which will offer 20 doctoral scholarships.