Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (South and Southeast Asia)

Photo: Shutterstock Man sitting on dry cracked earth


28 October – 9 December 2022, Online
1.00 - 3.30pm AEDT


Supporting informed decision‑making throughout South and Southeast Asia.



Application deadline has been extended until 3 October 2022 (11.55pm AEDT). Please be aware that the Australian eastern timezone changes from AEST to AEDT (minus 1 hour) on 2 October 2022 at 3am.

This course is open to participants from the following countries/entities only: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

To apply for this course, read 'The Application Process' below and then click on the REGISTER ONLINE button (above), which will take you to PART A of the two-step application process.


Course Convener: Dr Steve Crimp

Course Coordinator: Rachel England

Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) Mentor: Dr Matthew Colloff

South Asia and Southeast Asia are highly sensitive to existing climate variability and projected climate change. As a result, governments, industries and communities throughout this region will be increasingly required to respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. By 2050 GDP losses associated with climate change in this region are likely to account for two-thirds of the global GDP losses, with capital stock losses estimated at US$1.2 trillion.

ANU ICEDS, in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), has developed this intensive 6‑week online course to provide professionals employed in government, non-government organisations (NGOs), the private sector, academia and community-based organisations in South Asia and Southeast Asia with a contextual understanding of climate change impacts, the adaptation and mitigation options available, and challenges to be overcome.

As a participant on this course, you will be presented with the science for identifying and defining climate change impacts and vulnerability, the policy and development implications of different climate change adaptation and mitigation options, and the legal frameworks, governance, sectoral contexts and socio-economic rationales underpinning climate change adaptation and mitigation. You will acquire knowledge to assist evidence-based policy development and reform, enhance your interpretation and analysis skills, and discuss different socio-economic impacts and policy interventions.

This 6-week online course is delivered as an interactive mix of lectures, workshops, and group discussions led by academics and practitioners with regional expertise in different aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Module Outline

The complexity and intersections of climate change adaptation and mitigation are delivered via 6 weekly modules, incorporating economics, ecology, sustainability, governance, politics, regulation, environment, human rights, gender and social inclusion.

Week 1: Why Climate Change Adaptation? Understanding Drivers of Action, and Moving from Science to Action

  • Introduction – Welcome & introductions
  • Lecture 1 – What is climate change and variability in the South and Southeast Asian context
  • Lecture 2 – What does climate change mean for effective decision making? Climate change and decision making: challenges, tensions and opportunities
  • Lecture 3 – Defining 'adaptation policy' and role of partnerships and institutions
  • Lecture 4 – Systems thinking for climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Lecture 5 – Data gaps, consistencies, inconsistencies and tensions in complex South and Southeast Asian contexts
  • AAP Session 1 – Introducing the Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) assignment

Week 2: An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Climate Change Adaptation

  • Lecture 6 – Introduction to Systems Thinking (1)
  • Lecture 7 – Introduction to Systems Thinking (2)
  • AAP Session 2 – Climate change adaptation pathways, co-dependencies and real options

Week 3: Health, Food Security, and the Built Environment in a Changing World

  • Lecture 8 – Health and climate change in high and low-income countries
  • Lecture 9 – OneHealth or SDGs as a framing for integrated climate change adaptation responses
  • Lecture 10 – Climate change implications for agriculture & food security
  • Lecture 11 – Climate change Implications for infrastructure and the built environment
  • AAP Session 3 – AAP development session

Week 4: Water Resource Management, Gender and Social Networks in Responding to Climate Change

  • Lecture 12 – Water management and climate change and other conflicts
  • Lecture 13 – Using social network analysis to improve adaptation to climate change
  • Lecture 14 – Gender responsive climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • AAP Session 4 – AAP development session

Week 5: The Role of Partnerships, Effective governance and the Psychology of Adaptation

  • Lecture 15 – The role of partnerships and institutions in effective climate change adaptation
  • Lecture 16 – Psychology of adapting to climate change
  • Lecture 17 – Institutional responses to climate change
  • AAP Session 5 – AAP development session

Week 6: Integration and AAP Completion

  • Group Session – completing the Adaptation Action Plans
  • AAPs final development session
  • AAP presentations
  • Closing ceremony

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, it is expected that participants who successfully completed all tasks will have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Understanding of the key foundational and advanced concepts/practices required for effective climate change adaptation policy development and implementation, and a comprehension of the political, socioeconomic, regional and international risks, costs and benefits these may entail.
  • Understanding of the science behind climate change impact and vulnerability assessment, including data collection and monitoring/surveillance mechanisms for assessing the status of environmental changes.
  • Experience of methods and tools for developing and accessing climate change adaptation options with stakeholders.
  • Understanding of the management of the environment, regulation, and legal aspects of governance as socio-ecological systems in which human behaviour management is an intrinsic component.
  • Awareness of how to identify and critically consider the core components of international and regional legal frameworks, treaties and institutions for responding to climate change for policy makers.
  • Appreciation of the complexities of national and regional coordination around climate change adaptation at different scales of governance, from the complexities of effective engagement with traditionally marginalised stakeholders, to the complexities of multi-lateral action.
  • Understanding of the shared challenges and contextual differences in climate change adaptation across the region, and the regional and national legal and policy responses and opportunities.

Adaptation Action Plan (AAP)

The AAP assignment runs throughout the course, with each week a session devoted to AAP development. The development of the AAP is self-directed but with support from the AAP Coordinator.

Participants first identify a climate change adaptation initiative which they are passionate about and is directly relevant to their organisation or community. Then, over the first five weeks of the course, participants are supported to develop their AAP idea. We encourage a collaborative conceptual modelling approach to developing AAPs, which includes considering: the type of adaptation activity to focus on, who the active stakeholders would be, what the activities will entail, timelines, and expected outcomes.

In week 6, participants present their AAPs within the online classroom to their fellow participants and in front of an ANU and DFAT audience. The presentation of the AAP is a mandatory requirement to qualify for an ANU certificate of completion for this course.

Workloads and Completion Requirements

This course will be online and delivered over 6 weeks in October-December 2022.

A weekly breakdown of the first 5 weeks of the course would notionally look like this:

  • Monday – Lecture 1 & Lecture 2 (2-hour block)
  • Tuesday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Wednesday – Lecture 3 & Interactive session (2-hour block)
  • Thursday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Friday – Group Activity & Optional Drop in Session (2-hour block, with drop in session optional)

Week 6 of the course is focused on each participant presenting their Adaptation Action Plan to the other participants, lecturers and government representatives.

Overall, participants will spend approximately 37 hours on the course. This includes up to 7 hours per week in weeks 1-5 on the course (i.e. 3 hours in lectures, 2 hours of interactive and group sessions, 2 hours of individual work on AAP and preparation for Group Activity sessions), plus the presentation of their AAP in week 6 (at least 2 hours).

To qualify for an ANU Certificate of Participation from the course, participants must (as a minimum):

  • Develop and present a satisfactory Adaptation Action Plan (AAP).
  • Engage in the course online discussion forums.
  • Attend a minimum of 50% of the course’s online sessions (recordings available for all sessions).
  • Complete the course surveys.

Requisites to Apply for this Course

To apply for this course, you must be based within one of the specified countries/entities (listed above).

The course will be taught in English, and participants must have good English language proficiency (written and spoken).

Participants are expected to hold a professional mid- or senior-level position in policy, practice, research or reform, whether in government, civil society or the private sector. Participants must have completed secondary schooling and at least three years’ tertiary education, have at least three to five years of work experience at mid- to senior-levels, and have a reasonably good base-level understanding of the subject matter.

As participation in this course is likely to intersect with and impact on your work duties or study, all applications for this course must include a signed Letter of Support. See 'The Application Process' below for more information.  

Who Should Apply

We encourage professionals working in government, NGOs, private business or community sector on issues related to climate change adaptation, mitigation and/or disaster recovery to apply.

The Application Process

To apply for this course, you will need to complete the two-stage application process:

  • PART A - an online form where you provide your name, role/organisation and email address. Once submitted, applicants receive a link to PART B via email.
  • PART B - an online form with questions relating to your demographics, language, current and previous relevant work experience, and reasons for applying for this course. 

Both PART A and PART B must be fully completed and submitted by the closing deadline if you wish to be considered for this course.

PART B of the application form also asks applicants to upload 3 files (max. file size = 100MB each). These files are a mandatory part of the application. They are:

  1. Evidence of your English language proficiency - this must be one of the following:
    • IELTS test score,
    • TOEFL test score, OR
    • a recent sample of your formal writing (e.g. paper, policy brief, business plan, etc.) where it is clear that you are the primary author.
  2. Letter demonstrating support for your application - this must be one of the following (depending on your current employment/study circumstances):
    • Letter of Support,
    • Letter of Response, OR
    • Letter of Recommendation (see more information below).
  3. Your updated curriculum vitae or resume.

Letter of Support/Response/Recommendation

If you are currently an employee, you must attach a Letter of Support (on official letterhead) from your employer and signed by a supervisor, stating that they support your application for this course. We advise that you use the sample letter here: Sample Letter (DOC, 15 KB)

If you are currently self-employed, you must attach a Letter of Response (on official business letterhead), signed by you and outlining the role you play in your business/organisation, the length of time you have held this position, and major activities you have lead or been involved in over the past 2 years.

If you are currently unemployed or studying, you must attach a Letter of Recommendation from a previous employer (employment within past 2 years) OR from a community-based organisation that you have undertaken work for within the past 2 years OR from the institution where you are studying. The Letter of Recommendation must be on official letterhead and signed by a previous or current supervisor, or by a lecturer/convener.

The letter that you provide should reflect a clear understanding of the commitment of a minimum of 37 hours of course participation. Please note that the Letter of Support/Response/Recommendation is mandatory, and applications without a letter will be marked as incomplete.

All complete and valid applications will progress to the ANU-DFAT selection panel, and successful applicants will be informed via email 1-2 weeks before the course commences.