Climate Change Adaptation Opportunities in Development (Indo-Pacific)

Photo: Darren James/DFAT Young mangrove growing in ocean, blue sky with clouds.
A course for Australian Government staff. Applications are now closed. Contact Rachel England directly if you wish to join the course.

Climate change is the most significant environmental, social and economic challenge of our time. Across the Indo-Pacific region, communities are increasingly challenged by the diverse and multiple physical impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, increasing frequency and intensity of cyclones, droughts, floods and storm surges, ambient heat waves, warming sea temperatures, and ocean acidification.

Climate change is also exacerbating many existing problems in the region, such as loss of biodiversity, pollution, regional peace and security, chronic poverty, gender and social inequality, humanitarian responses to natural hazards and pandemics, and inadequate essential services such as health care, education, infrastructure, social protection, and food and water security.

The Australian Government has committed to supporting enhanced climate action in the Indo-Pacific through increased climate finance and new partnerships in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. It has committed to provide $ 2 billion in climate finance between 2020-2025. Stronger integration of climate through the aid program will aim to support net zero transition, climate adaptation, and climate and disaster resilience. This online short course focuses on climate change adaptation and integration opportunities in development programs across the Indo-Pacific.

Participating in this Course

We encourage Australian Government staff who are responsible for managing or delivering international climate initiatives in developing countries, with or alongside development assistance, to apply.

As a participant in this course, you will expand your understanding of the climate change adaptation challenges of the Indo-Pacific (notably Pacific Island nations, Southeast Asia and South Asia) within a development context. Our lecturers are selected academic, government and private sector professionals from the Australian National University and elsewhere who specialise in climate change adaptation, social inclusion, and policy integration.

You will also be facilitated through a variety of activities that are designed to explore a range of critical climate change considerations for Australia’s development program across different sectors and thematic clusters. These include climate economics, food security, agriculture, tourism, governance, human security, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure, urban planning, gender equality and social inclusion. Through peer-to-peer learning and group-based discussions, you will share your experiences of working within Australia’s development program, and form a network of colleagues to support your ongoing efforts in integrating climate change adaptation thinking into your everyday work.

By the end of this course, you will have developed/expanded:

  • Skills to integrate climate change considerations across the aid management cycle.
  • Broad understanding of current and future climate change impacts in the Indo-Pacific regions (primarily Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Pacific Island Countries and Territories).
  • Knowledge of a suite of social and natural science-based climate change adaptation and mitigation opportunities in these regions for a development context.
  • A clear picture of the climate policy framework (domestic and international) that Australia’s development program operates within.


The course is structured around 12 topic-based presentations (see below) and is embedded with interactive sessions + cross-cutting themes such as environmental sustainability, low-regrets adaptation options, social inclusion, governance, regulation/law enforcement, and breakthrough technologies. Critical research plus evaluation/interpretation/analysis skills are a focus of the course, as well an understanding of socio-economic impact models and methods to improve climate change adaptation-relevant regulatory oversight, policy intervention and the delivery of development.

Phases Session Topics
Setting the scene, understanding the context Understanding climate change in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and South Asia
Climate change adaptation in the context of international climate policy and negotiations
The DFAT Climate Integration Unit
Exploring the CCA intersections with Australia’s development assistance program Poverty, livelihoods and human security in the context of climate change adaptation in the Asia-Pacific
Community based carbon sequestration and natural resource governance for climate change adaptation in Southeast Asia: Insights from Indonesia
Energy transition in Southeast Asia
The food–water security nexus in a climate changing world
Indigenous governance and climate change adaptation
Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation
Can energy transition be gender just?
Climate change adaptation and health
Putting CCA opportunities in development into practice Applying learnings to development practice (Interactive Sessions with the ANU + DFAT Climate Integration team)

* Topic Sessions are enhanced by Activities, Interactive Sessions, and Q&A sessions (not shown here). Session titles may change before the course begins to align with lecturer expertise.


  • Prof. Mark Howden (Director - Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions, ANU)
  • Dr Hannah Barrowman (Researcher – Australia Pacific Climate Partnership, and Postdoctoral Research Associate - Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra)
  • Dr Hemant Ojha (Adjunct Associate Professor – Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra)
  • Dr Rini Astuti (Postdoctoral Researcher – Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU)
  • Dr Thang Do (Research Fellow - Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific Grand Challenge, ANU)
  • Prof. Jamie Pittock (Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU, and Interim Director – Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists)
  • Dr Steven Crimp (Climate Applications Scientist – Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions, ANU)
  • Dr Virginia Marshall (School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) and Fenner School of Environment & Society (FSES), ANU)
  • Dr Maibritt Pedersen Zari (School of Future Environments, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa; and NUWAO)
  • Dr Luke Kiddle (School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ; and NUWAO)
  • Prof. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU)
  • Prof. Kristie Ebi (Centre for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington, USA)

Delivery, Workloads and Certificate

The course is delivered fully online (via Zoom meetings) and spans six half-days (up to 20 hours of in-class time). Participants will be required to watch a selection of videos before commencing the course, prepare for the Interactive Sessions via pre-readings outside of class time, and complete the course surveys.

During the course, each session generally involves a:

  • 15-30 minute lecture followed by 15-30 minute group discussion with the Lecturer, or
  • 30-60 minute facilitated Interactive Session (applied learning, case studies, small-group interaction).

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, participants will receive an ANU Certificate of Participation.

How to Apply

To express your interest in participating in this course, click the ‘Register online’ button (top right of page) and complete the short questionnaire. All applications will be reviewed for suitability, and applicants will be informed of the outcome of this review by email. Expressions of Interest close Friday 15 July 2022, 5pm AEST.

Need more information?

Rachel England (ICEDS Executive Education Coordinator, ANU). Email

Victoria Wheeler (Assistant Director, Climate and Development Integration Unit). Email or