Professor Patrick Verkooijen appointed Chair of University of Groningen’s Climate Adaptation and Global Governance Programme

The CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), Professor Patrick Verkooijen, was appointed Chair of the Climate Adaptation Programme at the faculties Campus Fryslân and Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen. Verkooijen will be involved in setting the curriculum for the upcoming Climate Adaptation Governance Masters programme as well as supervising doctorate students. He will also help connect students and researchers to a global network of climate adaptation institutions.

G CA Africa will focus on programs and action, knowledge acceleration and capacity building and agenda-setting that respond to the acute challenges from the changing climate facing African countries. These include improving the food security of one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 through a program on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities through water for urban growth and resilience; using nature for more resilient infrastructure; adaptation finance and building youth leadership.

An example of GCA’s transformative approach to accelerating adaptation is a project already underway in Ghana to develop its first national-level assessment of the resilience of its infrastructure systems to climate change. By exploring and showcasing the potential co-benefits of Nature-based Solutions as part of country-level package of investment in grey and green infrastructure, Ghana will function as a demonstration country of how to reduce costs and enhance ecosystems.

Having worked closely with Professor Verkooijen for several years now, I can think of no better person to take on the role of chairing the Climate Adaptation Governance Programme at the University of Groningen in my name. This University is one of the only academic institutions in the world to offer students the opportunity to study how we can best adapt to the impacts of our climate emergency – an absolute necessity if the world is going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the next decade.

Ban Ki-moon, 8th United Nations Secretary General and Chairman of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation

I met with Patrick Verkooijen for the first time just after he became CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation in September 2018. Together we celebrated the honorary doctorate for Ban Ki-moon. He has a great interest in everything happening at our university. His inspiring work and international network is very important for the development of the University of Groningen.

Jouke de Vries, President of the University of Groningen

Next generation leaders

I am honoured to have been chosen to Chair this vital programme in recognition of the global leadership of Ban Ki-moon. Educating the next generation of adaptation leaders is essential if we are to make the world more climate resilient and give today’s young people a central role in driving the adaptation agenda.

Professor Patrick Verkooijen

It is a privilege to welcome Prof. Patrick Verkooijen to Campus Fryslân. Verkooijen is known for its many years of dedication and commitment to climate adaptation. Our students can now learn from one of the foremost experts and that is really great.

Andrej Zwitter, Dean of Campus Fryslân

There is an urgent need to step up the support for people in Africa, and around the world, affected by climate change.  I welcome the Global Center on Adaptation Africa as a crucial partner in delivering the elevated ambition and enhanced action that is needed to make this shift towards a resilient future.

Her Excellency Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations

Millions of lives depend on Africa’s agricultural sector. Adapting and improving its resilience to climate change is therefore a must. By investing in African local food systems we catalyze sustainable value chains and support the vulnerable but small-scale often female producers.

His Excellency Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center of Adaptation and Honorary Chairman of Royal DSM

Adaptation to the impact of our changing climate is essential if Ghana is to continue to grow and prosper. We look forward to working with GCA and its partners to meet the challenge of climate change and ensuring resilience is built into Africa’s economic recovery plans.

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

Climate change is not only damaging for the environment, but devastating also for development. It is important countries around the world, especially our partners in Africa, work together to address these global challenges. Norway is pleased to be able to support GCA Africa in accelerating this agenda.

His Excellency Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development for Norway

GCA is a key solutions broker and center of excellence with a holistic approach, that aims to accelerate adaptation solutions for a climate resilient future in Africa. By working with GCA Africa we will intensify climate adaptation efforts to ensure we integrate solutions to have a coherent response to our climate emergency.

His Excellency Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation for Sweden

With the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), African leaders have shown their readiness to put resilience to climate risks high on their national agendas. We would like to strengthen our support for the AAI. I therefore welcome the establishment of the Africa Office of the Global Center on Adaptation, which will support the AAI.

Her Excellency Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa and will only increase in magnitude. Adaptation is not a nice to have, it’s a necessity. Through our role as a solutions broker, GCA Africa will work closely with partners in every sector to ensure the most effective adaptation measures are shared and scaled across the continent, responding to the growing demand for strengthening resilience to the impacts of our changing climate.

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation

The launch of GCA Africa comes after its first regional office was launched in Beijing by Premier Li Keqiang in June 2019 followed by the launch of its South Asian office in Dhaka by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in September 2020. The GCA Africa launch follows the publication of a GCA policy brief in May 2020, with the African Adaptation Initiative and endorsed by 54 Heads of State and Government which recommended focusing stimulus investment in Africa on resilient infrastructure and food security to overcome the COVID-climate crisis.

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