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European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS)
Start date: Dec 1, 2012, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ECOPAS (European Consortium for Pacific Studies) is an innovative, ambitious multidisciplinary project designed to provide coordination and support to research and policy communities on issues connected to climate change and related processes in the Pacific Islands region, in order to define better options for sustainable development. The Pacific is notable for the discrepancy between the contribution of its small economies to global climate change, and the severity of climate change effects experienced by its peoples. Linkages between research networks and policy interfaces will contribute to more context-sensitive EU external action, and will set a future research agenda for social science and humanities in the Pacific. From an initial 3-year duration ECOPAS is the first-ever network to develop extensive, durable collaboration between European and Pacific scholarly institutions, as well as between research institutions and local, national and international political agencies. The project will have lasting effects on the ways in which research is undertaken in the social sciences and humanities and beyond in the Pacific, and on the efficacy of development efforts in and for the region. While the emphasis of ECOPAS is on developing a long-term strategy for SSH research on the Pacific, strong links are also forged with climate research in the natural sciences. Built on seven interrelated and complementary Work Packages, ECOPAS aims to define and strengthen the potential of European research in the Pacific by creating a platform and portal for knowledge exchanges, a long-term plan for capacity building, and a strategic plan for Pacific state and non-state involvement. ECOPAS is hosted by four recognized European university centres of excellence on Pacific research, in Norway, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands (Bergen BPS, Aix-Marseille CREDO, St. Andrews CPS and Nijmegen CPAS), and by two major Pacific institutions (University of the South Pacific, Fiji, and the National Research Institute, Papua New Guinea). While ECOPAS is coordinated from the University of Bergen, the project’s seven interconnected Work Packages are directed by the participating centres, thus guaranteeing maximal efficiency and feasibility of work programme and deliverables. ECOPAS will grow to be the premier research network in the field of Pacific Studies, and will progressively involve additional associate researchers with strong track records and international visibility. During the project’s stages, the collective networks of the six participant institutions throughout Europe, in the Anglophone and Francophone Pacific, and in North America will lead to near complete participation of the world’s community of Pacific scholars. A final outcome of the project will be the delivery to the European Commission of a comprehensive, forward-looking, long-term social sciences and humanities research policy agenda for the Pacific Islands region.
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