Institute for Social and Environmental Transition


ISET’s work focuses on understanding social and environmental change processes, including climate change and urbanization, and supporting adaptive responses to the fundamental challenges such processes pose for society and marginalized populations. Our work brings together basic theoretical and scientific information from research on complex systems and agents with social engagement, local knowledge, and shared learning to catalyze both practical changes at the local level and the growth of applied knowledge. ISET’s current projects cover the following themes:

  • Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change
  • Strategic Approaches to Water Resources Management
  • Urban/Peri-Urban Systems
  • Disaster Risk Management
Current projects:  Resilience to Climate Change

Adapting to Climate Change in China (ACCC)

ISET, the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) and World Resources Institute (WRI) are supporting the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on a project to identify potential climate change impacts and risks in three provinces – Ningxia Autonomous Region, Guangdong and Inner Mongolia. The project will identify, develop and integrate climate adaptation strategies into China’s overall development planning processes. The UK Department for International Development (DfID), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Swiss Agency for Development are funding the project. Additional information about the project can be found at the ACCC website.

Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN)

ISET is the lead facilitation partner working with country-level partners and partner organizations to support 10 Asian cities across India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in developing climate resilience strategies under the Rockefeller Foundation funded program. The objectives of the ACCCRN program include:

  • Test and demonstrate a range of actions to build climate change resilience in cities
  • Build a replicable base of lessons learned, successes and failures
  • Assist cities in developing and implementing a climate change resilience building process
  • Build the capacity of cities to continue climate change resilience building activities

Click here to access the ACCCRN program website. For additional information on ISET’s involvement with the program please view:

Asia-Pacific Regional Climate Change Adaptation Assessment (APRCCAA)

USAID is funding the development of an Asia-Pacific Regional Climate Change Adaptation Assessment (APRCCAA), led by the International Resources Group (IRG). With our expertise in urban/coastal vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in South and Southeast Asia, ISET has been requested to participate in the preliminary in-country consultations in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Results from this preliminary assessment phase will define a longer-term program in the region. IRG’s other partners in this assessment are the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program (UHSGCP).

This first phase assessment will build a broader network of key stakeholders and organizations in Asia and the Pacific in order to identify adaptation priorities in the region. Drawing on the results, the assessment report will address the key climate change vulnerability and adaptation sectors and will identify national and regionally cross-cutting priorities.

Building Resilience to Climate Change in Asian Cities (M-BRACE)

ISET has been working closely with the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and the National Institute for Science and Technology (NISTPASS) in Vietnam to assist city partners in each country in developing climate resilient policies, plans and actions. The four cities in this project are associated with theRockefeller Foundation funded Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) and significant coordination of research efforts and findings between these two projects will take place. M-BRACE will replicate and extend the lessons from ACCCRN, using refined and updated processes and tools. Replication efforts in each city will be built on iterative, local, multi-stakeholder Shared Learning Dialogues, supplemented by technical studies of climate impacts and vulnerability undertaken by local experts under ISET supervision. The anticipated results of M-BRACE include locally prepared resilience plans and policies for each city; demonstrated guidelines and tools for good practice in urban climate resilience planning; and greater knowledge and capacity of public and private stakeholders at the city level and among national experts providing technical support. Additional information will be added as the project develops.


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