Caribbean Regional Writeshop to Support Developing Country Publications on Adaptation to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and UWI-CERMES are calling for applications from young scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and others from the Caribbean who are working in the field of climate change and disaster risk reduction to participate in a Writeshop from 24-28 October 2011 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The Writeshop will be hosted by CERMES-UWI. Through the Writeshop, participants will produce a peer-review, publishable quality article and they will gain enhanced awareness of the process of writing papers for academic journals. These skills will allow their work to be eligible for incorporation into publications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other high-level scientific bodies and consequently inform policy making on key issues of risk and climate.

The Writeshop will involve one-on-one work with facilitators to provide guidance and supplemental training on academic writing skills and argumentation, in order to help new authors reach a standard of writing suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals. A maximum of fourteen (14) participants will be selected.

Please note that the Writeshop will be held in English only.
Applicants should be aware that the Writeshop is not intended to provide training on adaptation and disaster risk reduction subject areas – we expect that you already have these skills.

How it works
Participants’ papers are selected based on quality and relevance to the Writeshop’s focus areas. After having been selected, participants are paired up with a mentor with whom they will work to improve the paper. Prior to the Writeshop, participants should prepare a draft of their paper to work on during the Writeshop. During the event, participants will work closely with their mentors on various aspects of the paper. Finally, some follow-up work between the participants and mentors will be necessary to get the paper finalised.

Writeshops run for 5 days. This includes plenary sessions on the first day, and small group discussions and independent work on the second day. Participants will also be required to make a brief presentation (no more than 8 minutes) on their paper. The third day includes an optional field trip for participants to take a break, or they may continue working on their paper, if they so wish. On the fourth and fifth days, new versions of the papers are drafted in collaboration with facilitators during plenary and independent sessions.

Participation requirements
Participants must be committed to completing the paper. If mentors do not consider the paper to be of sufficient quality to be submitted to a peer-review journal, they will assist participants in ensuring that the output is at least at a level where it can be submitted to a magazine or a non-peer review publication. Participants must also recognise that involvement in the programme does not guarantee publication – this will be determined by the independent and objective peer-review process, which will be determined by the journal selected for submission.

Selection Criteria and Applications
Applications in Word or pdf formats should be emailed to writeshop@sei-us.org by 23 September 2011, with the Subject line: Caribbean Writeshop. Please read the selection criteria carefully, as we cannot consider any exceptions. All travel costs and lodging will be covered by the organisers, including visa costs if applicable.

Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

Ø You are carrying out or have carried out research or project implementation that has provided you with new insights on adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
Ø You are an early-career researcher, academic or practitioner in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change or other related subject areas, and expect to continue working in this field.
Ø You live and work in the Caribbean, and are of a Caribbean nationality.
Ø You are committed to working with a mentor during and after the Writeshop, to completing a paper, and to seeing it through the publication process.
Ø You can provide the organisers with a first draft of your paper by 14 October 2011.

The application should include:

Ø A brief biographical statement, explaining your background, current career hopes and rationale for wanting to be part of the programme, maximum 500 words. Please include nationality, country of residence and gender.
Ø An extended abstract or summary of your proposed paper, including a brief description of the methodologies applied, the results of the work, whether the work was the result of research or project implementation, maximum 2 pages and minimum 500 words.
Ø Please do not include any other supporting material, such as diplomas, training certificates, etc. as you will not be evaluated on those.

Writeshop themes

The Writeshop will address topics that are relevant to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Papers selected for the Writeshop can therefore focus on any of the following themes, but are not limited to them:

Characterising the threat/risk posed by climate change and climate-related hazards
– Any theme with a focus on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation with respect to natural systems (e.g. coastal areas, marine ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, etc) OR socio-economic sectors (e.g. water resources, agriculture and food security, human health, settlement and infrastructure, etc).
– Geomorphological & biophysical responses of coastal types, catchments and critical ecosystems to the impacts of climate change (including processes such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, etc), the development and use of model approaches to the assessment of impacts and responses.
– Issues relating to food security in islands such as: observed & modelled response of various fisheries (e.g.reef/artisanal; pelagics) or agricultural systems under different climate scenarios; critical climate variables and ‘tipping points’ (thresholds); What is the tolerance of key food crop staples (e.g. rice, beans, corn, yam, etc) to changing temperature, rainfall and soil salinity regimes? Are there viable, alternative food sources in islands not now being exploited? If sources exist, how resilient would they be in a changing climate?

Climate modelling
– The application of downscaling techniques and interpretation of results as inputs to impact, vulnerability and adaptation studies.
– Comparison of downscaled outputs from different models (i.e. model intercomparison) and assessment of model skill.

Enabling Environments and Governance
– What are the mechanisms and enabling conditions that allow innovative practices at the community and local levels to be scaled up to district and national level implementation?
– How can investment of large quantities of adaptation and risk reduction funding respond to local needs and mobilize local resources?
– How can innovative institutional and legislative arrangements for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation can facilitate implementation? How have some governments succeeded in integrating the arrangements for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and in moving the centre of gravity from traditional emergency management organizations to central ministries for planning and finance, including the integration of risk reduction into national development plans and budgets?
– How have risk reduction considerations been incorporated into planning and regulation, for example using cost-benefit analysis? What regulatory frameworks (e.g., building codes and land use planning policies) have been used and how effective have they been at reducing disaster risk?
– How have market-based mechanisms, such as parametric insurance, catastrophe bonds, micro-finance and others increased resilience and adaptive capacity at the national, local and household levels? How have risk-reduction incentives been successfully integrated into market-based mechanisms? What are the practical steps and economic and social considerations required to develop targeted and transparent instruments? What institutional and governance arrangements are required?

Ecosystem services
– What are the benefits of different approaches to managing, enhancing, protecting and restoring ecosystem services as a strategy for reducing disaster risk and strengthening adaptive capacity? Where have these approaches been employed most effectively? And what are the factors (political, economic, regulatory, etc.) that allow for these approaches to be implemented?

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