The Sharp End Partnership
The UN SIDS Partnership 'Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in SIDS', or, the 'Sharp End Partnership', was launched at the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, Apia, Samoa, 1-4 September 2014.
In 2014 Terra Sprague and Michael Crossley received pump prime funding from the Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol. This helped them to convene a multidisciplinary Day Conference and follow up Research Worksop on the theme of Living at the Sharp End of Education and Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States, and to carry out research on implications for sustainability and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Videos of the conference and related resources can be found in the link above to the Cabot Institute for the Environment website.
This event led to the development of our UN accredited Sharp End Partnership as detailed in this link UN Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in SIDS and in the text below:
- University of Bristol Education in Small States Research Group (Professor Michael Crossley and Terra Sprague)
- University of Bristol Cabot Institute (Professor Rich Pancost, Director)
- University of Bristol Graduate School of Education (Dr Angeline Barrett)
- University of Bristol Research Centre for International and Comparative Studies (Professor Michael Crossley, Director)
- University of Bristol Human Rights Implementation Centre (Professor Rachel Murray, Director)
- University of Nottingham, Centre for International Education Research (Professor Simon McGrath, Director)
- Professor Colin Brock (University of Durham, School of Education)
- University of the South Pacific (USP) (Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President)
- Maldives National University (Professor Ali Shareef, Deputy Vice Chancellor)
- State University of Zanzibar (Dr Mohammed Sheikh, Chair, Centre for Graduate Studies and Research)
- Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, St Lucia (Dr Merle St Clair Aguste, Vice Principal)
- University of the West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (Professor Robin Mahon, Director)
- Freie Universität Berlin, Environmental Policy Research Centre (Dr Nicholas Watts)
- University of Malta, Institute for Islands & Small States (Professor Lino Briguglio, Director)
- University of Hong Kong, Comparative Education Research Centre (Professor Mark Bray, Director)
- Sazani Associates (Dr Cathryn MacCallum, Director)
- Commonwealth Secretariat (Dr Pauline Greaves)
- Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (Dr Nicholas Watts)
- Indian Ocean Commission ISLANDS Project (Virginie Torrens)
- UNESCO/IIEP (Michaela Martin)
- UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre (Dr Shyamal Majumdar)
The partnership was initiated at an international conference on the theme of Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States at the University of Bristol in July 2014.
The objective of this partnership is to support a wider global process of learning from the sharp end experience of SIDS in dealing with environmental uncertainty and climate change through developing a wide and inclusive network of post-secondary and tertiary education institutions, specialists, and international organisations for:
- Strengthening multidisciplinary linkages and bridges between academics, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, international agencies and other stakeholders.
- Better understanding the concept of environmental resilience from the perspectives of SIDS in order to bring these perspectives more firmly into the wider international debates and discourse about resilience.
- Generating user engagement around the findings from multiple projects carried out by members of the partnership, including raising awareness of regional data repositories or resource and training centres where they already exist and exploring the possibility of developing these where needed.
- Developing new research and development projects across a range of disciplines designed to contribute to sustainable development and Education for Sustainable Development in SIDS.
- Strengthening good and effective practice in ESD through the enhancement of school, post-secondary and tertiary education capacity (development of contextualised curricula and exposure to appropriate climate smart technologies and science).
- Exploring development of education, training and skills for the blue economy, including: sustainability of coastal livelihoods/ sustainable coastal urbanisation; disaster resilience; renewable energy and energy efficiency; awareness of health and lifestyle issues in health promotion.
The city of Bristol, where the partnership was formed, will serve as the European Green Capital in 2015, thereby providing the partnership an opportunity to further showcase its work, including learning from the collective SIDS experience, to European states in order to widen international awareness of the experience at the Sharp End.
Submission of research bid emerging from work undertaken at the July 2014 Conference and Research Planning Workshop in Bristol.
Development of a SIDS professional learning community with peer exchange to support development and delivery of contextualised curricular that link sustainable development to local livelihoods. Scoping and enhancing existing research and policy document repositories (online and other) in the thematic content areas represented by the partnership. Making these more visible and accessible. Supporting the development of SIDS-specific components within existing systems.
Project Reports and associated outputs from two research projects: a) joint USP/ British Academy research project drawing out implications particularly for ESD and Teacher Education, and b) study of Resilience in Small Island States drawing out implications for environmental resilience conceptualisations for international discourse strengthening.
|Staff / technical expertise||Researcher and practitioner expertise from those based in Belize, Fiji, Maldives, Malta, St Lucia, UK and Zanzibar.|
|In-kind contribution||Meeting spaces and web hosting for seminars, workshops and platforms identified in objectives and outputs.|
|Financing (in USD)||Regular programming and extra budgetary sources and resources from Partners for travel and time related to states objectives and outputs.|
|Staff / technical expertise||Secretariat Coordination undertaken by the Education in Small States Research Group.|
Ongoing work continues with partners and in collaboration with the ESSRG. Further information to follow.