New Climate Change Adaptation Program
Alice Pell (Vice-provost for International Programs) is leading the development of a new climate change adaptation program at Cornell, involving faculty from humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Designed to be responsive to Bruce Albert’s Frontiers of Science program to develop the next generation of Indonesian and American science leaders, the developing partnership between University Indonesia (UI) and Cornell has already resulted in a new climate change center at UI. A new AIFIS Center, based at the Sampoerna Foundation in Jakarta was established by Cornell researchers Martin Hatch (EAP), Eric Tagliacozzo (HIST), and Thomas Pepinsky (GOVT) and will provide a platform for new Indonesia programs. The climate adaptation group, including David Wolfe (HORT), is developing a project that will focus on promoting greener farming methods, reduced deforestation and resulting better health for downstream coral reefs.
For the downstream coral reefs, Drew Harvell (EEB) is continuing her collaboration with the World Bank program COREMAP, to study the success of 350 village-based marine protected areas in promoting coral health. Sites in Indonesia are the epi-center of coral and fish bio-diversity, with spectacularly diverse and productive marine
ecosystems. The healthy ecosystem provides critical ecosystems services of abundant fisheries, shore barriers, water filtration and reservoirs for untold biodiversity. But already, climate impacts are being felt in the intrusion of warm temperature anomalies which are compromising coral health and leading to bleaching and disease. Harvell, with colleagues from Guam and Australia, taught the first coral health workshop in Sulawesi, a precursor to monitoring improved coral health. The next stage of the project will involve developing reef-based enterprise programs.