Goal 13: Climate Action

Climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and its widespread,
unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. Urgent action to combat climate change and minimize its disruptions is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN write on their website.

Examples on research from UCPH addressing goal 13:

Community monitoring of forest resources in Cambodia

Foreign companies are presently deforesting natural landscapes in Cambodia at an alarming pace often to the detriment of local communities depending on nearby forests resources and ecological services. The project will undertake the first systematic botanical explorations of some of Cambodia’s distinctive forest habitats by engaging residential communities in participatory surveys of species compositions and vegetation structure. The baseline data will be used to identify and assess those sites with the highest conservation and livelihood values. The description above is redirected by SCIENCE from IFRO.

The local Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) are because of CPHU's database and a UCPH developed app now able to patrol, create dialogue, use social media and geo-referencing technology to fight deforestation in a non-violent way in Cambodia by documenting it.

Read more about Community monitoring of forests resources in Cambodia.

Primary Sustainable Development Goals: 13 and 15.

Rights and Resilience in Kenya (RARE)

The development objective of the RARE project is to ensure secure and peaceful access to land for climate change adaptation and thereby the resilience of all Kenyan citizens.

The project aims to produce and disseminate insights and increase capacities that can help policy makers and practitioners in their attempts to (1) improve land use policies and land use planning, (2) prevent conflicting land claims from erupting into violence, (3) manage land rights in support of pastoralists and other land users’ adaptation and (4) identify and apply innovative approaches to land rights for adaptation.

Read more about RARE on the project website.

Primary Sustainable Development Goals: 1, 2, 4, 13 and 17.

This text is redirected by The Secretariat for Development Cooperation at SCIENCE from Department of Food and Resource Economics.

Watch Danida's video-explainer about the project below

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Greening of Drylands

Current research shows the earths dry areas have become more fertile on a global scale during the last 30 years. This is in contrast to the current climate-discourse, where desertification is comprehended as a increasing problem. This project tries to achieve knowledge on current and future vegetation-resources in dry areas. 

Project leader on Greening of Drylands, associated professor Rasmus Fensholt, writes following to SCIENCE:
It remains unclear if the observed global scale greening trends provide an environmental improvement with positive effects on people's livelihood. We aim to develop a novel complex of methods for monitoring and understanding changes in ecosystem functioning (species composition/abundance of herbaceous and woody vegetation) and drivers in dryland areas. In particular, methods will be developed to study the neglected role of changes in woody vegetation and bush encroachment in drylands.
To this end:
1. Time-series of ground-based vegetation observations
2. Dense time series of coarse/high resolution EO data and time-snapshots of VHR EO data and
3. Process-based ecosystem modeling will be applied.


Contact person for more information on the project Rasmus Fensholt.

Primary Sustainable Development Goals: 13 and 15


Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolios

In the project PATSPO (Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolios) researchers from UCPH contribute to the development of science based guidelines for forest landscaper restoration in Ethiopia. The project runs from 2017-2021 and is part of the largest global restauration of forest and forest landscapes in history called Bonn Challenge. It is financed by the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) through the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia (RNE) to the World Agroforestry Centre (the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry – ICRAF).

The project is described as following in the PATSPO Project brief:
The project will ensure forest restoration projects and tree planting actors having high quality seed of the most important tree species used for forest landscape restoration and all other tree planting activities in Ethiopia. The project is a multiple tree species programme designed to provide:

  • organizational setup of the tree seed sector, including stakeholder identification and roles and responsibilities, based on a sector analysis;
  • species specific knowledge for most priority tree species;
  • a built up of the tree genetic resources for the future, comprising exploration, mobilisation, conservation, establishment, management and improvement; and
  • capacity to monitor and deliver quality seed and seedlings of multiple species required for large scale restoration.

women cleaning seeds

Cleaning of seeds

Read more about PATSPO and about UCPH's contribution.

Primary Sustainable Development Goals: 13 and 15.