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USP’S Collaborative Research Project, PACPATH awarded Belmont Forum funding

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(left)Vandhna Kumar, a PhD student with Alexandre Ganachaud - Lead Scientist, the coordinator of PaCPATH.

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) collaborative research project, Pacific Ocean Pathways in Support of Sustainable Development: an Integrated Approach (PACPATH) has been awarded funding through the world renowned Belmont Forum.

PACPATH will be funded under the multilateral, transdisciplinary Collaborative Research Action (CRA) focusing on “Transdisciplinary Research for Pathways to Sustainability”.

The University of the South Pacific, as the leading research university of the Pacific Islands, joins 8 leading research universities, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, one private sector company and the New Caledonia government to implement this integrative research initiative focused on the Ocean Climate Nexus.

The PACPATH project was selected through a rigorous competitive process by the Belmont Forum competing against 31 other contenders from around the world. Each proposal was reviewed by an international 15-member panel of experts and overseen by an independent Chair. The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation, German, the French National Research Agency, France and the National Science Foundation in the United States.

PACPATH aims to establish cost-effective, efficient and sustainable transdisciplinary processes, methods and networks allowing stakeholders as scientists, public officers and citizens of the Pacific Islands to share common objectives and actions in order to achieve environmental sustainability considering SDG14, and its interlinkage to all other 16 SDGs, particularly SDG13 and SDG15. The overall objective of this Belmont Forum call is to provide a science basis for achieving sustainability.

PaCE-SD Director and Professor of the Ocean and Climate Change, Professor Elisabeth Holland said this is the first Belmont Forum funding for USP and charts a new course for leadership in Sustainability at the Ocean Climate Nexus within the region.

USP’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Professor Jito Vanualailai said for the University to be provided financial backings by a prestigious funding institution like the Belmont Forum indicates that the standards of collaborative researches being undertaken by the University are well defined and meets international standards.

As an integrated approach, PACPATH aims at improving the common understanding of stakeholders in Pacific Islands to achieve some SDGs particularly SDG 14 and its interlinkage with SDG 16, 13, and 15.

The project targets to create better communication among stakeholders, policymakers and communities to achieve particular SDGs.

CRA’s for the project will be to provide a science base for achieving sustainability goals. The CRAs will support 1-2 years of collaborative research networking activities that focus on integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches to develop Earth-system-based transformation pathways for sustainable development

PACPATH proposed to build a Pacific stakeholder network with a focus on Fiji and New Caledonia and to investigate the impact of climate change and other pressures on the ocean environment and their consequences for communities in achieving the related SDGs.

PACPATH will be launched at the Sustainability and Research Congress 2021 ( to be held as an online and onsite congress from June 12-15, 2021. 

Virtual meeting and workshops will complement face to face gatherings in Brisbane, Australia. Please see the link for on-line registration.

SRI is a joint initiative of Future Earthand the Belmont Forum. Australia, who hosts the Congress in 2021, has a unique role to play in the global community as a conduit between the Global North and the Global South, indigenous peoples and traditional sustainability practices.

Issued by the Marketing and Communications Office, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus- Suva. For further queries please contact: (679) 2729060 or email

This news item was published on 2 Jun 2021 08:53:55 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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