United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations and acts as a global think tank. Its mission is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts that resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare, which are the concern of the United Nations, its peoples and member states. Headquartered in Japan, the UNU is comprised 13 institutes and programmes located in 12 countries.

The Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) has been located in Bonn since December 2003. Its intention is to carry out cutting-edge research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change processes. The institute’s work promotes policies and programmes aiming at risk reduction while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors.

The main research topics include climate change adaptation incorporating insurance-related approaches, environmentally-induced migration and social vulnerability, ecosystem services and environmental deterioration processes, models and tools to analyse vulnerability and risks linked to natural hazards, with a focus on urban space and rural-urban interfaces. Research is always conducted with the underlying goal of connecting solutions to development pathways.

Beyond its research mandate, UNU-EHS is actively engaged in education. It offers the joint Master of Science degree programme “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn. UNU-EHS also hosts a number of international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development. Since October 2018, Prof Dr Dirk Messner is director of the Institute.

Source: UNU-EHS website