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The Global Water and Climate Adaptation Centre

Learn about the Global Water and Climate Adaptation Centre (Aachen, Bangkok, Chennai, Dresden - ABCD Centre) which aims to address the pressing issue of humanity’s adaptation to the consequences of climate change, with a special focus on water, and facilitate a global dialogue between leading scientific institutions.
ABCD Centre logo with green buildings and blue water in the shape of a globe
© 2022 Global Water and Climate Adaptation Centre
Watch this short film about the DAAD “Global Centres” programme, through which the ABCD Centre is being funded.


The Global Water and Climate Adaptation Centre – otherwise known as the Aachen, Bangkok, Chennai, Dresden (ABCD) Centre, addresses the pressing issue of humanity’s adaptation to the consequences of climate change with a particular focus on water. As a joint effort between leading scientific institutions, it enables a global dialogue, the transfer of research results into practice, and the education of future environmental leaders.

The project partners, RWTH Aachen University, Asian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, United Nations University – Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) and Technische Universität Dresden are joining forces under the umbrella of the ABCD-Centre. This unique combination of excellent academic institutions from India, Thailand, and Germany strive to bring about a lively academic exchange, implement innovative cooperation formats, and achieve a lasting impact on society.

The ABCD Centre aims to address the global challenge of climate change with a particular focus on addressing water security and climate change adaptation in a systematic manner. What unites the five project partners is the shared idea that global problems need a global solution and that scientific cooperation between North and South is critical to success. The Centre (yet to be established) will be a manifestation of this idea and will work towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG-6 is intended to ensure “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. The UN considers clean water and sanitation facilities as “basic human rights”. While achieving SDG-6 is central, the interconnected dynamic between SDG-6 and every other goal should also be acknowledged.

Watch this Water Security and Climate Change Conference panel discussion ‘Towards innovative water management for enhanced climate resilience’. The ABCD Centre was a co-organizer of this event that took place in 2022 in Bangkok.

Approach and Intended Outcomes

The ABCD Centre community will work closely together in three thematic clusters across disciplines:

  • Water security, water resource management, safe water supply, and water treatment
  • Ecosystem resilience and nature-based adaptation measures
  • Transfer strategies: traditional knowledge, local economies, and social acceptance

The new Global Center not only promotes the mobility of young researchers and provides scholarships for master’s and doctoral students, but also aims to develop a new joint international MSc. course on the subject of “Water Security and Global Change”. In order to effectively counter the effects of the pandemic and to further optimize future exchange in research and teaching, great emphasis will be placed on the implementation and further development of digital formats.

Furthermore, a network is to be established with three other Global Centers for Climate and Environment, and with the four Global Centers for Health and Pandemic Prevention, which will be established at the same time. Water will play a central role and the curriculumbuilds on the internationally renowned expertise and resources available in the field of construction and the environment at the TU Dresden, as well as the other partners involved. For example, the existing international MSc-courses “Hydroscience and Engineering” and “Tropical Forestry” at TU Dresden and the MSc.-courses “Engineering Geohazards” and “Sustainable Management – Water and Energy” at RWTH Aachen University are being integrated into the Centre’s training portfolio. The exchange of students, doctoral candidates, and lecturers is intended to create an effective network to stimulate further research projects, but also to pave the way for a successful transfer of knowledge and technology with the involvement of business, politics, and civil society.

Learn about the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) and how its experience in further education on environmental management is embedded in the activities of the ABCD Centre.

The ABCD centre also aims to establish itself as aglobal hub for climate adaptation research and transfer in the water sector.It will combine the expertise of the partner institutions and establish a network of associate partners to counteract the fragmentation of knowledge and resources in this sector.

Funding and Support

The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.

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