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By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries, a UNESCO unit, and The Elsevier Foundation which contributes over $1 million a year to non-profit organizations, making unique contributions to sustainable development in gender, health, climate and reducing inequalities,  announced recently a new funding programme for capacity building in science and technology focusing on women and on climate action this year.

” 2020 should have been a year to refocus world efforts on tackling the ever-increasing greenhouse gases emissions and their escalating effects, as well as current trends of unsustainable development worldwide”, the organizers told Era Environnement. “Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic, while reminding us of our vulnerability and highlighting the fragility of our economic systems, overshadowed the international discourse on the climate crisis”, they explained.

“Three grants to collaborate teams of  2 to 5 women”

Less than 30% of scientists in the world are women. On the Women International’s day, Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working group II, underlined that she is the first african woman co-chair of the IPCC. “There is a wind of change both in the international debate and also in international scientific assessment cycle”, she said in an IPCC’s video on the 8th of March.

The newly programme will award three grants to collaborate teams of  2 to 5  women experts ,  which will take the applicants outside the lab with the aim of effectively transferring knowledge from scientific research to real-life scenarios for practical and tangible change under the umbrella of the “climate action” Sustainable Development Goal ( SDG) 13. According to the organizers, this new programme is indeed established in response to the dual need to support women’s well-being through capacity-building of female scientists and respond to the causes and consequences of climate change with concrete action-based projects, under the umbrella of the “climate action” SDG .

66 developing countries

“With a delayed COP 26 which took place in 2021, the need for concrete actions is more urgent than ever before,” they emphasized. Each project grant is designed to be flexible and modular, with a total value in the USD 24,000- 25,000 range. It will allow for a variety of expenses within a three-year timescale, as long as these are clearly justified by the work tasks. The  Principal applicant must be a female scientist, holding a PhD, living and working in one of the science and technology in 66 countries.“Gender equality must be integrated into all SDGs and gender considerations must be included in all sustainable development and climate action work”,underlined the organizers. This  programme is community-focused. It is a competitive, open call for applications and will consider projects that respond to the needs of, and to the development requirements, of the applicants’ community. The deadline for receiving applications is May 19, 2022.

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