The University of St Andrews, Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking worlds, is one of the four European partners of the ECOPAS project which is hosted by its Centre for Pacific Studies (CPS). CPS coordinates a work package (WP3) which carries the objectives of coordinating dialogues between research and policy in order to facilitate the European Union’s decision making and initiatives about climate change in the Pacific.
CPS is an internationally recognised research centre based within, and licensed by the University of St Andrews. It is the United Kingdom’s only dedicated research centre on Pacific Studies, with 4 tenured academics, 3 postdoctoral researchers, and 9 PhD students including 2 from Papua New Guinea and one focused on vernacular understandings of climate change in Solomon Islands.
In 2008, CPS initiated a partnership with Norway’s Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group (BPS) and, aside from regular teaching and seminar exchanges, holds an annual workshop to discuss on-going research. In 2008-10, CPS received Leverhulme Trust funding to develop practical experience of knowledge exchange interfaces between consultant and academic anthropology, economics, law and social accounting, and between indigenous peoples, NGOs and industry in the mining sector. In 2010, CPS hosted the 8th conference of the European Society for Oceanists under the title ‘Exchanging Knowledge in Oceania’ which focused on research users’ relations with Pacific peoples and with policy makers in government and industry. ESfO 2010 attracted more delegates, 250 in total, and more Pacific Islander participants than ever before and for the first time invited delegates from the European Commission. In 2011, CPS led a partnership with the European Commision’s Pacific Division to deliver, with BPS, the “Pacific Connections” High Level Panel at the European Development Days in Warsaw.