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This project aims to nurture an international network of scholars exploring the geopolitical effects of climate change in the Indian Ocean region, a key site for examining the immediate and long-term responses to phenomena such as sea-level rise, increased flooding, and more frequent drought.

The first meeting of these collaborators, selected through an open call targeting Indian Ocean-based researchers, was held in September 2018, in conjunction with the International Institute for Asian Studies conference entitled “Africa-Asia: A New Nexus for Knowledge.” Scholarly Borderlands sponsored the participation of scholars from North America, Africa, and Asia to attend the full conference and participate in closed sessions to chart existing research on climate change adaptation and mitigation, identify gaps in research agendas across the Indian Ocean trans-region, and propose activities that could build research communities and strengthen their capacities.

The Indian Ocean is an ideal space to refine and develop new, collaborative methodological and analytic approaches to understanding environmental change, while being wary of the Global-North-centric discourse of “climate change.” We hope to continue to engage experts in the region in ways that will build a network of international scholars who can work together to establish norms and ethical standards for international partnerships, focusing on questions of climate and urban development in the Indian Ocean trans-region.