United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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Academic Sections

UNU-EHS is composed of the following academic sections:

Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability & Adaptation Section – EMSVA

EMSVA undertakes empirical research on environmentally induced migration and social vulnerability. The section also addresses climate change adaptation including a range of activities such as disaster risk reduction and insurance-related approaches to help vulnerable countries and communities.

Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management & Adaptive Planning Section – VARMAP

VARMAP develops frameworks, models and tools to assess vulnerability and risk linked to natural hazards using quantitative and qualitative measures. Additionally, the section explores options to reduce vulnerability and risk and to strengthen adaptive governance, e.g., through urban adaptation strategies in the context of extreme climate-related events and gradual changes.

Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services Section - EVES

EVES explores environmental deterioration processes such as water and land degradation. Particularly, the section looks at remedial measures, resources availability and robustness of ecosystem services, all within the context of socioecological systems affected by environmental hazards.

Enhancing Graduate Educational Capacities for Human Security Section – EGECHS

EGECHS investigates the teaching – research nexus to enhance the graduate education and research training of the Institute. The section develops open educational resources on vulnerability and risk for sharing with educators, students and self-learners to use, reuse and adapt them in teaching, learning and research.