(Including the Environmental Evaluation Unit and the Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihood Project)
Head of Department: Professor M.E. Meadows
The interaction between humans and their environment and the variability of this environment is a common theme in the department's teaching activities and research initiatives. Details of the particular foci are given below. The department has ongoing research initiatives with numerous overseas institutions. These include: the Centre of Earth Sciences of Pennsylvania State University; Centre for Global Studies, University of Gothenburg; the Iowa State University; the University of British Columbia; the Institute of Southern African Studies; the National University of Lesotho; University of Western Australia; the University of Melbourne; the University of Northern British Columbia; Oregon State University; the Department of African Studies of the University of Mainz; the Department of Human Geography and Sociology, University of Oslo; the Department of Geography at the University of Brighton; Southern African Research Centre, Queens University; University of Sheffield; University of Oxford; the Departments of Geography at the University of Paris X Nanterre and the University of Paris IV Sorbonne in France; the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn; and the Department of Geography at the University of Oulu. There are also links with the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in California and the CSIRO Atmospheric Research and Marine Research in Australia.
The Environmental Evaluation Unit was established as an independent professional consulting, research and training unit within the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science in 1985, based at the University of Cape Town. During the past 20 years, the EEU has completed over 150 consulting assignments and projects for private, institutional and government clients. The EEU has established itself as a centre of excellence in the field of environmental management, sustainable development, and natural resource management in Africa, particularly within the SADC region (projects have been completed in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and the Seychelles).
The Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Project (DiMP) has been active at UCT since 1998. DiMP undertakes a diverse suite of activities, including disaster risk research into small, medium and large disasters in the Cape Metropolitan Area and past disaster research following declared disasters. It is also the secretariat for a southern African disaster risk reduction network called Periperi (partners enhancing resilience to people exposed to risks).