Change the world


A team of researchers from Arizona State University in the US, CIRAD, IRSTEA and CEFE (France) and Exeter University in the United Kingdom, lead by Professor Christo Fabricius of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Sustainability Research Unit have recently received funding from the Belmont Forum, which includes the National Research Foundation and Dept of Science and Technology, for a three-year study to assess adaptations and perceptions of risk and vulnerability in coastal areas.

Called MAGIC (Multi-scale Adaptations to Global change In Coastlines), this 940 000 Euro (almost R 13 million) project addresses a complex problem: how to best respond to risk and vulnerability in coastal zones. Professor Fabricius will soon depart for France where the team will get together to finalize their research plans, with regular project team meetings being envisaged over the next three years. The project will also involve a group of post-graduate students and for that purpose NMMU has recruited several Master’s and Doctoral students specifically for the project.

The project addresses four linked questions: 1) How do people‘s perceptions of risk and adaptability, and their ability to adapt, influence their decisions and actions? 2) How do such adaptations affect the vulnerability of other groups, places or resources? 3) What happens when people participate in dialogue, social learning and critical thinking? And 4) How do perceptions change when decision makers are actively involved in, learn and reflect together with scientsts?

More information about the Belmont Forum and its coastal vulnerability projects can be accessed at


Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098