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Centers for Natural Resources and Development

CNRD is connecting universities worldwide promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the area of the management of natural resources, in particular related to Water, Land, Ecosystems and Renewable Energy resources. It fosters interdisciplinary approaches to natural resources management related to the Post 2015 Agenda and the envisioned Sustainability Goals (SDG). Membership to the network CNRD is open for any HEI which offers to significantly contribute to reaching the goals of CNRD. Please click here to download the membership application from.


The program “exceed – Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation” aims at supporting German HEIs together with their partners in developing countries . Support is given to those institutions that contribute to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other goals of development cooperation policy in an innovative manner. The aim is to strengthen the HEIs in the domains of education, research and consultancy. The major concerns of the program are:

  • to bind together German Higher Education Institutions with priorities directly linked to the MDGs in competence centers;
  • to increase education and research on issues relevant to development cooperation policy in German and partner country German Higher Education Institutions;
  • raising the public profile of the universities and their MDG-related activities both at home and in the developing world to the MDGs in the eyes of the general public in Germany and developing countries;
  • to establish excellent and high level research on development cooperation policy issues, so that this can serve as a guiding light and so attract international academic interest;
  • to strengthen and expand north-south as well as south-south networks;
  • to increase policy analysis and debate in developing countries and Germany.

By these activities, researchers and institutes are encouraged to continue and expand their commitment in development cooperation. The competence centers are meant to become think tanks for development cooperation that develop approaches for the solution of global challenges and transfer them to policy makers, donors and practitioners. The competences centers were selected in a two-step process by an international peer-review group between October 2008 and June 2009. Five centers receive funding since July 2009 for a period of five years. The program is managed by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst / DAAD) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

themes of CNRD

In teaching and research CNRD and its partners pursue a trans-disciplinary approach which is necessary for understanding and solving problems occurring in complex systems defined through the interactions of the natural resources base with human activities. The partner institutions of CNRD cover natural, engineering, and social sciences disciplines. Students, teachers, and researchers work together to encounter solutions for the most pressing problems of today. The following themes are addressed in teaching, research, and training of CNRD partners:

  • Integrated water resources management
  • Land use dynamics and biodiversity
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy resources
  • Regional management and sustainable livelihoods of the poor

 objectives of CNRD

The CNRD will pursue the following objectives:

  • Establish the CNRD as an international knowledge hub related to Natural Resources Management (NRM) and development
  • Build a Virtual Knowledge Center to create access to learning material for all CNRD partners and support all activities with a comprehensive information and knowledge management system
  • Create a worldwide network of postgraduate courses related to NRM and development with an interdisciplinary and intercultural orientation
  • Exchange lecturers, attract top students, form young professionals with a profound knowledge about NRM and MDG 7
  • Develop training capacities at selected partner institutions supported by key German and international institutions and create a network of training institutions in the target regions offering capacity building measures at the regional level
  • Communicate research results effectively through appropriate conferences, workshops, and media events

CNRD aspires the creation of a worldwide network of postgraduate courses related to natural resources management and development with an interdisciplinary and intercultural orientation.