MoU for the establishment and management of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Climate Research Centre (UMCRC)

Conference Maldives - 7th November 2010

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the South Asia Foundation (“SAF”) and the Government of Republic of Maldives on establishment and management of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Climate Research Centre (UMCRC)

UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Climate Research Center (UMCRC) at the Maldives College of Higher Education, Maldives.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the South Asia Foundation (“SAF”), a secular, non-profit, non-political organization, hereinafter referred to as "SAF", on the one part


The Government of Republic of Maldives, hereinafter referred to as "GoM" on the second part (hereinafter collectively referred to as "parties") sets forth the agreements reached between the parties relating to the establishment and management of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Climate Research Center (UMCRC), herein after referred to as "Center".

Establishment of the Center

1. The UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Climate Research Center (UMCRC) shall be established as an entity at the Maldives College of Higher Education or its successors with the support of SAF. The UMCRC will offer Madanjeet Singh Group scholarships to students from all the eight SAARC countries and conduct climate research in South Asian region.

2. The Center shall be responsible in particular to advance the understanding and implications of global climate change on the small islands and low lying coastal areas of Maldives and other countries of South Asia and the impacts of worldwide climate change through integrated, interdisciplinary scientific research and education. The holistic research approach at the Center shall take into account all the factors of anthropogenic interaction that are dependent on physical dynamics, biotic and abiotic dimensions.

Objectives of the Center

1. UMCRC shall offer at least 8 (eight) fully paid Madanjeet Singh group scholarships to students from the SAARC countries for post-graduate research in climate and the environment change and establish an avenue for researchers and institutions to come together and share knowledge and experiences.

2. Shall facilitate research by researchers and scientists in South Asia and from international institutions and organizations in order to understand the implications of environmental changes on sustainable livelihoods in small islands and low lying coastal regions.

3. Conduct studies to resolve the magnitude, rate and geographic variability in environmental change in the Maldives and other South Asian countries and allow local scale variations in vulnerability and identify and evaluate appropriate strategies for communities to adapt to environmental change.

4. Promote opportunities for new findings in the field of climate-related sciences and to undertake research in developing climate resilient islands against climate change and sea-level rise.

5. Develop computer-based modeling for predicting environmental impacts from climate change and other extreme events from the information generated through physical assessments and studies.

6. To carry out any other activity which, in the opinion of the Governing Council, will further the above objectives.

Organizational Structure

1. Governing Council

- Rector, College of Higher Education Chairperson
- SAF Founder or his representative Co-Chairman
- Financial Controller, College of Higher Education Member
- Registrar, College of Higher Education Member
- Director, UMCRC (Dean, Faculty of Engineering) Member

2. Advisory Council

- President Appointee Chairman
- Minister of Housing and the Environment Member
- Rector, College of Higher Education Member
- Four (4) outside subjects' experts (two of whom
shall be from other SAARC countries) shall be
nominated by Special Envoy of the President
- Representative of the Environment Protection
- Representative of the Marine Research Centre Member
- Representative of Department of Climate Change
and Energy

3. The Center shall be governed by a Governing Council and shall comprise SAF representatives and members from the relevant government bodies.

4. The governing structure of the Center shall be approved by the Governing and Advisory Councils. The administrative staff and faculty of the Center shall be appointed by the Director as per the recommendation of the Governing Council.

5. Remuneration / fees including boarding, lodging and travel expenses of Madanjeet Singh Group scholarship students as well as of the invited scientists, researchers, teachers, scholars for the activities of the Center shall be determined by the Governing Council and paid in full by UMCRC.

6. The Rector of College of Higher Education shall be the Director of UMCRC and shall work on honorary basis.

7. The Governing Council shall be responsible for the general superintendence and works of the Center in accordance with the policies of SAF provided in the Appendix to this MoU, and will normally meet at least once a year.

8. The Director will present the Annual Report, the Annual Audit Report and also the Activity Plan for next year along with the Budget for the approval of the Governing Council.

9. The Advisory Council shall be responsible for reviewing the activities of the Center and providing advice to the Governing Council in relation to the objectives of the Center. The Director (Rector of College of Higher Education) shall convene the Advisory Council's meeting at least once a year.

10. The Director shall be responsible for overall in-charge of the management and functioning of the Center.

Financial Contribution of SAF

1. SAF undertakes to contribute US$ 500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand US dollars) towards the establishment and operation of the Center spread over a period of five years. The first installment of the aforesaid contribution would not be less than US$ 100,000/- (One Hundred Thousand US dollars).

2. SAF funds shall be paid into the account of the SAF-Maldives Chapter account, who will be the custodian of the SAF fund and shall transfer the amount into an exclusive bank account operated by UMCRC. All expenditures, after approval of the budget by the Governing Council, shall be incurred according to the Maldives Monetary Authority procedures.

3. The interest earned on the funds of the Center, if any, shall be used only for the activities of the Center and shall not be diverted to any other activity.


Personal Contribution of the SAF Founder

The Center will be located at Sosunge, Male'. SAF Founder, Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, shall contribute an amount of US$ 500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from his personal account towards the cost of construction of the Center including furnishing and equipment. The remaining cost of construction will be funded by the Government of Maldives.

SAF Regulations

1. In conformity with the SAF Governing Council resolution adopted in 2002 at Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France, SAF shall not fund any project without at least a matching contribution in cash or kind by the receiving SAF chapter.

2. Before receiving any subsequent installment of SAF funds, UMCRC shall submit an annual Audit report and a Progress Report of the Center to the SAF Trustees.

3. It is stipulated that SAF shall discontinue funding the Center in case the Center fails to comply with SAF's cardinal objective of promoting regional cooperation as specified in this MoU.

Contribution of the Government of Maldives (GoM)

1. Land to build the Center and any funds required for the construction of the building in addition to the funds provided by SAF Founder from his personal account.

2. GoM will be responsible for all the services that are required to construct and maintain the Center.

3. Logistic support and facilities needed from time to time for any activities to be carried out in furtherance of the objectives of the Center.

4. Access to Internet, library, online journals, media resources and other facilities.

5. Providing the academic, administrative and support staff.

Operationalization of the MoU

This MoU shall become effective on the date upon which the parties append their signatures to it. It shall be the responsibility of the UMCRC to seek the approval of the authorities and implement its activities.

Variations in the terms of MoU

The terms of the MoU may be modified in writing as and when required with the consent of the parties.

Termination of the MoU

1. Either party shall be entitled to terminate this MoU by providing the other party with three calendar months' advance notice. The termination of this MoU, for whatever reason, will not affect the rights of a party which may have accrued as at the date of termination and will also not affect any rights which specifically or by their nature survive the termination of this MoU.

2. Any disputes between the two parties regarding any unresolved issue such as bills, unfinished work etc, the GoM and SAF will jointly resolve the dispute in a spirit of independence, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.

In agreement of the above objectives and terms and conditions, this MoU is hereby signed by the parties on this 7th day of November 2010.

Signed for and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Maldives by:

Mr Mohamed Aslam
Minister, Ministry of Housing and Environment

Signed for and on behalf of the South Asia Foundation (SAF) by:

Ambassador Madanjeet Singh
Founder, South Asia Foundation (SAF)

Mr Ibrahim Hussain Zaki
Chairman, SAF-Maldives Chapter


Financial Implementation Regulations

1. As regional cooperation is SAF's cardinal objective, the annual grant of funds to SAF institutions of excellence shall offer at least 8 fully paid SAF Madanjeet Singh Group Scholarships.

2. At least 70% of the funds provided by SAF annually shall be spent on group scholarships and 30% on scholarship-related expenditure, comprising items such as the purchase of books, temporary staff for SAF projects such as workshops, research etc.

3. SAF institutions of excellence shall increase the number of scholarships, based on gender equality, subject to the availability of allocated annual funds provided by SAF.

4. In conformity with SAF regulations, the institutions are obliged to pay in cash or kind, for at least half of the total costs of SAF contribution.

5. No SAF funds can be spent on construction of buildings and on infrastructures such as repairs, maintenance, etc.

6. Any unspent amount of annual SAF grant shall be carried over to cover the cost of SAF Madanjeet Singh Group Scholarships during the subsequent year.

7. SAF annual installment for the subsequent year shall be paid to the institutions on receipt of an authorized auditor's report, giving the names of students on Madanjeet Singh Group Scholarships and itemized details of the expenditure incurred on each scholarship during the year.

8. All the SAF institutions of excellence in SAARC countries shall send their respective annual auditors reports to SAF-India chapter, New Delhi, for checking so that they conform to the guidelines of this appendix before they are forwarded to SAF Trustees for subsequent payments.