Ottawa, Canada, June 2, 2011 -The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) together with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) today announce that five research teams have been awarded a total of $12.5 million dollars under the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC).
Each team will receive $2.5 million over five years to study how best to protect people, communities and vital economic sectors, like agriculture and tourism, that are most at risk from the effects of climate change. Two teams will focus specifically on vulnerable indigenous populations. Together, the research projects, which will take place in Canada and in developing countries across four continents, aim to address an important gap in our climate change knowledge, namely, how to anticipate, manage, and reduce climate risk vulnerability through adaptation.
The five successful research teams were selected through a rigorous peer-review process. Their projects and respective team leads are:
Coastal Cities at Risk: Building Adaptive Capacity for Managing Climate Change in Coastal Megacities
Anond Snidvongs, Chulalongkorn University and Southeast Asia START Regional Research Center, Thailand
Gordon McBean, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Adapting to Climate Change: Protecting Water Resources in West Africa and Canada
Driss Ouazar, Université Mohammed V Agdal, Maroc
Taha Ouarda, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Canada
Partnership for Canada-Caribbean Community Climate Change Adaptation
Murray Simpson, the CARIBSAVE Partnership, Barbados
Daniel Scott, University of Waterloo, Canada
Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change
Alejandro Llanos, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru
Shuaib Lwasa, Makerere University, Uganda
James Ford, McGill University, Canada
Lea Berrang Ford, McGill University, Canada
Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Extremes in the Americas
Fernando Santibañez, Universidad de Chile, Chile
David J. Sauchyn, University of Regina, Canada
In announcing the awards, the presidents at the four organizations commented:
"Africa, the Arctic, and other vulnerable regions face an urgent need to adapt to such effects as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, drought and desertification," says IDRC President David M. Malone. "This initiative will help determine how vulnerable populations in Canada and in developing countries can best cope with changes to their health, environments, and livelihoods."
"Aboriginal peoples are particularly at risk, and this initiative offers an opportunity for researchers to combine Western scientific methods with traditional indigenous knowledge," says CIHR President Alain Beaudet. "Research is urgently needed to help these vulnerable populations adapt and even improve their lives in the face of climate change."
"SSHRC-funded researchers have helped build a strong foundation of Canadian innovation and expertise on the human dimension of climate change," says SSHRC President Chad Gaffield. "This international collaboration will enable us to develop new knowledge and capabilities in key areas, as well as to enhance the contributions of social sciences and humanities research to meeting the needs of Canadian and developing communities in the process of adaptation to a changing environment."
"The knowledge and expertise of NSERC-funded researchers will play a key role in finding solutions to the environmental changes that affect the most vulnerable communities in Canada and around the world," says NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "By collaborating on an international scale, these researchers will be able to strengthen efforts that will ultimately lead to the effective management of, and adaptation to, a changing environment."
For more information about this unique, made-in-Canada collaboration between IDRC and Canada's granting councils, please visit www.idrc.ca/iriacc.
To achieve self-reliance, poor communities need answers to questions like: How can we grow more and healthier food? Protect our health? Create jobs? IDRC supports research in developing countries to answer these questions. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most. http://publicwebsite.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
SSHRC is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its three funding programs ─ Talent, Insight and Connection ─ SSHRC enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society. www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca
For more information:
Senior Media Advisor, IDRC
(+1 613) 696-2343
Media Relations, CIHR
(+1 613) 941-4563
Communications Manager, SSHRC
(+1 613) 992-7302
Cell: (+1 613) 302-9879
Media Relations Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada