Canada and the United Kingdom join forces to tackle climate change in Africa and Asia

March 6, 2014

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ – Canada’s International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK’s Department for International
Development (DFID) have announced today the selection of four
multi-partner research initiatives aimed at tackling the impacts of
climate change in Africa and Asia. Funded under the Collaborative
Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) program, a
seven-year, $70 million research initiative, this work takes a fresh
approach to understanding climate change and adaptation in some of the
most vulnerable regions of Africa and Asia.

Organized around four multi-regional consortia, CARIAA will focus on
three global “hot spots,” namely semi-arid regions in Africa and South
and Central Asia; deltas in Africa and South Asia; and the Himalayan
River Basins, with a view to contributing to effective policies and
action on the ground. The program straddles countries, regions, and
sectors, using the hot spot itself as a lens for research. In Africa,
CARIAA will address two hotspots: semi-arid regions in East, West, and
Southern Africa and the Volta and Nile river Deltas.

“The research will produce practical advice for policymakers and local
decision-makers. It will help business leaders, economic ministries,
and regional economic communities develop policies and investment
strategies that reduce poverty while strengthening adaptation,” said
IDRC President, Jean Lebel. “It will also shed light, for example, on
how firms can respond to new market opportunities and threats created
by climate change and other key drivers in semi-arid lands, and how
governments can support them in adapting to climate change impacts on
their production and value chains.”

“CARIAA’s focus on developing a robust evidence base for what works and
what doesn’t in assisting some of the most vulnerable communities in
the world to build resilience to extreme weather events and adapt to
climate change is very welcome,” said Virinder Sharma, Climate Change
Advisor, DFID Kenya. “I am particularly encouraged to see that the
programme aims to work at all levels, and plans to engage stakeholders
from local to national, regional and international levels from the
outset. Particularly significant is the focus of this programme on
bridging research to policy and practice. This process of collaborative
development will be important in ensuring the evidence is useful to the
relevant decision makers”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report that will be released this March projects that the world’s dry regions
will become even drier due to global warming. These already harsh
environments will face higher temperatures and shrinking water
sources, putting further stress on those who depend on natural
resources for their livelihoods, such as in farming, fishing, or

By mid-century, average summer temperatures across large portions of
Africa could exceed the hottest temperatures on record, leading to
water shortages and crop failures. The length of the growing season may
decline by up to 20 percent across parts of the West African Sahel,
Southern Africa, and Eastern Africa, the report adds.

Climate change is also expected to affect coastal regions such as the
Nile Delta, which is highly vulnerable to seal level rise and soil
salinization, leading to the potential displacement of around 1.3
million people by 2050. Similar impacts are projected in major deltas
in India and Bangladesh, where more than 100 million people may be

The stress of these climatic changes is compounded by development
pressures in areas that are already fragile. Kenya’s Rift Valley, for
example, is experiencing erratic rains, with alternating droughts and
floods affecting people, livestock, rangelands, wildlife, and
infrastructure. Unplanned land-use changes and unstable patterns of
land tenure are adding to these climate stresses. Farmers and
pastoralists with little access to capital are most at risk. But the
changes underway will affect both urban and rural people. If high-end
projections for climate change come to pass, by the second half of this
century entire livelihoods systems may need to be transformed in these
semi-arid lands.

More information, including the list of institutions selected as part of
the four consortia, is available at: CARIAA. Backgrounder available upon request.

Join in the conversation through Twitter #CARIAA and Facebook.

About IDRC

A key part of Canada’s foreign policy efforts, IDRC supports research in
developing countries to promote growth and development. At IDRC,
tackling climate change through research is one of our key activities.
Read more about our climate change work.

About DFID

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK
government’s fight against world poverty.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

Source: PR Newswire

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