Strengthening Africans' Ability to Adapt to Climate Change:

Seven Projects Receive Canadian Funding

OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, and Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) today announced seven winning projects from across Africa that will support important and innovative initiatives to better equip the African continent to deal with the effects of climate change.

The African Adaptation Research Centres (AARC) initiative is a three-year, $10 million project managed by IDRC with funding provided by the Government of Canada, as part of Canada's commitment to fast-start climate change financing promised under the Copenhagen Accord.

"With our fast-start financing, we are supporting important and innovative initiatives, such as the ones that are being carried out by the African Adaptation Research Centres through the International Development Research Centre," said Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent. "These efforts will help developing countries be better equipped to deal with climate change, and we are very proud of the work we are doing in this area."

The AARC initiative will help build the leadership and research expertise required to adapt to a warming climate in Africa. Under AARC, seven centres of research excellence are supported to strengthen the ability of African researchers to guide decision-makers in setting priorities and developing national adaptation strategies that protect people, communities, and livelihoods most at risk from climate change.

"Climate change will pose immense challenges for Africa in the coming decades," says IDRC President David Malone. "AARC will help strengthen the continent's ability to adapt to a changing climate and is consistent with IDRC's mission of using science and technology to improve people's lives in the developing world."

The recipient institutions awarded AARC grants are:

  • Integrated Sustainable Development Initiative, Benin: $823,000 to build resilience in local communities threatened by food insecurity and rural poverty due to climate change;
  • Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, Ghana: $1,399,000 to inform adaptation strategies that protect the health, livelihoods, and food security of people living in Ga Mashie, a poor coastal community in Accra;
  • University of Alexandria, Egypt: $1,296,200 to establish an adaptation research centre in the Nile Delta, one of the regions in the world that is most vulnerable to climate change;
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture,Tanzania: $1,338,300 to focus research on climate change adaptation strategies for agriculture and water resources in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania;
  • Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement, Burkina Faso: $1,275,700 to reduce the risk of food insecurity to farmers from climate change, particularly in the Sahel area, which has experienced a marked decline in rainfall and a high degree of variability to the start of rainy season;
  • Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, South Africa:  $1,499,800 to encourage research-based food security policies in the context of climate change by linking researchers and policy makers in South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, and Swaziland;
  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya: $1,123,200 to support a greater understanding of climate risks and, in response, develop innovations to improve agricultural productivity.

AARC builds on the success of IDRC's Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program, a multimillion dollar program funded by IDRC and the UK's Department for International Development, which supports research to help the poor in Africa's cope with a changing climate. It's also part of IDRC's ongoing support of human adaptation to climate change through research and innovation.

Journalists and the public can join in the conversation through Twitter (#IDRC) and Facebook.

For more information, visit www.idrc.ca.

About IDRC

A key part of Canada's aid program since 1970, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. 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.

SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information:

Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé
(+1 613) 696-2343
ibourgeault-tasse@idrc.ca
@IDRC_CRDI

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