Canada's International Development Research Centre joins Canada's delegation to UN Climate Change Conference

OTTAWA, Nov. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Jean Lebel, President of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), today announced that IDRC is joining the Government of Canada's official delegation to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

IDRC will contribute its expertise in generating knowledge, innovation, and solutions to help vulnerable populations in developing regions of the world adapt to the effects of climate change.

Since 2006, IDRC has invested $190 million in 150 climate adaptation research projects around the world. These projects have engaged more than 1,000 researchers in 70 low- and middle-income countries, resulting in some 250 adaptation solutions. These include:

  • mapping vulnerable areas in coastal cities to help communities prepare for flooding and extreme weather;
  • adapting how people farm their land and manage water resources; and
  • diversifying livelihoods, to reduce people's reliance on climate-vulnerable sectors. 

The Climate Change Adaptation and ICT (CHAI) project is one example. Thanks to information and communication technologies, more than 120,000 farmers in Uganda's cattle corridor now receive weather forecasts, agricultural advisories, and market updates on their mobile phones. Crop loss and damage are now down by as much as 67% in pilot districts. This project is one of 16 "game-changing climate action initiatives from around the world" that will receive a UN Momentum for Change award at COP21.


IDRC is co-convening the following events at COP21. Media are encouraged to attend:


The private finance gap: Challenges and opportunities in funding adaptation


IDRC, Private Finance Advisory Network (CTI, PFAN), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEP), Frankfurt Business School


December 3, 2015, 15:00-16:30 (local time)


Observer Room 03, Paris-Le Bourget (Blue Zone)



High-level Roundtable — Climate Change Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities for Research in the Global South


International Development Research Centre, Institut de recherche pour le développement durable (IRD), Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD)


December 3, 2015, 17:00-18 :30


La Francophonie Pavilion, Paris-Le Bourget (Blue Zone)



Development and Climate Days


Red Cross Climate Centre, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)


December 5-6, 2015 8:30-18:00


L'Usine, 379 Avenue du President Wilson, 93210 Saint Denis


Media are requested to RSVP to Jennifer Crago ( to attend.



UN Momentum for Change award ceremony (FHI 360 recipient for IDRC-funded CHAI project)


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


December 10, 2015, 18:30-20:00


African Pavilion, Paris-Le Bourget (Blue Zone)



Dr. Jean Lebel, President of IDRC, and Dr. Dominique Charron, Director of IDRC's Agriculture and Environment program are part of the official Canadian delegation. They will be supported by Mark Redwood, Program Leader, Climate Change. Full biographical notes are below. All three will be available for interviews in both English and French.

Jean Lebel, President, International Development Research Centre – Official Canadian Delegate
Expertise: agriculture and food security, environment, health, natural resources management Languages: French, English
Jean Lebel oversees IDRC's research programming. As a pioneering environmental health specialist, he frequently comments on issues ranging from agriculture and food security to the impact of the environment on health, as well as the management of natural resources and climate change. Lebel joined IDRC in 1997, leading the Ecosystems and Human Health program and directing the Agriculture and Environment program. He is IDRC's representative to the board of directors of the International Institute for Sustainable Development; and to the Fund Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. In 2001, Lebel received the first Prix Reconnaissance from the faculty of sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) for his work on protecting ecosystems and human health in developing countries. Lebel has a PhD in Environmental Sciences from UQAM.

Dominique Charron, Director, Agriculture and Environment – Official Canadian Delegate
Expertise: environmental health, public health, infectious diseases, climate change
Languages: French, English
Dominique Charron oversees research that seeks to increase agricultural productivity and food security, reduce vulnerability to climate change, and protect the public from both infectious and non-communicable diseases linked to environment. She joined IDRC in 2006 as Program Leader of the Ecosystems and Human Health program. Previously, Charron developed and managed research programs on climate change and infectious diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada. She has conducted research in Canada, including in the Arctic, and in the Caribbean. Charron has taught epidemiology and ecosystem health at the graduate and undergraduate levels at several Canadian universities. Charron holds a PhD in epidemiology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph.

Mark Redwood, Program Leader, Climate Change
Expertise: Climate change, water, adaptation, urban land-use planning, and sanitation. 
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Mark Redwood is an urban and environmental planner who specializes in water, sanitation, and climate change. Wastewater as a resource is a particular focus of Redwood's – he has managed numerous projects involving its reuse for agriculture in cities. He has published and edited articles and books on urban agriculture, environment, climate change and cities, and wastewater use. He sits on several boards, including WaterAid Canada and the International Water Resources Association. Redwood holds a master's degree from McGill University's urban planning program.

About IDRC
Part of Canada's foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in developing regions of the world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change.


SOURCE International Development Research Centre

For further information: on IDRC's Research for climate change adaptation: Note to Editors: IDRC experts are available for interviews, in English and French. Media Contacts: Paris - Joanne Charette, IDRC Communications 613-852-5364, Ottawa - Jocelyn Sweet, IDRC Media Relations 613-696-2117


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