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International Research Initiative
on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC)
Tony Fouhse 
The IRIACC lead researchers met in Ottawa
on June 2-3, 2011
Climate change is already happening, and its effects are being felt in many places. But relatively little is known about how to cope and adapt to it. IRIACC aims to address this knowledge gap through rigorous research in Canada and across four continents.

The International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC) is a five-year, CA$12.5 million research program aimed at helping vulnerable populations in Canada and in developing countries adapt to climate change. Five research teams are each tackling an urgent problem related to climate change adaptation, looking for solutions and strategies that will help communities cope with a changing climate. 
IRIACC Projects
Researchers from Morocco, Niger, and Québec City, Canada are looking at the relationship between water resources and health in Canada and West Africa.

A team from Thailand and London, Ontario are examining coastal megacities at risk, focusing on coping and adaptation strategies for Bangkok, Lagos, Manila, and Vancouver.
Learn more...
Climate Change and the Health of Indigenous Communities
Researchers from Peru, Uganda, and Montréal, Canada are applying scientific and indigenous knowledge to help remote indigenous populations adapt to the health effects of climate change.
Researchers from Chile and Regina, Saskatchewan are seeking to understand and reduce the vulnerability of agricultural and indigenous communities in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia to climate variability and extreme climate events.
Investigators from Barbados and Waterloo, Canada are comparing the vulnerability of communities in the low-lying small-island countries of the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica) to those in Atlantic Canada.

Learn more... 

The research

Each team, made up of researchers, community stakeholders, practitioners, and policymakers in Canada and in developing countries, will create a research network to
  • advance a better understanding of climate change and its effects on vulnerable populations, resources, and the environment as well as its potential to increase inequities within and between countries;
  • shape adaptation policies and practices;
  • train students and young researchers who can help governments, the private sector, and civil society anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.

Expected outcomes

IRIACC aims to

Advance knowledge by

  • producing cutting-edge research that leads to a fuller understanding of climatic and related stressors;
  • advancing innovative tools, technologies, and collaborative approaches to help cope with climate change;
  • integrating different types of knowledge to improve awareness of changing social and natural systems and informing future research directions.

Shape policies by

  • developing, assessing, and validating adaptation policies;
  • sharing knowledge, resources, and expertise between jurisdictions to inform adaptation policies;
  • communicating research results to enhance public understanding of adaptation and its potential impacts.

Build research capacity by

  • contributing to expertise and skills-building in the study of global environmental change among young researchers;
  • supporting government and community leaders involved in climate change adaptation through research findings and training;
  • creating international networks that conduct comparative research, exchange tools and practices, and raise awareness of the research.

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Mapping the relationship between weather and health in Morocco, Niger, and Canada


With support from IDRC, researchers are building on a successful web application that links weather data to human health risks for use in Morocco, Niger, and Canada.

The International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change
IDRC funds researchers in the developing world so they can build healthier, more prosperous societies
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