Strengthening the use of scientific evidence to inform climate policy

December 05, 2019

Latin American countries have made promising progress towards adapting to climate change, but significant gaps and barriers hinder their actions. 

A road leading through the foothills of the Andes in Argentina.
IDRC / Karla Gachet

IDRC, together with the Centro Regional de Cambio Climático y Toma de Decisiones and Fundación Avina, collaborated on the Latino Adapta project to strengthen scientific evidence and its use to inform policy, negotiations, and climate implementation in Latin America. Over the next week, Latino Adapta will present the project’s findings at a series of events at the UN’s COP25 in Madrid.

Over the course of two years, project researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Uruguay assessed which knowledge gaps were preventing each country from delivering on their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). NDCs, which are at the heart of the Paris Agreement adopted by consensus at the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, represent each country’s commitments to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Latino Adapta surveyed 277 government officials in six countries to explore the challenges and opportunities of NDC implementation. It identifies four main knowledge gaps that influence the development of climate adaptation policies: knowledge deficits, a lack of sustained science-policy relationships, poorly integrated information and limited use, and weak state capacity to monitor and evaluate climate adaptation policies.  

Latino Adapta also created a series of 12 policy briefs to translate scientific knowledge and promote its use among policymakers. The briefs focus on a range of topics from gender to funding and from capacity building to monitoring and evaluation.  

Overall, the research seeks to strengthen the links between science-based evidence, communicating this knowledge, and implementing it via policies and practice that will improve climate change adaptation in Latin America. 

Learn more about the findings from Latina Adapta’s research.