Short-term collaborations between Canadian and African researchers has generated compelling results on such pressing issues as maternal and child health, climate change impacts, and alternative energy sources. The Canada Africa Research Exchange Grants (CAREG) program fostered collaborations between researchers in seven African countries and counterparts at universities in Ontario, Québec, and Manitoba. Managed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) with financial support from IDRC, CAREG set out to strengthen international partnerships and emerging networks involving African and Canadian academic researchers.
Poor communities rarely benefit from global emissions trading schemes, because of the high transaction costs of participation. However, the registration of small community-scale projects to the carbon market through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) might be a way for low-income communities to profit from their efforts to reduce emissions.
Wastewater treatment is a serious issue in Mexico City due to its large population, heavy water use, and inadequate wastewater infrastructure. Researchers supported by IDRC have published a paper where they compare the social and environmental impacts of the technology used in wastewater treatment plants in Mexico City.
The Mantaro Valley in central Peru is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and frost. According to recent projections, this vulnerability will increase in coming years due to climate change.
Access to water for poor residents in Jakarta, Indonesia, is limited. Among the challenges they face are the high prices demanded by water service providers, poor water quality, and limited access to water infrastructure. With support from IDRC, the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps worked with residents, local government, researchers, NGOs, and the private sector to tackle these challenges.
Asian researchers have developed new environmental and community approaches to reduce the number of mosquitoes carrying dengue, the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral disease. Dengue is a significant economic and social burden in many countries worldwide.
Research shows that weather-related emergencies, such as floods, significantly increase internal migration in Costa Rica. An increase of one hydro-meteorological emergency raises migration rates between 0.7 and 0.11 percentage points. Therefore, migration can be a potential adaptation strategy when faced with weather-related emergencies, with people moving to less vulnerable places.
One important challenge facing post-secondary institutions today is how to transform themselves into agents of sustainability. In the last decade, a number of initiatives in Canada set out strategies and forums to share experiences and best practices and to advance teaching and research for social and environmental sustainability. But few of these provided an opportunity to engage with institutions in developing countries.
Agricultural production is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. While this can lead to improved food security, nutrition, and income in the region, it also increases the risk of disease, exposure to chemicals, and the loss of biodiversity. The IDRC-supported Ecohealth Field Building Initiative (FBLI) supports research in the region that aims to improve understanding of the effects of agricultural change on ecosystems and human health, and provide sustainable solutions.