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IDRC welcomes launch of the Adaptation Research Alliance at COP26

November 12, 2021
The Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) is an international coalition of over 90 organizations across 30 economies that brings together governments, businesses, research institutes, and local communities to increase the resilience of those most vulnerable to climate change. It aims to catalyze increased investment in action-oriented research, providing a common platform for planning research and its uptake.
Two smallholders, a male and a female, picking crops in their field in Haranahalli village in India.
IDRC/Atul Loke
Healthy, sustainable, and equitable food systems are essential for food security, and highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change.

IDRC played an important role in setting up the ARA. Climate change has a disproportionate impact on the poorest and most vulnerable – the people least able to adapt. We recognize that without urgent action at scale on adaptation and resilience, progress against the Sustainable Development Goals will be substantially threatened. 

The ARA calls for increased investment and capacity in the Global South, yet its members 

and actions are not limited by geographical boundaries. International collaboration, and sharing and learning from experiences worldwide, are essential for informing effective adaptation at the scale and urgency required to keep pace with the rate of climate change. 

Read the Adaptation Research for Impact Principles 

Learn more about the ARA 

Why is an alliance focussed on adaptation needed? 

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group Sixth Assessment Report concluded, human activity has and will continue to cause unprecedented changes in the Earth’s climate system, leading to significant impacts on societies, economies and ecosystems. Responding effectively to these impacts requires adaptation that is enabled and supported by actionable knowledge – of both the risks of climate change and of tangible responses. 

However, the current scope and scale of action-oriented research is insufficient. It is hampered by under-investment, a disconnect between researchers and experiences from the most vulnerable, misaligned incentives, fragmentation, low capacity in developing countries, and limited learning from experience. 

Canada’s commitment 

Canada is a formal member of the Adaptation Action Coalition which was formed in January 2021 in response to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit’s ‘Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience’. Where the Call for Action signalled intent and ambition, the Adaptation Action Coalition – which consists of member countries – aims to accelerate global action on adaption to achieve a climate resilient world by 2030. 

The ARA is intended to be the knowledge counterpart to this effort, providing the pioneering science and technical expertise to inform and underpin the work of the Adaptation Action Coalition. 

COP26 also saw renewed commitment announcements for the Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme (CLARE) - a partnership involving IDRC, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and UK Research and Innovation. CLARE constitutes substantive UK and Canadian government commitments to the aims of the ARA. In fact, IDRC directly contributed to the set-up of the ARA through an initial scoping, design, and bridging phase of CLARE. In addition, IDRC serves on the steering committee, and contributes to the alliance’s workstreams.  

Underscoring the importance of this bold new coalition of global adaptation actors, Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Patricia Fuller, participated in the launch event.  

Learn more about the Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme (CLARE). 

Learn more about IDRC’s work supporting climate-resilient food systems research. 

Get involved 

IDRC is working with the ARA Secretariat by convening consultations to ground the perspective of action-oriented research within a set of themes. The aim is to surface opportunities for cooperation, the barriers to action research, and how the alliance can act on these.  

Help us surface priorities for action research that advances gender equality and social inclusion 

IDRC is organizing a consultation to surface priorities and recommendations for action-oriented research that advances gender equality and social inclusion in the context of climate change. Interested in participating? Please email Kristin Corbett (kcorbett@idrc.ca) before November 21, 2021.  

Consider findings from thematic consultations  

The consultation on research priorities to advance gender equality and social inclusion is part of a wider consultative process within the ARA.  

IDRC also hosted a consultation to surface priorities and recommendations for action research in adapting food systems. Healthy, sustainable, and equitable food systems are essential for food security, and highly sensitive to the impacts of climate change. They also have the potential to play a key role in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  

A summary of the consultation findings will be published soon.