The IRI was founded on the belief that scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of climate can help developing countries defeat persistent and often devastating problems. Climate has an impact on health, water, agriculture and most other vital sectors, giving us the opportunity to help societies confront a whole range of hardships-from malaria epidemics to food shortages.
Population growth, changing livelihoods, rapid urbanization, and climate uncertainty put pressure on resources and ecosystems. Under these heightened stress conditions even minor climate fluctuations are significant.
The IRI is a catalyst for the creation and provision of science that meets the needs of the developing world. We collaborate with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with local institutions that understand local needs and capacity. Our research and tools are "demand-driven" in that they help solve specific development, adaptation and research management issues.
Our experience has led us to an increasingly comprehensive approach to climate-sensitive problems, with aims to:
- Help deliver and improve climate science that responds to the demands of decision makers in different economic sectors.
- Develop, explore and evaluate climate risk management strategies.
- Strengthen development through the integration of climate risk management.
- Capture and manage knowledge, train and share information in support of managing climate related risks
Climate risk management is the use of climate information in a multidisciplinary scientific context to cope with climate's impacts on development and resource-management problems. Climate risk management covers a broad range of potential actions, including: early-response systems, strategic diversification, dynamic resource-allocation rules, financial instruments, infrastructure design and capacity building.
In addition to avoiding adverse outcomes, climate risk management seeks to maximize opportunities in climate-sensitive economic sectors through improved resource management. It confronts the question of climate change adaptation by focusing on actions that can be taken today, to improve outcomes today and to understand and anticipate the interactions of economic, environmental and social systems with the climate into the future