Woman sorting grain, Indramayu, Indonesia. S. Someshwar/IRI
The Asia and Pacific region is home to more than four billion people, including two-thirds of the world's poor, and over 60% of undernourished people in the developing world. The climate of the region is highly variable, with frequent droughts, floods, and typhoons, which affect livelihoods, food security and health. Many people still depend heavily upon rainfed agriculture, while at the same time demands for water for urban and other uses are increasing rapidly.
IRI's Asia and Pacific Regional Program is working closely with stakeholders at all levels to build capacity to better manage these climate risks, and helping countries reach their development goals. Through ongoing projects in South and Southeast Asia, IRI is helping to address climate risks in agriculture, food security, water resources management, livelihood security, fire management, and health. IRI is also developing efforts focusing on urban climate risks, which are of increasing concern in light of rapid urbanization.
In order to ensure sustainability of our work in the region, our efforts involve deep engagement with national and local government agencies, universities, research institutes and humanitarian organizations. These partnerships enable scientists from a range of disciplines to work together with policymakers and researchers in Asia to develop and demonstrate practical methods and tools for managing climate risks.
Meteorology Research Institute, 2nd International Workshop on Downscaling of Seasonal Forecasts, Tsukuba, Japan, 18-20 January 2011.
Dr. Andrew Roberson, Chief Climate Scientist for the Asia and Pacific Regional Program, presented the IRI's Climate Group's collaborative research in his talk Downscale of seasonal forecasts over the Philippines and Northeast Brazil: Dynamical vs Statistical approaches. The focus of the MRI workshop was to develop a strategy for downscaling of climate change projections, mostly on regional models, but also on the role of statistical methods. To view Dr. Roberson's presentation click here.
COP-16 Cancun Climate Change TV, December 2010
Dr. Shiv Someshwar, Director of the Asia and Pacific Regional Program, motivated the audience of Climate Change TV to "bridge the gap" between science and adaptation implementation and highlighted the IRI's collaborative efforts and success in research. Dr. Someshwar stressed the need to transition from systems that simply react to climate crises to a framework that helps decision-makers use the best available science to anticipate climate related risks and establish the institutional architecture and policies necessary for anticipatory action.
Dr. Someshwar highlighted the successes on the "Fire Early Warning and Response" project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. This joint project financed by the Dutch Government is a collaborative effort between the IRI, the Center for Climate Risk and Opportunity management in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (CCROM) at Bogor Agriculture University, CARE Indonesia, and provincial and district-level governments. The project leverages mitigation and adaptation synergies to better manage the peatland forest fires of Central Kalimantan. To watch Dr. Someshwar's interview click here.
President Obama's speech to India's Parliament
President Obama highlights joint US/India research to improve Indian weather forecasting systems during his 8 November 2010 speech to India's Parliament. An excerpt of the speech is provided below, to read the transcript click here.
"Together, we're improving Indian weather forecasting systems before the next monsoon season. We aim to help millions of Indian farmers -- farming households save water and increase productivity, improve food processing so crops don't spoil on the way to market, and enhance climate and crop forecasting to avoid losses that cripple communities and drive up food prices." - President Barack Obama
India ERFS Project In India, where more than 60% of agriculture is rainfed, a lackluster monsoon can affect food prices and a failed monsoon can seriously impact the economy. To help address these problems, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), funded by US-NOAA and India's Ministry of Agriculture, is partnering on the Extended Range Forecast System for Climate Risk Management in Agriculture (ERFS). The project aims to improve monsoon forecasts and develop tools that help farmers and policy makers use climate information to strengthen agriculture productivity and rural livelihoods across diverse econo-climatic conditions. The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi serves as the project secretariat and the other primary partners are the India Meteorological Department, the National Center for Medium-Range Forecasting, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and agriculture universities in the project's nine demonstration states: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarkhand. For more information about the project click here.
Contribute to the development of early action systems for improved fire management in the peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, including the identification of how climate information could be best integrated into decision-making
Identify potential climate risk management strategies, including analyzing policies and regulations guiding water allocation; working with the Philippine meteorological service (PAGASA) to build climate research capacity and develop tools to forecast reservoir inflow and water availability.