Understanding our responses to environmental change


GLORIA Global Learning Opportunities for Regional Indian Ocean Adaptation

Tom Chaigneau and I collaborate on GLORIA which brings together a wide range of international scientists from diverse countries including Madagascar, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya and Australia– see . It is funded by ESPA and led by Kevern Cochrane. The project aims to bring together different areas of knowledge and expertise around climate change and adaptation and synthesise that knowledge to help identify adaptation options for a key oceanic climate change hotspot off south and west coast of Madagascar. It aims to develop capacity and apply latest science to identify appropriate strategies that are compatible with poverty alleviation.

The project recognizes that there are no simple, conventional solutions to addressing adaptation to climate change in poor communities. Practical experience and scientific information from these areas is limited and there is an urgent need to improve and test the theories that underpins existing efforts. This project aims to develop an innovative rapid approach to integrate and apply global scientific and local information and knowledge. The approach will be applied in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries affected by a marine hotspot and will work as a case study for applying to other global hotspots. At its core is an expert workshop, which will bring together a multi-disciplinary team of world-leading researchers with experience from climate change adaptation on the larger, global-scale, regional experts and specialists with detailed knowledge of the hotspot area, and community representatives who can provide a rich local understanding, knowledge and context.

Together they will identify key areas of environmental change and their likely consequences for local populations. They will explore adaptive solutions, develop recommendations for future action to minimize societal impacts on low-income communities in the hotspot region, and most use experiences and information from this participatory process to develop and test current theories for developing climate change adaptation strategies. The scientific insights generated by the research will be included in a synthesis paper, and in dissemination/awareness materials targeting the local audience.

While this project will not be able to test current theories by implementation, it will provide a valuable opportunity for intensive discussion and exchange on adaptive solutions between experts in the theory and coastal stakeholders who are intimately familiar with their own circumstances and needs. The outcomes from the project will therefore enrich current understanding of adaptation and adaptive capacity and generate proposals for revising it where necessary.