2023 International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

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The International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation call aims to further the design and implementation of co-produced adaptation and mitigation strategies for vulnerable groups—those groups currently most impacted by the effects of climate change, owing to both physical vulnerability (heightened exposure to events related to climate change and/or poor infrastructure) and socioeconomic vulnerability (limited resources to prepare or respond to the impacts of climate change, including knowledge, technology or financial resources, or owing to conflict, security and fragility).

Developing strategies to improve resilience to climate change requires an interdisciplinary approach involving expertise across disciplines—including natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, social sciences, and humanities—and across sectors, including academia, government, not-for-profit organizations, community organizations, and private industry. Co-development of research and solutions in partnership with the affected groups, enabling collaborative experiential learning and capacity development, is essential for long-term success.

Adaptive measures and mitigation strategies require physical infrastructure and nature-based solutions, as well as social, health and cultural interventions, that are aligned with the community’s values. The effective planning and implementation of strategies also depend on enabling conditions, as identified by the Sixth Assessment IPCC reports: effective governance; adequate financing; buy-in from the community; and knowledge, which includes institutional capacity; science, technology and innovation; climate services; big data; and co-production (including Indigenous/local knowledge and boundary organizations). When these enabling conditions are absent, insufficient (in the case of funding), ineffective (in the case of governance) or resisted (in the case of imposed strategies), effective change is impeded.

Project teams must be interdisciplinary—incorporating expertise from across disciplines, as appropriate, to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies; and including expertise in the social sciences and/or humanities to address enabling factors, such as effective governance, community capacity, and geopolitical and economic security.

The Sixth Assessment IPCC reports contain over 130 key risks that could become severe, taking into consideration climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability. The reports grouped these key risks into eight representative key risks. The multiple connections among the representative key risks highlight the potential for the amplification of the impacts of climate change. The interconnectedness also emphasizes the importance of considering the broader context to prevent maladaptation—the exacerbation of other risks, or risks in other regions, caused by implementation of an adaptation and/or mitigation strategy in one location. To encourage research in comprehensive strategies, projects must directly address at least two of the representative key risks.

The eight representative key risks from the Sixth Assessment IPCC reports are the following:

1. Risks to low-lying coastal socio-ecological systems

Risks to natural coastal protection and habitats; lives, livelihoods, culture, heritage and well-being; and critical physical infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas, associated with a wide range of hazards, including sea level changes, ocean warming and acidification, weather extremes, sea ice loss, and permafrost thaw.

2. Risks to terrestrial and ocean ecosystems

Transformation of terrestrial and ocean or coastal ecosystems through mechanisms including habitat loss or invading/invasive species, leading to significant changes in structure and/or functioning, and/or loss of biodiversity, and impacting the livelihoods and food security of the individuals, groups and communities that rely on them.

3. Risks associated with critical physical infrastructure, networks and services

Risks due to extreme events, leading to the breakdown of physical infrastructure and networks providing critical goods and services, including infrastructure systems for energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, health care and emergency response, with impacts on the individuals, groups and populations that rely on them.

4. Risks to living standards

Risks of economic impacts at global and national scales, including impacts on poverty, well-being and livelihoods, and considering the exacerbating effects of impacts on socio-economic inequality among and within countries, and how this affects the ability to respond to or address the impacts of climate change.

5. Risks to human health

Risks of widespread, substantial worsening of health conditions, including undernutrition and malnutrition; food safety risks; mortality due to heat; morbidity and mortality due to vector-borne, foodborne and waterborne diseases; and impacts on mental health.

6. Risks to food security

Risks of food insecurity linked to global warming, drought, flooding, precipitation variability and weather extremes, owing to impacts on the food systems (involving elements such as reduced food production and diversity [crops, livestock and fisheries] safety, processing, supply chains, affordability, preparation and consumption).

7. Risks to water security

Risks from water-related hazards (floods and droughts), water scarcity and water quality deterioration (with impacts on sanitation and hygiene, food production, economic activities, ecosystems and Indigenous and traditional cultures and ways of life).

8. Risks to peace and to human mobility

Risks to peace within and among societies, driven in part by climate change-induced increases in the number of people living in extreme poverty, in armed conflict, and in risks to human mobility, particularly involuntary migration and displacement, or involuntary immobility.

Eligible projects

The International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation call will support research that is both interdisciplinary (integrating information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge) and trans-sectoral (involving the academic, research, economic [businesses], societal [governmental and nongovernmental organizations], and community sectors, as appropriate) on participatory, contextually and culturally appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses to at least two of the eight representative key risks of climate change, noted above. Projects must focus on responding to the needs of those most impacted by the effects of climate change—such as communities in low- and middle-income countries or Indigenous territories, or groups that are vulnerable due to their geographic, social and/or economic circumstances. All projects are required to partner with a participating community or communities in the co-creation, implementation, and ownership of the research and outcomes, and to develop approaches related to policy implementation and knowledge mobilization. In this way, the call aims to strengthen the connections among research, governance and communities, to ensure that funded projects are both transformative and impactful. This approach ensures that the projects also develop strategies related to policy, communication and community partnerships, to encourage acceptance, support and the behavioural changes required for implementation. The integration of team members from vulnerable groups is required.

For more information, contact NFRF-FNFR@chairs-chaires.gc.ca.

Competition timeline

Date Milestone
January 2023 Competition launch
May 2023 Deadline to submit required notice of intent to apply
September 2023 Deadline to submit full application
February 2024 Notice of funding decisions

Current consortium partners


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)—Germany
  • National Research Foundation (NRF)—South Africa
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)—United States
  • New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)—Canada
  • The Research Council of Norway (Forskningsradet)—Norway
  • Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)—Brazil
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)—Switzerland
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)—United Kingdom
  • The Wellcome Trust—United Kingdom
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