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SPP Professor Anand Patwardhan Helps Launch Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) at COP26

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Adaptation

A significant achievement of the 2021 U.N. Climate Conference, COP26, was the launch of the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA), a group of stakeholders dedicated to protecting vulnerable communities from the devastating effects of climate change. Over 90 organizations are involved in ARA, representing research funders, policymakers, scientists and grassroots and development organizations. Through the variety of stakeholder perspectives, ARA aims to design evidence-based solutions that are individualized to local contexts. 

COP26, which took place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, united global stakeholders to accelerate climate action in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Accord. The four primary goals of the conference were to develop innovative techniques to mitigate climate change effects, preserve communities and habitats, successfully finance climate action endeavors and generate opportunities for collaboration. 

University of Maryland School of Public Policy Professor Anand Patwardhan will serve as co-chair of the ARA alongside Rosalind West, the climate science theme lead of the U.K.’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Patwardhan and West pioneered the idea at the 2019 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) and have taken leading roles in developing the initiative. 

“In the next few years, I would like to see the ARA deliver a paradigm shift where the needs of the most vulnerable take centre stage,” says Patwardhan, “and where research becomes a highly valued tool for all actors involved in climate adaptation, including policymakers, funders, practitioners and vulnerable communities.”

The U.K. and Canada also launched a joint research program, the Climate Adaptation and Resilience program (CLARE), to identify actionable solutions to climate adaptation challenges in Africa. CLARE applies the ARA’s Adaptation Research for Impact Principles, which outlines how project implementation, knowledge-sharing and evaluation should be carried out. 

“Action-focused research is crucial to effective, inclusive and sustainable climate adaptation, particularly to protect the most vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change,”  says Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK Secretary of State for International Trade. “Both the ARA and the U.K.’s support for CLARE will improve the effectiveness of adaptation, putting people at the heart of climate research to build the resilience of those living on the frontline of the climate crisis.”

Learn more about the Adaptation Research Alliance

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