The International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) is intended to support activities that link climate research and assessments to practical risk management, development and adaptation challenges in key regions throughout the world. (A note regarding funding opportunities: the FY 12 competition for the CSI-International Research and Applications Project is intended to support elements of work previously performed by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) under a long-standing cooperative agreement with NOAA that is expiring.)
The IRAP will seek to bridge NOAA's science and services capabilities, the global change applications research community, and decision makers and resource managers around the world with a stake in climate adaptation and risk management. The project's ultimate objective will be to foster the effective use of climate information and the development of climate information services in order to enhance resilience and take advantage of climate-sensitive economic, social and environmental benefits. It is anticipated that the project will serve as a cornerstone in NOAA's contributions to international efforts to develop and build climate services-related knowledge and infrastructure for adaptation, development and risk management, including the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). The project is intended to serve as the agency's primary international mechanism for interpreting and translating NOAA's (and that of other USG and international entities, where appropriate) evolving climate information products and services – including training and capacity building - and for collaborating with partners to integrate the multidisciplinary applications, impacts assessment and decision support research that informs practical decision making and outcomes. The project will be closely linked to NOAA's other climate activities, including those related to research, product and services development, planning, capacity-building, coordination and adaptation.
This project is anticipated to function as a boundary organization providing a range of research-based activities linking basic climate science to impacts and decision-making needs. It will link the synthesis, interpretation and translation of physical climate information, including NOAA's and other agencies' monitoring and prediction capabilities, with interdisciplinary applications research on impacts, vulnerabilities and decision making needs and capabilities of information users, and the enhancement of the institutional and technical capacity for the application of climate information to support proactive planning and response. This work will be done in partnership with other national, regional and international scientific and resource management, and development institutions.
The International Research and Applications Project will prioritize specific geographical regions and societal challenges in FY 2012, in order to optimize the investment of resources and allow for substantial focus, partnership development, and analysis.
Recognizing that many areas of the world face significant socio-economic impacts due to the effects of climate variability and change, NOAA has selected the three regions listed below based on a combination of conditions both within, and external to the agency, including, inter alia: existing scientific, technical and institutional capabilities and partnerships; emerging opportunities for research, cooperation and applications for adaptation and risk management; and the presence of opportunities to address a range of key climatic and development issues across multiple time scales. Within this regional framework, NOAA has identified three challenges related to climate and adaptation, development and risk management as initial priorities for this project: a) water resources; b) coastal planning and management; and c) disaster prevention and risk reduction related to extreme events and other changes.
The three regions are the following:
Indo-Gangetic Plain; and
Within this geographical and societal challenge framework, NOAA will support activities in the major categories described below. These activities should be integrated to the degree possible in order to refine and/or help establish the necessary knowledge base and capacity to advance the evolving international climate services infrastructure, meet the action requirements of decision makers and advance substantially the process of embedding climate information in policies, projects and activities that improve resilience for people, places and natural resources.
Interpret and translate climate information, products, and capabilities across multiple time scales for up to three regions (listed above), beginning with seasonal-to-interannual, and extending to multi-decadal timescales and beyond. This information should be integrated with targeted impacts assessment, vulnerability research and risk characterization. When feasible, the project should utilize NOAA information, but it is encouraged to draw upon information and capabilities from scientifically sound and respected sources, to the advancement of objectives of the project (e.g., other U.S. agencies, universities, assessments, and/or international centers and/or organizations).
Develop applications methodologies and decision-support processes and tools such as climate early warning systems for integrating climate information and products in adaptation, planning and risk management in the key societal challenge areas identified above.
Design, coordinate, implement and contribute technical expertise to capacity building and training efforts, in partnership with NOAA and other organizations such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the World Meteorological Organization focused on enhancing the institutional and technical foundations for international and regional climate services for adaptation. A significant portion of the outreach, training and capacity building activities should be targeted toward the downstream use of the information by technical decision-making and policy relevant organizations.
Analyze and communicate experiences in each of the regional undertakings and translate the findings into practice-based guidance for the provision and use of climate services for adaptation, with feedback to other regions and US-based agencies where possible. The project will be expected to host meetings, briefings, and other interactions that demonstrate the connections being made with practical management challenges and feedback to NOAA for informing NOAA's national mandates.