IRAP: Innovations for International Climate Services (Engility 2013)
DESCRIPTION: Farmers are at the mercy of the weather. They need the rain to nourish their crops, but when the rain doesn’t come or when it’s excessive, their hard labor can go to waste – crops ruined. With the global climate changing and potentially becoming more variable in some places, the livelihood of millions of farmers is at stake, especially in the most susceptible regions, such as the Caribbean, Asia’s Indo-Gangetic Plain and West Africa. IRAP initially focused on the Caribbean region, where droughts, hurricanes and floods threaten farmers each year. In 2010, for example, farmers faced the worst drought in 50 years. The drought had significant consequences for farming communities. They produced fewer crops, combatted brush fires and faced water shortages. Since then, the IRAP partners have brought together Caribbean scientists and decision makers to work on effective ways to link climate information, including risks of extreme events, to their impacts, and to identify appropriate actions for preparedness and longer-term resilience.