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17 December 2013

Innovations in Climate Security Research

Known for its innovative research bridging policy and academic spheres, the Robert Strauss Center this year won the esteemed Special Achievements in GIS (SAG) Award for its work mapping security risks related to climate change. The Strauss Center uses Esri's geographic information systems (GIS) technology as part of its Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program to analyze how communities are vulnerable to climate change, understand links between climate change and conflict, and assess the effectiveness of targeting international responses.

The Strauss Center's CCAPS Mapping Tool combines climate, conflict, governance, and aid data to analyze how climate change impacts and responses intersect in Africa. The mapping tool was one of 175 sites chosen worldwide from over 100,000 nominees for the award. The tool's policy applications range from assessing how emerging conflict patterns could exacerbate climate-induced insecurity to examining whether development aid targets areas with the greatest climate risks.

This fall, CCAPS also released a host of new research, with innovative findings in:

Further, new methodologies developed by CCAPS researchers are also increasingly being applied by organizations in the field. A recent report by the Centre for Development Finance in India, entitled Climate Finance at the Local Level – The Case of Odisha, utilized CCAPS' methodology for tracking climate aid to help develop aid strategies that would assist Indian central and state governments in implementing State Action Plans on Climate Change. This CCAPS methodology identifies and measures how much of a particular development aid project contributes to adaptation and can thus be labeled "climate aid." The CDF case study of climate change financing in Odisha is just one example of how the innovative CCAPS methodology—originally developed for Africa—can potentially be used to efficiently plan for future climate change adaptation in many parts of the world.

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CCAPS Mapping Tools Explore Climate Security

The CCAPS Mapping Tools visualize data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, and aid to analyze how these issues intersect in Africa.