The US Agency for International Development on Tuesday (June 9) unveiled a $34 million initiative to help disaster-proof developing countries. The goal of the public-private partnership is to provide climate data and information to help promote resilient development worldwide.
Partners include the US, UK, American Red Cross, Asian Development Bank, Esri, Google, Inter-American Development, and Skoll Global Threats Fund.
The Climate Services for Resilient Development Partnership will create new tools and services to bridge technological and organizational gaps, beginning with a program of customized services in the 3 pilot countries of Bangladesh, Columbia, and Ethiopia, through the end of 2016. In a second phase, the partnership plans to extend activities to the Caribbean, Sahel region of Africa, and Southeast Asia.
US President Obama first announced plans for an international public-private partnership to empower developing nations to boost their own climate resilience at the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014. The partnership will enable the US Government to apply its own technologies, scientific expertise, and capacities developed under Obama’s Climate Action Plan to support resilience building in developing nations.
USAID leads the US Government’s involvement in the partnership, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Geological Survey (USGS), and other US Government agencies contributing climate data and tools to meet the information needs of focus countries. Furthermore, the Peace Corps will help support on-the-ground implementation of climate-resilience activities.
NASA has already released global daily downscaled climate projections for use in the Climate Services for Resilient Development Partnership. These climate modeling simulations are intended to provide high resolution details of what future climate may look like, specifically how temperature and precipitation patterns might change. NASA data includes information from 21 different models at a resolution of 15.5 miles, based on GHG emissions projections through 2100. This information will serve scientists and planners in conducting local level risk assessments and design resilience strategies.
(Image: Temporary shelters in Tacloban City, Philippines, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, December, 2013. Photo credit: State Department photo/Public Domain on USAID’s Flickr)