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NEWS: Competition seeks holistic ways to adapt to climate change

CDKN partner Rare is running a competition to find innovative adaptations to climate change. Enter your community’s approach for a chance to win US$20,000 and to put the idea into action globally

Is your community adapting to climate change by enhancing the natural ecosystem services provided by a forest, wetland, coast or marine environment? And is this approach helping people to overcome the loss of, or changes to, resources they previously depended on? If so, you may be in with the chance to win US$20,000 to develop the work and replicate your adaptation method around the world so others benefit.

Rare, one of CDKN’s research partners, is partnering with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to run a ‘solutions search’ to try and find examples of how communities are adapting to climate change. Climate change adaptation is an emerging field in which scientists are still trying to understand causes, effects and potential solutions. However, communities throughout the world are already faced with living in, and finding ways to adapt to, changing environments. Rare and TNC are seeking to promote holistic approaches that are helping to secure livelihoods, food supplies, coastal infrastructure and water resources under shifting climatic conditions.

The climate competition follows on from Rare’s successful ‘Turning the tide for coastal fisheries’ search in 2011, which sought innovations that would help protect coastal biodiversity and improve the productivity and sustainability of local fisheries. The winning entry, submitted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, was for fish traps incorporating ‘bycatch escape gaps’. These enable up to 80 per cent of juvenile reef fish to escape.

The kind of adaptation methods Rare and TNC are looking for include: designing and implementing resilient Marine Protected Areas or Territorial User Rights Fisheries (TURF) networks that resist increased sea levels and storm surges; conserving forests to help maintain freshwater flows in times of drought and reduce chances of landslides during intense downpours; diversifying sustainable livelihoods and food sources; protecting wetland areas, such as mangroves, to reduce flooding from increased storm events; and enabling farmers to grow bountiful crops despite shifting weather patterns.

Two first prize winners, one chosen by a panel of judges and the other by public vote, will each receive a US$20,000 grant to support their conservation and resource management initiative. Two runners-up will receive project grants of US$5,000 each. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington DC, USA. A prize of US$1,000 will go to the organisations that nominate the first prize winning entries.

The winner of the Island Bright Spot Award (sponsored by the Global Island Partnership) will be funded to attend the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, being held in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014. Each competition entrant will be eligible to become a model for replication through Rare’s global pride campaigns. There will also be opportunities for coverage in Nature Conservancy magazine.

For more information, please visit the Solution Search website. The deadline for entries is 19th July.

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