The FACE project

The FACE project (Faire-face Aux Changements Ensemble) is one of a vast array of projects pertaining to climate change (CC) coming from IRIACC (The International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change). IRIACC is managed by the IDRC (International Development Research Center), co-financed by the IDRC, the Canadian Health Research Institutes, the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) establishing a unique collaborative network in Canada and abroad. The FACE project’s main goal is to support vulnerable populations’ adaptation to climate variability and change in Canada, Morocco and Niger. Programmed on a 5 year basis (2011 to 2016) and based on three major themes, this project will develop tools to help improve human health, the sustainability and resilience of natural and human systems, and help assist with the transfer, integration and application of CC adaptation knowledge.

 

Climate change
Climate change is an unavoidable phenomenon which we all face today. At the local scale, some already suffer disastrous floods while others face spectacular forest fires caused by unusual temperatures. The scorching summers and winters without snowfall multiply. In many parts of the world, seasons are blending into one another. Even though it is not entirely possible to attribute to CCs all of the extreme meteorological events that have been observed in the last years, evidence seems to point towards anthopogenic causes, namely an increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in the last decades (IPCC, 2011). Scientists understand these issues and the importance that communication plays in generating a collective wake up call that can help society navigate these challenges. Popularizing scientific concepts and transferring them to the general public still seems to be the best option to help populations adapt to a fast growing climate disturbances.

 

Adaptation
How should we understand “adaptation” in a CC context? It can be defined as a natural (or anthopogenic) response of any living organism to major environmental changes (i.e. a major genetic mutation,  etc.) or as a way of mitigating the stress caused by the effects of CC in order to reduce their consequences (Smit and Wandel, 2006; Pruneau et al., 2008). Adaptation is not the panacea in terms of preparing for CCs but it becomes an interesting constituent, eventually essential, of an integrated local, regional and international procedure planning process (IEG-World Bank, 2009).