Dr James Ford and members of his McGill lab on climate change adaptation are now in Peru until Dec. 12 for the United Nations conference on climate change, where 195 countries have gathered to prepare a new global agreement on climate (unfccc.int/meetings/lima_dec_2014/meeting/8141.php).
As climate change is already a reality, one of the key topics at the Conference is how countries around the globe are currently adapting to climate change and how effective their actions are. As experts on climate change adaptation, the Dr. Ford’s team (www.jamesford.ca) can comment on successful adaptation examples and the importance of working with local communities to implement solutions to climate change. This includes making room for these communities in international meetings such as UN conference.
The McGill team will present their work with communities in Peru, the Canadian Artic, and Uganda to limit the damages of climate change. They focus on health threats induced by climate change, such as decrease in safe food and water supplies or increase in diseases spread by insects such as malaria.
They study how communities can protect themselves. For example, as heavy rainfall and flooding in the Peruvian Amazon put certain communities at risk for water borne diseases, these communities adapt is by collecting rainwater.