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Title: Information and Communications Technologies, Water and Climate Change Issues and Research Priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean
Authors: Cliche, Gilles Cliche
Saravia, Miguel
Keywords: ICTS
Date: 2011
Abstract: Climate change is impacting on the evolution of the water system in terms of the quality, quantity and the spatial distribution of the resource. This paper draws on a literature review of recent studies and reports presenting the threats that the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region is facing in this area, and the roles that Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are or can be playing in this growing area of concerns. It further discusses and presents issues and priorities that could contain an ICT research agenda in climate change adaptation with an emphasis on water in the region. The paper is part of a multiregional scoping study commissioned by the Climate Change and Water (CCW) program initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) and coordinated by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). Together with companion studies for Africa and Asia, the LAC scoping study aims at contributing to the definition of a global ICT research agenda within the scope of this IDRC initiative. The paper is divided in three sections. Section 1 provides an overview and discusses the context of the area of climate change in LAC, stressing the importance for an engagement in climate change adaptation to jointly address poverty reduction and equity development objectives. After situating the ICT sector in the climate change research community, the paper documents some of the main expected climate change impacts and those of other stressors on water security in the domestic and agriculture CCW priority sectors. Section 2 is concerned with presenting and elaborating on the level of ICT adoption in Latin America and the related significance of the broad ICT access in the region, and in particular in mobile telephony, for a participation and contribution of ICTs in climate change and water. It then provides examples of ICT applications in LAC initiatives in relation with sub-properties (robustness, scale, redundancy, rapidity, flexibility, self-organization and learning) of the “e-Resilience” framework used by the study, and points at critical weaknesses and challenges for ICT practitioners and researchers. Finally, section 3 takes a stand to articulate guiding principles in the process of recommending areas of research priority for the IDRC program initiative on Climate Change and Water in relation with ICTs. It emphasizes the opinion of favoring an ICT applications-based disciplinary research approach, in the key subject areas of vulnerability mapping, water management, early warning systems, and social learning and knowledge sharing.
Project Number: 106395
Project Title: Innovative Application of ICTs in addressing Water-related Impacts of Climate Change
Access: IDRC Only
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