As part of its international mandate, USGCRP builds and sustains partnerships to promote knowledge-sharing that supports research, data collection, and assessment capabilities in developing countries.
In 2021, USGCRP initiated a new regional engagement effort, the Initiative for Enhancing Capacity for Climate Risk Assessment and Catalyzing Partnerships to Inform Decisions in Latin America and the Caribbean, or LACI. Its overarching vision is to provide opportunities for partnerships among Caribbean, Latin American, and North American countries to enhance capacity for climate risk and vulnerability assessments that would support local and regional decision-making in response to climate change impacts. LACI is focused on fostering and building partnerships, peer-to-peer learning and training, and data synthesis and analysis. LACI is a collaborative effort among USGCRP and the U.S. Group on Earth Observations and regional partners, including AmeriGEO and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research.
In 2021, IAIWG conducted a survey of federal agency capacities to support the LACI effort. The SGCR approved phase 1 of the project in October 2021. The IAIWG LACI Workstream (consisting of representatives from DOI, DOS, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and USAID) conducted a series of partnership-building and scoping activities. Activities included in-depth analysis of the Latin American and Caribbean countries’ National Adaptation Plans, surveys of the regional climate risk priorities and capacities, and surveys of the U.S. Government capacity to support LACI efforts. Representatives from 13 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States) participated in the partnership-building workshop in November 2021. These activities fostered the creation of a rapport between LACI participants and helped identify countries' visions and needs for a climate-resilient future, existing capacities, and steps forward towards development of a pilot project.