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AQUADAPT invests in action-based research to enable more resilient and sustainable aquaculture food systems by harnessing the potential of nature-based solutions for climate-vulnerable communities, including people of all genders and marginalized groups, in Asia-Pacific.

Jointly funded by IDRC and the Government of Canada, AQUADAPT is a four-year partnership (2023–2027) that addresses the intertwined critical challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and food insecurity through applied research on nature-based solutions in aquaculture for all genders and marginalized groups in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.  

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food sector globally. Rising demand for aquatic foods requires a massive increase in production, specifically in Asia, where the majority of the world’s aquaculture is concentrated. While aquaculture’s contributions to food security and incomes are essential, the sector’s rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region risks deepening climate change vulnerabilities and exacerbating environmental degradation and social inequality.  

Nature-based solutions in aquaculture have the potential to address these challenges while delivering livelihood and biodiversity benefits. Yet, more knowledge, policies and incentives are needed to enable access and adoption, particularly for small and medium-scale aquafarms. 

This CAD24-million fund invests in a diverse portfolio of 11 applied, collaborative and results-oriented research projects in Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam. 

AQUADAPT has three priority objectives:  

  • to generate new knowledge on how socially inclusive nature-based solutions in aquaculture can contribute to climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and food and nutrition security; 
  • to enhance equitable access to the benefits of socially inclusive nature-based solutions in aquaculture for all genders and marginalized groups (e.g., youth, Indigenous peoples) through inclusive technologies, policies, markets and finance; 
  • to inform public and private stakeholders on socially inclusive nature-based solutions and innovations in aquaculture, how to implement and enable them, and how to assess their benefits and trade-offs. 

Championing the value of multisector partnerships, AQUADAPT works directly with 35 institutions, including universities, civil society organizations, governments and the private sector, and engages with community leaders, scientists, aquafarmers, global experts and other stakeholders through evidence-based action.  

AQUADAPT builds on a previous IDRC-funded consortium led by the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University (2012–2020). That consortium examined climate change impacts on Northern Thailand's aquaculture sector and was followed by an expanded five-country project focused on climate change adaptation and innovation in Mekong Region aquaculture.   

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