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Strengthening INternational Cooperation on climatE change REsearch

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SINCERE (Strengthening INternational Cooperation on climatE change REsearch)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-07-31

"The overall aim of SINCERE is to widen international climate change research cooperation activities on climate adaptation and mitigation building on and further developing efforts and outcomes of the Joint Programming Initiative ""Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe"" (JPI Climate).
The vision of JPI Climate is to actively inform and enable the transition to a low emission, climate resilient economy, society and environment that is aligned with Europe’s long-term climate policy objectives. JPI Climate proposes to develop and coordinate a pan-European research programming forum to provide useful climate knowledge and services for European and national climate strategies and to support the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Given that these are global challenges, it is crucial for European research organisations and funding bodies to operate beyond Europe’s borders. This also means identifying and/or strengthening research collaboration agendas and co-funding, especially with key partners in non-OECD countries.
More specifically, SINCERE focuses on:
• Expanding the permanent dialogue that is integral to the JPI Climate objective to engage more countries, in particular Central and Eastern European countries. SINCERE aims to expand the cooperation network platform of JPI Climate to include non-European parties and development banks, financial and insurance institutions.
• Promoting the development, use, open access and availability of climate data and know-how on climate change research-based solutions to respond to and meet the goals defined by international policy agreements by increasing the impact and role of JPI Climate on related international negotiations UNFCCC/Paris agreement, the SDGs and the UN Sendai Framework.
• Contributing to building a 'Global Research Area' by opening JPI Climate to broader international cooperation, strengthening JPI Climate’s leadership and increasing its visibility and attractiveness as a research partner at the global level.
• Increasing the awareness of the larger public of the risks and opportunities of climate change and disaster risk reduction and implications for the SDGs, and in particular support the implementation of SDG13 in a creative and impactful way.
• Increasing the implementation of gender mainstreaming and monitoring in JPI Climate activities and pave the way to a structural continuum of this issue within JPI Climate though monitoring and information."
Overall, SINCERE sets the base for the internationalisation of the specific research agenda's and an increased international opening of the JPI Climate network.
During the first reporting period, SINCERE widened its consortium and invited other partners to engage in the JPI-Climate process. World Experience Georgia (WEG) is a new partner in the consortium and participates actively. SINCERE managed to raise the visibility of the project as well as JPI Climate through active involvement in networks and events as well as through the preparation of the strategic guiding document to identify international research networks, the preparation of a JPI -Climate Award, the support of JPI Climate activities related to societal transformation in the face of climate change and organisations of various workshops and meetings to diffuse the JPI-Climate and EU research agenda (WP2, 3, 4 and 5), and SINCERE and EU objectives in terms of climate, with a special focus on adaptation and services.

In order to support the translation of the JPI Climate related science development in policy relevant contexts, the activities in SINCERE are oriented towards strengthening the relevance of research supported by JPI-Climate for relevant on-going policy processes.

Collaborations are now well established between SINCERE and the African Academy of Science, a network of several African countries, and the base for research agenda alignment is under construction. A large African stakeholder network was identified during the workshop at Adaptation Futures 2018. Concerning the Flagship Action LATIN-AMERICA (WP4), the Latin-American Climate research and priorities had difficulties to be discussed at high-level meetings due to political issues. Nevertheless, the first workshop took place in May 2019, in Helsinki. SINCERE set the base during this first period for its further development as an internal connection and international diffusion platform for the different JPI Climate action groups. The JPI-Climate Award will target all research in the different action groups of JPI-Climate. SINCERE was also invited to co-organize the next ECCA conference in 2021.

We managed to hold and favour the connection between the work packages (WP1) through regular communication. However, in this first period each WP had to face its own difficulties and therefore sometimes advanced at different rhythms. The next period will focus more on this aspect. A Kick-off meeting, a General Assembly meeting and several teleconferences were organized to insure the follow-up of the project. An internal workspace was created to foster internal exchanges of documents (WP5). Rules for taking into account GDPR and gender issues during registration in meetings and activities were. Through the JPI-secretariat these are taken into account into all JPI-Climate activities (WP1).

Finally SINCERE could in these first months already increase the visibility and valorisation of JPI-Climate research and its activities. The way of dissemination, parallel to and through different channels of the H2020 programme reached sometimes different networks and stakeholders groups. This was done through organisation of events and booths at different events and conferences. An e-magazine is in preparation for showcasing the JPI-Climate research results and a series of webinars are being developed together with Climate Europe. SINCERE has set up a variety of dissemination tools (website, flyer and video) and information targeting several specific audiences. In order to shed more light and make a broader public aware of the research done in JPI-Climate, we developed a draft strategy for the regular delivery of a JPI-Climate Award Competition.
SINCERE laid the first steps of an effective widening of the JPI-Climate action range.

The identification and contact with new networks opened the Climate dialogue towards these other partners. The impact aimed is that more sectors and more actors of each sector become involved in climate issues.
The added value of the Flagships is currently focused on the increased visibility for the JPI-Climate community but should be turned towards more specific actions within the Climate research management and Climate policy issues. Climate research networks are now identified for each Flagship action and specific research-related themes should be determined in order to further develop the Action more concretely.

The effective communication strategy of SINCERE strongly increased the visibility and presence of the JPI Climate community in these first 18 months. The next months will focus more on Policy support. These diffusion activities, including the Award, should also upscale the visibility of the results of the research that was organised by the JPI-Climate Member States.
The structure of SINCERE in a nutshell
Picture of the group involved in SINCERE at the Kick-off meeting