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South–South and Triangular Cooperation

Artem Vlasov

Global partnerships are essential for combating climate change, with some of the most impactful delivered through South–South and triangular cooperation.

South–South cooperation is the mutual exchange of knowledge and resources between countries in the Global South, including Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa. As countries improve their expertise and infrastructure regarding nuclear science and technology, their experience and skills become a valuable source of knowledge for others attempting to follow a similar path.

Triangular cooperation involves the participation of third parties, such as donor countries or international organizations, in South–South initiatives in order to accelerate progress.

The IAEA seeks to promote partnerships with and between countries in the Global South. Through South–South cooperation, the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme helps them to apply nuclear and related techniques to address development challenges, including those related to climate change.

The IAEA brings countries together to find solutions collectively through a range of regional and interregional projects, designated Collaborating Centres and regional training centres, as well as the four regional cooperative agreements:

Plant mutation breeding in Asia and the Pacific

Plant mutation breeding makes a valuable contribution to the adaptation of agriculture to climate change by developing improved crop varieties with higher yields or increased resistance to drought.

With IAEA support, Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has developed new varieties of rice, soybeans and other crops. BRIN now shares knowledge with other countries in Asia and the Pacific and beyond by providing training and hosting scientific visits and fellowships for plant breeding professionals.

Water management in Africa

As clean, fresh water becomes increasingly scarce, water management has become key to achieving a sustainable future.

With IAEA assistance, between 2012 and 2017, scientists from 13 countries in northern Africa’s Sahel region teamed up to conduct the first-ever region-wide assessment of groundwater using isotopic techniques. The project took place in an area spanning five million square kilometres and found significant reserves of good-quality water.

Ocean acidification in Latin America and the Caribbean

Acidification poses a serious threat to the world’s oceans. In the Latin America and Caribbean region, 18 countries are working together to collect data through nuclear and isotopic techniques in order to monitor the impacts of acidification and other stressors on vulnerable ocean ecosystems.

The Research Network of Marine-Coastal Stressors in Latin America and the Caribbean (REMARCO) was set up in 2018 under the auspices of the IAEA. The data gathered by REMARCO scientists can help policymakers to make evidence-based decisions that will protect marine life and the people who depend upon it.

December, 2022
Vol. 63-4

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