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Client showcase: Climate risk management

One of our frequent flyers at Talk Science to Me is the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). IISD is constantly publishing papers about sustainability issues, from just about every sector and every part of the world. They have a massive archive of previous work, which you can browse at your leisure with no paywall. One of the larger projects we’ve worked on for IISD is a series of papers about climate risk management. In this case, IISD contracted with us to help them document an initiative carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.

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The project was conducted in seven countries throughout Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. One report was produced for each country. The purpose was to assess the risks posed by climate change based on current trends and recommend policies designed to mitigate these risks and exploit any benefits that might come with them. Talk Science was hired to copy-edit each report as well as substantively edit three of them. We also worked with the publications manager and the program staff to project manage the editing and design of the publications.

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Each paper has a distinct focus, in addition to studying a different location. In Peru, the researchers studied agriculture. In Kenya, malaria control. In Uganda, sustainable crop production. Generally the themes are water, agriculture and the health sector—all through the lens of known climate change trends and the best available projections of how they will develop. This is some interesting science. Not only does it span multiple disciplines and attempt to extract actionable recommendations from complex data, the results, and any policies that stem from them, have serious real-world implications. These ideas are going to be tested soon—whether we pay attention to them or not.

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It’s also interesting as an editing project. An editor always has to carefully preserve the author’s intended meaning, and when science is involved there’s not much room for differences of opinion where facts are concerned. A good scientific editor will not only preserve the authors’ ideas, but also make those same ideas clearer and more memorable to readers. We’re thrilled that IISD and its authors trust us to do both of those things, and that they keep sending us such interesting documents to work on. If you have an interest in environmental science, sustainability or climate change, you owe it to yourself to check out their archive.

You can find all seven reports at the following links:

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