The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



GAIN index makes new home at ND

Carolina Wilson | Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The GAIN Index, a project of the Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN), annually ranks countries on their vulnerability to climate change and ability to adapt to natural disasters that climate change may cause. The GAIN Index will make its new home at Notre Dame becoming ND-GAIN.

Juan Jose Daboub, GAIN’s founding CEO and current chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Climate Change, said ND-GAIN will become an international necessity. 

“The ND-GAIN index will become the preferred tool for decision makers in the private, public, and civil society sectors,” he said. “The index helps decision makers prioritize investments in water, food, energy, infrastructure and coastal protection, especially in developing countries.” 

Daboub said he believes the mission of the ND-GAIN endeavor will be to help vulnerable people globally. 

“In a fast changing world, where urbanization, economic growth, population shifts and the effects of climate change are creating additional challenges for people, Notre Dame is positioning itself in the global state as a major playing in saving lives and improving livelihoods,” he said. 

According to a recent press release, the GAIN Index was formerly under the direction of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Global Adaptation Institute. The program’s primary founding sponsor was NGP Energy Capital Management. 

Ken Hersh, chairman of the Global Adaptation Institute and NGP’s CEO and founder, stressed GAIN’s importance in a press release. 

“GAIN highlights those countries that urgently need help adapting to a warmer world,” Hersh said. “We are thrilled about our new partnership with Notre Dame and it’s ability to help us take GAIN to the next level.” 

Notre Dame Professor Jessica Hellmann, leading climate expert and director of the Climate Adaption Program, believes GAIN and the University will help each other to grow. 

“I will be responsible for bringing student and faculty research to bear on the ND-GAIN Index-to help build and improve it-and for bringing the Index to bear on activities at Notre Dame,” she said. “I hope to use ND-GAIN to increase the profile and social relevance of our University’s world-class research on climate change.” The University will also use ND-GAIN to advance and apply knowledge  for the better of humanity and nature, she said.

“Notre Dame, and the Environmental Change Initiative (ECI,) are committed to pursuing teaching and research that makes the world a better place for diverse people and places,” Hellmann said. “ND-GAIN gives us a new platform for translation and outreach that makes our research relevant to countries around the world.” 

Contact Carolina Wilson at cwilso16@nd.edu