Our Vision

A world in which developing countries strengthen their capacities to use science to advance sustainability.

Our Mission

The mission of START is to increase opportunities for research, education and training that strengthen scientific capacities in developing countries to understand, communicate and motivate action on critical global environmental change challenges.

START promotes research-driven capacity building to advance knowledge on global environmental change in Africa and Asia-Pacific. We accomplish this through research grants and fellowships, knowledge assessments and syntheses, curricula development, advanced training institutes, multi-stakeholder dialogues, and place-based strategic planning. Our work focuses on climate variability and change, disaster risk reduction, land-use/land-cover change, biodiversity conservation, urban development, human health, water resources management, agriculture and food security, and regional climate modeling and climate services. START’s actions target science, as well as the interface of science, policy and practice, and inform actions toward fostering more resilient and adaptable development.

START’s Framework for Action

START’s programs and activities help to create and strengthen existing networks, engage regional scientists in global assessments, train the next generation of scientific leaders, and promote knowledge sharing. On an annual basis, START engages over 1,000 scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders in its projects and programs.

Our Achievements

Together with its partners, START:

  • Develops programs to provide fellowships and other research opportunities to early and mid-career scientists from Africa and Asia-Pacific;
  • Involves START Fellows in global assessments, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the International Assessment of Agricultural Science & Technology for Development;
  • Promotes outreach and knowledge sharing between communities of research, policy and practice;
  • Leverages substantial resources to strengthen the START networks and support its programs; and
  • Publishes peer-reviewed papers and books on global environmental change.

Where We Work

Our work is carried out by a system of regionally based centers in Africa and Asia-Pacific. These institutions promote regional research cooperation as well as outreach to key stakeholder groups. START’s activities within each region are overseen by regional committees composed of scientists and members of national and regional bodies. The International START Secretariat, located in Washington, DC, coordinates START programs and activities.

Countries engaged in START Activities (Current & Past)