News from the International START Secretariat

START publishes a new report: "Vistas of African Science"

Check out what we have accomplished together through START's Africa GEC Grants!

This document highlights eight years of START’s Africa Global Environmental Change (GEC) Grants Program, focusing on the significance and development of the program for GEC research in Africa and the major accomplishments of grant award recipients from 2004 to 2012. Research findings featured in this report illustrate the breadth of research and key discoveries supported by the GEC Grants Program.

Click here to view the report and download your copy.

START participates in CARIAA launch and ASSAR inception meeting

In March, START Deputy Director Jon Padgham attended the launch of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), jointly funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The 5-year CARIAA program aims to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations and their livelihoods by supporting collaborative research to inform adaptation policy and practice in Africa and Asia. The focus of the CARIAA program is on semi-arid regions, deltas, and glacier and snowpack-dependent river basins, which are considered to be climate change ‘hot spots’.  Read more.

News from START Regions

New program grant for TEA-START

The Temperate East Asia Regional Center for START (TEA-START) just received new grant funding from the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) for International Training on Regional Ecosystem-Climate Interactions. 

This two-week training session will provide relevant researchers and practitioners from monsoon Asia countries with advanced knowledge and skills in this fast-moving field. It will also contribute to enhancing the environmental capacity building of young scientists in the region for sustainable development. It addresses various scientific aspects of regional ecosystems and climate changes, including multi-platform observation, trends and impacts analysis, and ecosystem-climate modeling. The curriculum comprises lectures, seminars, along with site visits and excursions to research facilities and field stations. Participants are expected to systematically learn scientific principles and methods on regional climate change, ecosystem-climate interactions and sustainability.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Saidu Oseni

In 2009, Dr. Saidu Oseni received a post-doctoral fellowship opportunity from START to participate in our African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP).  Oseni was based at Egerton University in Kenya, and through the fellowship, he was able to travel to Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria to work with other researchers on issues of climate change, genetics of adaptation and livestock production under low-input systems.

In his blog piece below, Dr. Oseni describes the START's lasting impacts in his career and the continued collaborations he's had with researchers across Africa thanks to ACCFP.

Collaborations among African Climate Change Fellows

This is a quick update about events and collaborations after my African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP) at Egerton University (EGU), Kenya, between May, 2009 and June 2010. I can proudly say that the ACCFP opened the door for so many inter-institutional collaborations between Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria (my home institution) and EGU, Njoro, Kenya (my ACCFP host institution).

These collaborations included the recently completed DairyLearn project, funded by the DFID (UK), under the Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) programme which was conducted between 2010 and 2013. More recently, two collaborative projects including (i) iLINOVA project and (ii) DairyChain were initiated with Lilongue University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi, and University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, respectively, with OAU and EGU as partners.

These collaborations have expanded to cover other institutions across Africa, including the University of Khartoum, Sudan (for the recently completed DairyLearn project). We have benefited immensely from the contacts and collaborations established by Prof. A. K. Kahi, the current Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at EGU, who is also the Principal Investigator for these studies. The iLINOVA project, in particular, focuses on conservation and sustainable utilization of indigenous breeds of livestock in the face of a changing climate and associated uncertainties about the future.

These projects are to run till the beginning of 2017. Consequently, since 2010, my colleagues (from OAU) and I have been regular visitors at EGU. Professors Bebe and Kahi and their colleagues have been to Nigeria for various academic exchange programmes including distinguished Faculty Lecture by Prof. A. K. Kahi in April, 2012, and the DairyLearn Summer School in June, 2012 at OAU. In addition, teams from EGU and OAU have attended Workshops and Summer Schools in Khartoum, Sudan (March, 2013) and Winneba, Ghana (November, 2013).

Our graduate students are not left out of these academic exchanges. These students have visited EGU (August, 2012) and toured livestock units across Kenya, as part of a learning process. During my stay at EGU, I co-supervised a MSc thesis and consequently, became a registered examiner with the EGU Postgraduate School. In a nutshell, our relationships have blossomed over time.

The ACCFP served as a spring-board for further R&D engagements between my host (EGU) and home (OAU) institutions.

Program Highlight:

Robust Decision Making


START’s Cities at Risk program focuses on understanding vulnerability, promoting adaptive management to manage risk from natural disasters and enhancing resilience of the population in large coastal cities of Asia and Africa. Coastal urban areas face significant future flood risk and hence water resource management challenges driven by hard-to predict future climate and socio-economic trends.

Of particular interest is the vulnerability of large cohorts of urban poor whose needs are often ignored in relation to water resource-related infrastructural development. In such context, a robust decision making (RDM) methodology, pioneered by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition based at the RAND Corporation, is being promoted in Asian cities in collaboration with START. Early experience with this methodology in the case of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam has shown that it is possible to improve the ability of urban communities and administrations to design and implement integrated management strategies.  Read More





START alumni publications

We love keeping in touch with our program alumni!  Recently, we've been pleased to hear of the following publications authored by START alumni.
  • Dr. Wynn Chi-Nguyen Cam has attended multiple events with START's "Cities at Risk" program. He works for RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd (Singapore) and published an article in FuturArc magazine (Mar-Apr 2014, Vol.35) titled, "From Mitigation Technologies to Sustainable Architecture."   Read more 

  • START fellow, Ola Uhrqvist, is a PhD-Candidate at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) in Linköping University (Sweden). She recently published a chapter in "Interpretive Approaches to Global Climate Governance: (De)constructing the greenhouse." Her work describes "Governing Knowledge Through START and the Expansion of Global Environmental Change Research." Read more

  • Woldeamlak Bewket, a START fellow in the Africa GEC grants program a few years back, kindly acknowledged START's support of his research on rainwater harvesting in Ethiopia in an article from the International Journal of Climatology.  Read more

  • Three participants in START's African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP) have published a chapter in the book, "Nile River Basin: Ecohydrological Challenges, Climate Change and Hydropolitics." Based on their research with ACCFP, Casim Tolo, Amos Majule, and Julius Bunny Lejju wrote "Chapter 23: Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Subsistence Agriculture, Climate Risk Management, and Mitigation of Community Vulnerability in Changing Climate, Lake Victoria Basin: A Case Study of Rakai and Isingiro Districts, Uganda." Read more

START features in other publications

Responding to the threats and challenges of global environmental change is a world-wide team effort.  We at START are pleased to work with so many talented individuals and partner organizations.  Here's what we've been doing together:

  • START has been featured in the 2013 International Human Dimension Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) annual report (pages 31 and 45). Read more

  • START's work last year with CDKN and other partners was featured here: Final report: CDKN Action Lab Innovation Grant. "Using games to experience climate risk: Empowering Africa’s decision-makers."   Read more

  • START and its capacity building programs were featured in a recent SRI Executive Search newsletter.  Read more

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