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#3 - September 2010

Dear Reader

Welcome to the September 2010 issue of START’s Quarterly E-Newsletter.

Contents of this issue include:

Progress in:

Upcoming Events

We appreciate your continued interest and support!


Science-Policy Dialogues on Climate Change

In August 2010, START and partners organized Science-Policy Dialogues on climate change in Nepal and Bhutan. The dialogues are two of nine such national events being held this year in West Africa, East Africa and South Asia as part of the Integrating Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation into Development Planning (CCMAP) project. The dialogues aim to bring together and engage scientists and policy-makers in developing countries in discussions on how to better integrate climate change issues in development planning and poverty reduction measures. Dialogues in Rwanda and Burundi are scheduled for October.

Science-Policy Dialogues are one among several key activities of the CCMAP project, which aims to raise awareness on climate change in developing countries and build national and regional capacity in the science and policy spheres. START's partners in this EC and UNEP-funded project include WMO, UNEP, IPCC, University of Ghana, University of Dar es Salaam and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies.

Final Reports are now available for the following CCMAP Science-Policy Dialogues:


19-21 October 2009 in Legon
Download Ghana Final Report


20-22 January 2010 in Dar es Salaam
Download Tanzania Final Report


9-11 February 2010 in Dhaka
Download Bangladesh Final Report


23-25 February 2010 in Ibadan
Download Nigeria Final Report


12-14 April 2010 in Dakar
Download Senegal Final Report

CCAFS Science-Policy Dialogue for West Africa

On 4-5 November, 2010, START and FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa) will convene a science-policy dialogue on climate change and food security in the Sahel on behalf of the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) initiative that was recently launched by the Consultive Group on International Agriculture Research and the Earth Science System Partnership. The purpose of the dialogue is to examine the food security crisis in Niger in the context of current and future climate risks in the Sahel.

For more information about CCAFS Science-Policy Dialogues, please visit http://www.ccafs.cgiar.org/


Forum on Education, Capacity Building and Climate Change

The International START Secretariat, with the support of the Open Society Institute (OSI), held a forum on Education, Capacity Building, and Climate Change: A Strategy for Collective Action in Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 27 June – 1 July 2010. The University of Dar Es Salaam was the local forum host. The purpose of the forum was to explore the role of African universities in promoting education on climate change adaptation in the areas of research, curriculum development and teacher training, as well as to examine issues of how to more fully engage civil society on adaptation through education aimed outside the university. The forum brought together a wide range of participants from within the African research community (universities and research centers) as well as from civil society and the donor community. Included amongst participants were Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors from several African universities as well as the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union.

The central focus of the forum was how to unlock the potential of African universities to support and inform societal efforts on adaptation. A key outcome of the forum was the creation of the African Climate Research and Education (ACRE) Network, The impetus behind creating the network was to provide a means for forum participants to share information and develop partnerships to jointly initiate actions on building capacity for research, teaching and communication within African universities and between African universities and society. One of the critical near-term actions of the network will be to do a targeted stocktaking of universities, NGOs, other civil society organizations and research institutes that are involved in climate change related activities in Africa, and through this process identify where partnerships currently exist and where there may be opportunities for expanding these as well as developing new ones. The range of potential partnerships is broad, encompassing south-north and south-south university partnerships, as well as partnerships between the university and civil society, the private sector, the Africa diaspora, the government (e.g. national, regional economic commissions, CAADP), and non-university research institutes.

For more information about ACRE Net and the forum, visit http://start.org/forum2010

Biodiversity in the Albertine Rift

During July and August 2010, START and the Institute of Resource Assessment at the University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM) began implementation of the second phase of an advanced education and training initiative on Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation in the Albertine Rift. This high-demand program received more than 150 applications from which 20 conservation practitioners, researchers and graduate students as well as 10 university faculty – all from Albertine Rift countries – were selected to participate. Participation began with a 7-week course, held at UDSM, which engaged individuals in classroom-based learning about climate change risks to biodiversity and approaches to managing such risk. Training at UDSM will now be followed by field-based externship research projects for participating practitioners, researchers and graduate students, to be carried out during September-December 2010. University faculty members are participating in additional, follow-on training in the use and application of distance learning modules.

To learn more about the first and second phases of this initiative, please visit http://start.org/programs/biodiversity


Training Workshop: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Urban Planning for Asian Coastal Cities

Severe flooding regularly devastates the coastal regions of Asia’s mega-deltas, particularly when high tides are combined with storm surges and high river flows. Large coastal cities are particularly at risk from rising sea levels, storms and storm surges, heat stress and other aspects of climate change. Continued urban growth in low-lying coastal zones increases the likelihood of substantial loss of life and infrastructure.

From 23-27 August 2010, the Southeast Asia START Regional Research Center (SEA-START RRC) partnered with the East-West Center (EWC), with support from APN, to organize a training workshop on “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Urban Planning for Asian Coastal Cities”. The workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of urban planners, managers and researchers in climate change risk and vulnerability assessment that integrates physical and socio-economic stressors and outcomes and to promote application of assessment outcomes in urban development planning and governance. Mixed teams of scientists, planners and practitioners from the cities of Jakarta, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai and Bangkok participated in the training.

Training participants returned to their home cities with knowledge of an array of methods and tools for assessing vulnerability in the context of large urban zones. Preliminary city reports were reviewed by training facilitators and are being revised and refined for possible publication. A workshop report is also in preparation. Follow-on work in select cities is expected to contribute to the Cities at Risk II conference, planned for late 2011, and to the ICSU program on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR).

The August 2010 training workshop is a component of the Asian Cities at Risk initiative conducted by the consortium led by the International START Secretariat, SEA-START RRC, the EWC and APN. To learn more about the recent training workshop and other Cities at Risk efforts, please visit http://start.org/programs/cities-at-risk

Upcoming Events

27-30 Sept.

Executive Director of START, Dr. Hassan Virji, to meet with MONRE, MOST and US Embassy representatives - Hanoi, Vietnam

1-5 Oct.

START participates in Science and Technology in Society Forum Annual Meeting - Kyoto, Japan

14-15 Oct.

Rwanda Science-Policy Dialogue

18-19 Oct.

Burundi Science-Policy Dialogue

25-29 Oct.

START participates in the Belmont Forum/IGFA Meeting - Cape Town, South Africa

4-5 Nov.

START and FARA convene a CCAFS Science-Policy Dialogue for West Africa - Niamey, Niger

3-9 Dec.

2010 Advanced Training Workshop on Southeast Asia Regional Health Impacts and Adaptation under Climate Change - Tainan, Taiwan

6-12 Dec.

ACCFP Round 1 Culmination Conference - Dakar, Senegal

7-9 Dec.

Executive Director of START, Dr. Hassan Virji, participates in ESF Working Group on Revolutions in Capacity Building under the EU's COST program "RESCUE" - Antwerp, Belgium

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For questions or comments about the START E-Newsletter, please contact Lauren Gibbons at lgibbons@start.org