Updates from the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) Project
(photo: second from left) attended the Second Annual Learning Review of the Collaborative
Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) 14-16 May 2016 as part START's work on the Adaptation at Scale in
Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project. The three day workshop centered on
finding common research themes and emerging synthesis issues from across
the four CARIAA consortia (ASSAR, PRISE, HiAWARE, and DECCMA) and on
finding innovative ways of putting the collective expertise of the
consortia into action. Mary was joined by other ASSAR West Africa team
members from the University of Ghana Dr. Adelina Mensah and Rahina
Sidiki Alare, and from ICRISAT Mali Dr. Edmond Totin along with other
ASSAR members from East and Southern Africa and India.
The month of June was a busy one for START and the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, which held Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) workshops in both Mali and Ghana. Facilitated in Ghana by Reos Partners from South Africa and by our partners at ICRISAT in Mali, the workshops brought together a range of different stakeholders from the ASSAR study-sites and different levels of government. The aim was to build relevant, challenging, plausible and clear stories around what the future of adaptation may look like through the year 2035. Read more about the TSP workshops here.
PROVIA Fellows Attend Adaptation Futures Conference and Workshop in Rotterdam
In May 2016, fellows from the Global Program of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA) attended the "Adaptation Futures" conference along with PROVIA program leader, Niki West, from START. The event was a full house with over 1,600 people participating from more than 100 countries: people from the business community, from governments and non-governmental organisations, scientists and practitioners. Read more about the conference and view presentations here.
Following the Adaptation Futures conference START led the design and facilitation of a workshop for the
PROVIA Fellows in Rotterdam, 14-15 May.
Dr. Saleemul Huq, Dr. Emma Porio, and Ms. Saskia Harmsen participated as guest
facilitators, along with the four fellows from Nepal, Malawi, and Kenya. The
fellows had recently completed a one-month stay at their respective host
institutions and prepared draft proposals for their PROVIA Fellowship research
projects. Read more about the PROVIA workshop here.
The Adaptation Futures conference and START-organized workshop provided
a well-timed opportunity for the fellows to meet each other and refine their
research proposals before embarking on implementation.
Earth Observation Across the Globe
START participated at the 12th International Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space (IWGGMS-12), which took place in Kyoto University, Japan, 7-9 June 2016. The goal of the workshop was to review the state of the art in remote sensing of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 from space. Read more about the GHG workshop and START's presentation here.
Three visiting scientists from Vietnam and Thailand are currently visiting the International START Secretariat and The University of Maryland (UMD) in July with the Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) program (photo: right). These scientists will be working with START and UMD staff on upcoming GOFC-GOLD events including the South East Asia Regional Informational Network (SEARRIN) meeting that is planned for 17-19 October 2016 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and the upcoming Data Initiative Advanced Training which will take place at Geo-Informatics & Space Technology Development Agency in Bangkok, Thailand, 10-14 October 2016. The GOFC GOLD Visiting Scientist Program aims to cater for specialists with advanced degrees in engineering, remote sensing, GIS, physical sciences, natural sciences or resource management, and helps foster and advance collaborations and knowledge-exchange among GOFC-GOLD regional networks and US institutions.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - GOFC-GOLD will host the fifth Data Initiative, an advanced training on access, management, use and application of earth observation data, tools and methods in Bangkok, Thailand 10-14 October 2016. This training program is designed for young scientists who are associated with the GOFC-GOLD regional networks. Read more and learn how to apply here.
START and Future Earth Collaboration
START is pleased to announce stronger collaboration with Future Earth.
Dr. Jon Padgham, Deputy Director of the International START Secretariat, has moved from Washington DC to Boulder, Colorado to assume a shared position between START and the Future Earth hub at the University of Colorado. In this new position, Jon will lead the development of capacity building collaborations between the two organizations. The effort began with a capacity building strategy that he recently co-developed with Future Earth. Jon is currently leading efforts on START-Future Earth joint work on the food-energy-water nexus in Africa.
New Board Members and Staff Updates
Our Board of Directors is growing with the addition of three new members:
This month the START Secretariat is transitioning Executive Directors from retiring Hassan Virji (photo: right) to new Director, Cheikh Mbow (photo: left). Cheikh has been in Washington DC since the latter part of July and looks forward to implementing his vision for START as a leader in capacity building world-wide.
Dr. Tom Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation;
Dr. Fatima Denton, Executive Director of the African Climate Policy Center; and
Dr. Dong-Pil Min, Scientific Advisory Board Member to the UN Secretary General.
Other changes at the Secretariat include a west-ward migration with Jon Padgham and Sarah Schweizer moving to Colorado. Sarah will be shifting to a part-time role at START as she completes and defends her PhD dissertation at University of Colorado.