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START (Global Change SysTem for Analysis Research and Training)



START is a framework of collaborating organizations that works to enable and support developing country research on regional aspects of global environmental change, including climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.

In October 2007, START provided a booklet providing its first pledges of 19 new actions to support all nine work areas of the Nairobi work programme (2007 booklet).

The START action pledges focus on three themes:

  • Educating and training the next generation of vulnerability and adaptation researchers and practitioners;
  • Building institutional capacity for accessing and using climate data and projections; and 
  • Expanding START decision-support research activities.

This booklet was provided following preparation and submission to the secretariat of a detailed report by START that highlights the progress made on the activities pledged in the October 2007 booklet.

In 2009, a revised booklet was published, providing information on 15 revised action pledges, building on the progress made from 2007-2009 in support of the objectives of the Nairobi work programme (2009 booklet).

In September 2009 a second update was provided: 01/09/2009 START Action pledge 2nd update. Assessing impacts of, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

This September 2009 action pledge update was provided as a contribution to and is summarised in the Nairobi work programme publication "Action pledges: Making a difference on the ground. A synthesis of outcomes, good practices, lessons learned, and future challenges and opportunities"

Action pledges 

Better document and disseminate information about methods and tools for vulnerability and adaptation assessment from the AIACC and CLIMAG projects


Seek opportunities and partnerships to build capacity for the use of vulnerability and adaptation assessment methods and tools through new education programmes, advanced study institutes, fellowships and small grants


Implement an education programme with the University of Dar es Salaam targeted to convervation professionals that will help them to integrate climate change risks and adaptation measures into conservation planning and practices


Seek support for and otherwise assist CSAG to identify and collect long-term observation data for additional weather stations in Africa, obtain permission from relevant authorities to integrate the data into its data archive...


Seek support for and otherwise assist other START research centers to provide similar data services for researchers and stakeholders in Asia and Oceania


Promote, develop, and implement a programme to support climate science education in developing country universities in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute; the Alliance for Earth Sciences, Engineering, and...


Work with IPCC-TGICA to identify and promote regional mechanisms for building and institutional capacity for providing access to climate data and projections and assisting users to interpret and apply climate data and projections


Make widely available lessons from AIACC and other START projects about climate related risks through new publications and the weADAPT platform (


Promote, develop, and implement a programme to integrate climate risks and adaptation into graduate and undergraduate education in developing country universities in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)...


Work with the IPCC to plan and develop donor support for a successor to the AIACC project that will build on the achievements of the AIACC to address remaining knowledge gaps and target Least Developed Countries for scientific and tech


Assist the UNFCCC Secretariat to plan an expert workshop on socio-economic information for early 2008


Join with UNESCO, SEI and AESEDA to organize an International Symposium on Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa and a Pan-African workshop on Strategic Planning for Future Social and Economic Development; a range of trajectories for...


Assist the Joint Global Change Research Institute and the US Environmental Protection Agency in planning workshops in Africa and Asia that will provide developing country input to the development of socio-economic scenarios and...


Join as partner of weADAPT ( and contribute information about methods, tools, experiences, and lessons to the knowledge base


Implement a new African Climate Change Fellowship Programme in partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam, the African Academy of Sciences and the International Development Research Center


Develop research activities to explore the barriers to economic diversification as an adaptation strategy and strategies that have proven effective in diversifying economic activities


Strategically plan future education, fellowship and capacity building programmes to develop the next generation of vulnerability and adaptation researchers


Review future and capacity building programmes to assure that they allocate human and other resources to the development of technologies, know-how and practices for adaptation, and to their dissemination to relevant stakeholders


Continue and expand START research activities designed to support decision making about climate change adaptation, environmental risk management and integration of environmental risk management with sustainable development

Further information

START Research and Capacity Building: Helping to Advance the Nairobi Work Programme

Preliminary information on the programme Conserving Biodiversity in a Changing Climate

START's ongoing works in education, training and public awareness

Methods and Tools
A Synthesis of Methods and Tools Developed by the AIACC Project

The AIACC Project Website – for additional information

Climate Research Special Issue on results of the Climate Prediction and Agriculture project

Training in assessment methods provided by START Advance Study Institutes

Data and observations and Climate modeling, scenarios, and downscaling
The Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG), The University of Cape Town – long-term weather observations throughout sub-Saharan Africa

The Temperate East Asia START Regional Center (TEA-START) – climatological data for the monsoon Asia region

The Miombo Network – land use and land cover change data for the Miombo region, Africa                  

The Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC/GOLD) project

Climate related risks and extreme events
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Vulnerabilities in a Changing Climate, Working Paper No. 21, AIACC Working Paper Series

AIACC Working Paper Series – for other lessons about climate change vulnerability from the AIACC project

Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study – project information, central climate-related risks and extremes

Adaptation planning and practices
‘A Stitch in Time, Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation from the AIACC Project’, Working Paper No. 48, AIACC Working Paper Series

weADAPT – a web-based program developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute and others to enhance the knowledge base of the adaptation community

The African Climate Change Fellowship Program – to enable African researchers and practitioners gain capabilities for planning and implementing adaptation actions


Regional focus Africa and the Arab States
Asia and the Pacific
Sector Education and training
Food security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries
Human health
Oceans and coastal areas
Science, assessment, monitoring and early warning
Terrestrial ecosystems
Water resources
Adaptation delivery activity Capacity building
Climate-resilient development planning
Communications and awareness-raising
Disaster risk reduction
Knowledge management
Pilot adaptation programmes/projects
Risk/vulnerability mapping
NWP work area Adaptation planning and practices
Climate modelling, scenarios and downscaling
Climate related risks and extreme events
Data and observations
Methods and tools
Socio-economic information
Technologies for adaptation
Climate hazards Drought
Storms/tropical cyclones
Operational scale Regional

Organizations, institutions and private sector companies at all levels and in a wide range of sectors can become engaged with the NWP by becoming a partner and making Action Pledges. Information about how organizations can become engaged with work on adaptation under the NWP can be found here.