Regional activities are important to ESSP’s mandate on several levels. Current knowledge demonstrates that, at the regional level, aspects of global environmental change manifest significantly different – yet surprisingly coherent and teleconnected – Earth System dynamics. These are often broadly associated with socio-economic and geopolitical characteristics.
The ESSP is currently developing a small set of Integrated Regional Studies (IRS), designed to contribute sound scientific understanding in support of sustainable development at the local level. These studies will also improve overall knowledge of regional-global linkages in the context of Earth System dynamics. The first such study is in Monsoon Asia (MAIRS). ESSP regional activities also seek to directly address the differences in scientific capabilities in various regions of the world.
Each of the four global environmental change programs organizes research activities and capacity-building initiatives, and helps establish scientific networks. The Joint Projects, MAIRS and, primarily, START all have a strong suite of capacity building and networking elements to their activities.