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The Science and Development Network aims to provide reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world. Their goal is to help both individuals and organizations in developing countries make informed decisions about how science and technology can improve economic and social development.

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Chile, India link up for rural development
April 6, 2009 04:54 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

Chile and India will work together to promote agricultural innovation and explore the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in improving rural livelihoods. The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) signed an agreement on agricultural cooperation with Chile's Foundation for Agricultural Innovation (FIA) in Chennai last month (20 March).

2009: Will a crisis turn into an opportunity?
April 6, 2009 03:00 PM - David Dickson, SciDevNet

In a recent television interview, former Microsoft boss Bill Gates identified two priorities for the US administration of President-elect Barack Obama, as it prepares to face the biggest global economic crisis in recent history. The first was to maintain funding to tackle developing countries' needs. Although Obama has promised to double US spending on foreign aid, there are understandable fears that acute domestic financial pressures will push development assistance down the political agenda.

Mexico City vows to protect historic maize varieties
April 6, 2009 02:52 PM - Arturo Barba, SciDevNet

Mexico City has announced that it will take steps to protect more than 60 maize breeds known to grow in its territory, also known as the Mexican Altiplano. The announcement came just days before the Mexican Government said that it would allow the experimental cultivation of genetically modified (GM) maize in other parts of the country.

Contract and converge: The path to sustainable growth
April 2, 2009 10:14 AM - David Dickson, SciDevNet

This week's G20 summit in London must ensure that any solution to the global financial crisis also commits to sustainable economic growth. There are several striking parallels between the current global financial crisis and the socioeconomic crises threatened by climate change. The greed that has driven much of the rapid expansion in financial markets over the past two decades has been equalled by an apparent determination to consume ever-growing amounts of carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

EU pesticide ban 'will harm malaria control'
March 26, 2009 11:13 AM - Sharon Davis, SciDevNet

Hopes of overturning a European Union (EU) pesticides ban that scientists believe could hamper malaria control in developing countries have been dashed. The United Kingdom said last week that it had failed to get support from other EU countries for an assessment of the impact of removing a range of pesticides from use.

The popular myth of 'water wars'
March 26, 2009 10:56 AM - , SciDevNet

Earlier this month the UN warned that climate change could spark conflicts over water. But the idea of future 'water wars' is a myth, says Wendy Barnaby. Neither Egypt, Israel nor Jordon produce enough water for their needs. But while they have fought wars with each other, it has not been over water, says Barnaby. Instead, areas in need of water import food as a 'virtual' boost to water supplies. Tony Allan, a scientist at Kings College London, says more water flows into the Middle East embedded in grain each year than down the Nile to Egyptian farmers.

New agency to be global 'voice of renewables'
December 15, 2008 02:27 PM - , SciDevNet

A new agency to be launched next month (26 January) in Bonn, Germany, aims to promote a swift transition towards the use of renewable energy worldwide. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which was initially driven by Denmark, Germany and Spain, will be the first worldwide agency solely dedicated to promoting renewable energy, acting as the "voice of renewable energy", according to its website.

Visa problems hamper climate change talks
December 12, 2008 02:29 PM - , SciDevNet

[POZNAN] Some of the world's poorest countries have been hampered in their attempts to attend the UN climate change negotiations in Poznan, Poland because of difficulties obtaining visas. Lead negotiators, journalists and civil society representatives from developing countries — those most vulnerable to climate change — were delayed, or could not attend the two-week long meeting.

East African geothermal tests successful
December 11, 2008 10:31 AM - , SciDevNet

Geothermal energy generation in Africa could take a leap forward in 2009 after exploratory studies in Kenya exceeded all expectations, it was announced yesterday (9 December). A new enterprise — the African Rift Geothermal Development Facility (ARGeo) — will drive forward the plan to harvest the steam locked among the rocks under East Africa, according to leaders of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP). They made their announcement at the UN Climate Change Conference, in Poznan, Poland.

Petition launched for suspended South African water expert
December 8, 2008 09:11 AM - , SciDevNet

Scientists and NGOs have launched a petition calling for the reinstatement of a respected South African water expert who has been suspended from his job at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Anthony Turton, a fellow of CSIR, was suspended after criticising both the council and the government for failing to address the impending water crisis in the country. The petitioners have called his suspension an "attempted silencing of the truth about South Africa's water crisis" and a "major attack on the constitutional right to freedom of expression".

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