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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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Laos sunshine turns villagers green
July 16, 2008 12:11 PM - , SciDevNet
Only 48 per cent of Laotians are connected to the electrical grid. Access to electricity is limited due to lack of infrastructure and high costs so most rural communities rely on environmentally unfriendly energy sources, such as firewood and kerosene. Solar-powered systems are a logical alternative but start-up costs are high.
Q&A: Open archives — the alternative to open access
July 15, 2008 09:07 AM - , SciDevNet
Padmanabhan Balaram, director of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India and editor of India's leading science journal, Current Science, tells K. S. Jayaraman why he favours 'open archives' as the way forward for scientific publishing.
It's a long road to a H5N1 vaccine stockpile
July 15, 2008 09:02 AM - , SciDevNet
Several measures must be put in place to ensure an adequate vaccine stockpile in the event of a H5N1 avian influenza pandemic, write Tadataka Yamada, Alice Dautry and Mark Walport in Nature. H5N1 could kill up to 80 million people, according to recent data models — with 95 per cent of deaths in the developing world.
Invest in water for farming, or the world will go hungry
July 11, 2008 11:32 AM - , SciDevNet
Super crops won't be enough — the planet will run short of food by 2030 unless we invest to avoid an imminent world water crisis, says Colin Chartres.
Conservation areas 'attracting human settlement'
July 11, 2008 08:50 AM - , SciDevNet
Protected conservation areas, previously thought to negatively impact marginalised rural communities, actually attract human settlement — a situation that could risk the very biodiversity that protected areas seek to protect. Researchers assessed population growth within ten kilometre 'buffers' at the edges of 306 protected areas in 45 African and Latin American countries, and compared them with background rural rates in the same countries. Average human population growth rates on protected areas' edges were nearly double the average growth rate in rural areas with similar ecological conditions.
African 'wall of trees' gets underway
July 8, 2008 11:10 AM - , SciDevNet
Three years after it was first proposed, preparations for an African 'wall of trees' to slow down the southwards spread of the Sahara desert are finally getting underway. The 'Great Green Wall' will involve several stretches of trees from Mauritania in the west to Djibouti in the east, to protect the semi-arid savannah region of the Sahel — and its agricultural land — from desertification.
India launches climate change action plan
July 7, 2008 09:16 AM - , SciDevNet
[NEW DELHI] India released its national action plan on climate change this week (30 June) with a focus on harnessing renewable energy rather than stringent emissions targets. India's prime minister Manmohan Singh released the plan ahead of his attendance at next week's (7—9 July) G8 summit in Japan where climate change is expected to be discussed.
Egyptian centre to push Middle East renewables
July 3, 2008 11:05 AM - , SciDevNet
Egypt has established a US$30 million centre for renewable energy for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Sanitation 'crucial' for tackling water-borne disease
July 2, 2008 09:57 AM - , SciDevNet
Effective and affordable interventions that provide the global population with access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are needed if water-borne diseases are ever to be controlled, says a WHO report entitled 'Safe Water, Better Health', released last week (26 June).