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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).
Science communicators rise to climate challenge
July 2, 2008 09:53 AM - , SciDevNet
Science communicators from around the world have devised recommendations to put forward to the UN for better communicating climate change impacts and mitigation methods.
Southern collaboration 'key to adaptation', says climate scientist
June 16, 2008 09:31 AM - , SciDevNet
Adapting to climate change — unlike mitigating it — will succeed in developing countries only by sharing local understanding and knowledge with other low-income nations. These were the words of a leading climate scientist speaking at a Commonwealth Foundation briefing on climate change and health in London, United Kingdom, this week (11 June).
UN roadmap paves way for curbing biopiracy
June 13, 2008 10:18 AM - , SciDevNet
Countries have agreed a roadmap for negotiating an agreement for the sharing of genetic resources, following a UN biodiversity conference. The two-week conference in Bonn, Germany, ended last month (30 May) with renewed promises from countries to substantially reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.
Take biofuel crops off the land and grow them at sea
June 6, 2008 09:47 AM - , SciDevNet
The environmental and social costs of producing biofuels on land can be avoided by farming seaweed, says Ricardo Radulovich. The dream of tackling climate change with biofuels has been tarnished by the rush to produce them on land.
Researchers boost yields of rice-waste biofuel
June 3, 2008 09:57 AM - , SciDevNet
Chinese scientists have developed a new method that dramatically increases the yield of a clean biogas fuel from rice straw. China is the world's largest rice producer and the industry results in 230 million tonnes a year of surplus rice 'straw' — the stem and leaves left behind after harvesting. Farmers often burn the straw, increasing pollution and carbon dioxide emissions (see Stalk burning fuels China pollution woes).
Climate change 'will cost Andes US$30 billion'
May 23, 2008 08:20 AM - , SciDevNet
Climate change could cost Andean countries US$30 billion per year by 2025, according to a study. The study was commissioned by the Andean Community of Nations and carried out by the Peruvian University of the Pacific, with the support of specialists from Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.