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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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Brazil harnesses space tech to monitor deforestation
July 22, 2008 11:40 AM - , SciDevNet

Brazil will launch a satellite in 2011 to monitor deforestation and urban expansion around the world, it has been announced. Amazônia-1 will carry a UK-made high resolution camera. The United Kingdom–Brazil collaboration was announced last week (14 July) at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society for Progress in Science.

Snubbing of local journals skews research
July 21, 2008 11:59 AM - , SciDevNet

Researchers' preference for publishing in globally recognised journals is skewing the direction of scientific inquiry away from local research, writes Priya Shetty in New Scientist. In areas such as healthcare, agriculture and the environment it leads them to prioritise global research that may not meet the needs of individual countries. The problem stems from the vicious circle in which local developing country journals find themselves trapped: because researchers see little value in publishing in them, they lack the high-quality papers required to attract authors.

UAE academy to tackle regional water shortages
July 21, 2008 11:12 AM - , SciDevNet

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched an Arab Water Academy (AWA) to tackle water shortages in the region that will increase as a result of climate change.

Human rights a 'compass' for climate change policies
July 21, 2008 09:08 AM - , SciDevNet

Human rights can be a "compass" to guide research and policy development for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, according to a report.

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.

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