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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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World risks 'scientific apartheid', says top African scientist
April 16, 2008 08:43 AM - , SciDevNet

[ALEXANDRIA] The world risks "scientific apartheid" between rich and poor countries unless research and technology is better used to benefit the poor, says one of Africa's leading science experts. Ismail Serageldin, director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina and former chairman of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) made the comments in his keynote address to the BioVision Alexandria conference in Alexandria, Egypt, yesterday (14 April).

'Glocal' approach makes global knowledge local
April 11, 2008 08:50 AM - , SciDevNet

Science should go 'glocal', integrating global with local knowledge, if it is to reach diverse ethnic communities, says Julia Tagüeña. The word 'glocal' — a combination of global and local — has long appealed to me. Perhaps it is because, at a UK university, I and fellow Latin American students used Portuñol, a combination of Português (Portuguese) and Español (Spanish), to understand each other.

Climate assumptions 'optimistic at best'
April 9, 2008 09:29 AM - , SciDevNet

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has seriously underestimated the technological advances needed to stem carbon dioxide emissions, say Roger Pielke Jr, Tom Wigley and Christopher Green in Nature. They describe the IPCC's assumption that the majority of future emission reductions will occur spontaneously, in the absence of climate policies, as "optimistic at best and unachievable at worst".

Involve indigenous people in climate policy, says report
April 5, 2008 11:21 AM - , SciDevNet

The ingenuity of indigenous peoples is too often overlooked by policymakers making decisions related to climate change — even though they are among the most vulnerable to its impacts, according to a new report. The report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), released last month (March), points out that indigenous people usually occupy marginal and remote areas, such as small islands, coastal plains, mountain areas and drylands, where they are exposed to adverse environmental effects.

Antibiotic resistance and the developing world
March 28, 2008 11:51 PM - , SciDevNet

Developing countries, struggling under the burden of bacterial diseases such as tuberculosis, are more in need of antibiotics than ever. But issues such as proliferation of counterfeit drugs, poor prescribing practices and a lack of regulation or guidelines are fuelling the growth of resistance to these much needed medicines.

Restoring Tanzania's ecosystems
March 28, 2008 09:24 AM - , SciDevNet

Degraded land in western Tanzania is gradually being reclaimed — two decades after work began to rehabilitate the declining ecosystems. Once a thriving and diverse woodland environment, western Tanzania supported the livelihoods of local communities without difficulty.

Chinese biofuel 'could endanger biodiversity'
March 21, 2008 01:10 PM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] Using China's forests and 'idle land' to produce biofuels could pose a threat to biodiversity, warned experts at an international meeting. Spike Millington, chief technical advisor to the European Union-China Biodiversity Programme, raised the problem earlier this month (7 March) at the International Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change, held in Beijing, China.

Reforming the approach to 'demand-driven' research
March 21, 2008 12:28 PM - , SciDevNet

An evaluation of Dutch-funded research programmes in developing countries raises questions about the concept of local "ownership". Anyone interested in learning more about the possibilities and limitations of demand-driven research — in which research programmes are determined by those who will benefit from their results — should look at the recent experience of Dutch organisations that fund research in developing countries.

Tropical forest changes 'explained by multiple factors'
March 20, 2008 10:43 AM - , SciDevNet

Changes in the growth and species composition of tropical forests cannot be fully explained by global environmental changes, say researchers. Recent studies in the Amazon rainforest have suggested that changes such as the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (see Carbon emissions 'may alter forest growth patterns') and other factors such as nutrient deposition, temperature, drought frequency and irradiance are increasing the productivity and biomass of forests.

Aid needed to help China make carbon cuts
March 18, 2008 09:28 AM - , SciDevNet

nternational carbon funds should be aggressively directed towards helping China avoid the use of carbon-rich technologies, say Ning Zeng and colleagues in this Science article. Action is needed despite significant gains in energy efficiency, they note, because based on current economic growth rates and levels of carbon intensity (emissions per unit of gross domestic product) China's emissions by 2030 will equal today's entire global output.

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