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SciDevNet

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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UAE invests US$15 billion in future energy solutions
January 31, 2008 09:03 AM - , SciDevNet

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are putting US$15 billion into an alternative energy and clean technology initiative to establish itself as the regional and global centre of future energy solutions. Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, announced the initiative at the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi, last week (21—23 January).

Can crops be climate-proofed?
January 24, 2008 11:27 AM - , SciDevNet

Among the most worrying aspects of climate change is its effects on the world's food supply. The worst-case scenario is stark: Africa's Sahel region will produce fewer cereals, rice cultivation in Asia will be under threat, there will be fewer vegetables — with potatoes and beans potentially wiped out — and livestock and fisheries will be severely stressed.

China's energy policies 'do not tackle climate change'
January 22, 2008 02:14 PM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] China's economic, energy and environment policies have not been streamlined to fight climate change, according to a new study. Carmen Richerzhagen and Imme Scholz from the German Development Institute reviewed China's recent climate-relevant policies and actions in a study published last month (3 December) in World Development.

South Africa gets nanotech underway
January 11, 2008 09:04 AM - , SciDevNet

South African scientists are using nanotechnology to develop new healthcare tools, advanced materials and energy technologies. Research is underway at South Africa's first two Nanotechnology Innovation Centres based at Mintek — the country's national mineral research organisation

Northern plants 'losing carbon' due to warming
January 5, 2008 04:05 PM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] Global warming could cause plants in northern regions to lose carbon to the atmosphere rather than sequester it, according to a new international study. The research, published in Nature yesterday (3 January), looked at atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon dioxide held in ecosystems such as forests in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 20 years.

China amends S&T law to boost research
January 4, 2008 09:50 AM - , SciDevNet

China has revised its science and technology constitution to give greater incentives to researchers, in an effort to boost innovation. China's legislature — the standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) — passed the revision of the 1993 Science and Technology (S&T) Progress Law last month (29 December). The law states that the nation's overall research and development (R&D) budget, from both the government and private sectors, should continue to increase steadily each year.

Sugarcane ethanol: Brazil's biofuel success
January 3, 2008 10:48 AM - , SciDevNet

Thirty years ago, when one litre of ethanol was worth three times more than one litre of gasoline, most nations would not have considered investing in it as a biofuel. But Brazil took this path, and now produces the cheapest ethanol in the world. Brazil's favorable conditions and tradition for culturing sugarcane — the most efficient raw material for the production of ethanol — were essential for developing the sector.

Chile approves native forest law after 15 years
December 31, 2007 12:18 PM - , SciDevNet

[SANTIAGO] The Chilean parliament has unanimously approved a law to preserve the country's forests, promote their sustainable use and foster related scientific research.

Rural Nigeria lights up with solar power
December 28, 2007 07:51 PM - Michael Simire, SciDevNet

LAGOS, NIGERIA - Nigeria has launched a solar power scheme that will eventually light up as many as ten rural communities with no access to the national electrical grid. A Lagos state government official, who wished to remain anonymous, said construction work had commenced on the respective projects and contractors were expected to start delivering them around mid to late January 2008.

Traditional medicine plants disappearing as demand rises
December 27, 2007 03:22 PM - Carol Campbell, SciDevNet

Johannesburg - A dwindling supply of wild medicinal plants is threatening South Africa's traditional medicine industry, according to new research. In a paper published by the nongovernmental organisation Health Systems Trust this month, researchers found that the demand for traditional medicine is higher than ever — stimulated by HIV/AIDS, unemployment and rapid urbanisation.

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