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Indian law 'strangulates' biodiversity research
February 5, 2008 10:23 AM - , SciDevNet
[NEW DELHI] A group of Indian botanists say that the country's stringent biodiversity laws are stifling research. In an article in the latest issue of Current Science (25 January), published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, the scientists say India's "draconian" rules on free exchange of biological samples could "totally isolate Indian biodiversity researchers and is akin to a self-imposed siege on scientists in the country".
African, Asian crops 'to be hit hard by climate change'
February 1, 2008 01:16 PM - , SciDevNet
[NEW DELHI] Crops in South Asia and Southern Africa are likely to be worst hit by climate change and need greater investment in agriculture development and adaptation strategies, say US scientists. The conclusions, reported today (1 February) in Science, are based on an analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions.
Colombia, Costa Rica 'top ten' for environment
February 1, 2008 08:09 AM - , SciDevNet
Colombia and Costa Rica are among the top ten nations in a ranking of excellence in environmental performance. The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), conducted by US universities Yale and Columbia, was announced last week (23 January) at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
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.