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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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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.

China/EU alliance 'could be key to low-carbon energy'
March 13, 2008 09:31 AM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] China and the European Union (EU) can significantly advance low-carbon technologies if they cooperate closely on technological development and market access, according to a new report. 'Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security for China and Europe', outlines common challenges faced by the China and the EU in dealing with the impact of climate change on energy security — despite differences in their economic development.

Conservation areas 'neglected' under current efforts
March 12, 2008 10:16 PM - , SciDevNet

The most important areas for biodiversity conservation are neglected under current protection efforts, researchers say. Scientists from the US-based University of California San Diego (UCSD) investigated whether current methods of locating conservation reserves are adequate to deal with future environmental changes.

UN: Climate danger for Middle East, North Africa
March 10, 2008 09:26 AM - , SciDevNet

Climate change is likely to cause agricultural losses in the Middle East and North Africa, threatening the food security of many countries, the UN has warned. A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, last week (1–5 March), reviewed studies and models of predicted climate-change impacts over the period 1980–99 and for 2080–99 — including reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Indian government boosts science spending
March 7, 2008 12:42 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] India's new science budget, announced last week (29 February) includes a 16 per cent increase in science spending. The 2008–09 budget also includes a new fund to attract students to science careers, the establishment of three new Indian Institutes of Technology and a rise in funds for manned space missions. The total science budget is just over US$6 billion (around 242 billion Indian Rupees), compared with last year's budget of around US$5 billion.

Convert Guantanamo to Disease Research Centre
March 6, 2008 11:54 PM - , SciDevNet

Guantanamo Bay detention camp should be converted into a biomedical research institute dedicated to combating the diseases of poverty in the Western hemisphere, says Peter J. Hotez. In an editorial in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, he says the move would tap into the tradition of vaccine diplomacy that began 50 years ago — when Moscow and Washington put aside ideological differences to collaborate on the development of a live polio vaccine at the height of the Cold War.

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