Students in India Launch Satellites to Help Farmers, Fisherman, and the Environment
Over the next few years, India is likely to witness launch of around 20 to 25 student satellites that are specifically dedicated to environment and development in the coming decade. In last one year alone four student satellites were launched into space.
South African Scientists Develop Waste-to-Fuel Technology
"An engineering team... developed novel technology to turn biomass (agricultural waste) and garbage (solid municipal waste) into liquid fuel, electricity, waxes and paraffin."
"It is the first time that this innovative project, developed in South Africa by South Africans, has been manufactured on a small-scale to make it economical for South Africa and other developing countries."
Vulture Funds: Benefitting From Poor Countries' Debt
Vulture funds”... prey on the world’s poorest economies, almost always African.... and their practices aren’t technically illegal.
An impoverished country will take a loan for a few million dollars from some other country. The creditor country, maybe facing financial issues itself, subsequently sells that loan to a company. That company then aggressively pursues repayment of the loan, along with all the compound interest it attracts, refusing to participate in any debt relief or reduction
One example is Zambia.
Media, ICT as a Tool for Minority Empowerment in Morocco
"Morocco’s newly launched Tamazight TV channel aims to incorporate minority communities into mainstream culture and communication. The channel will conduct programs in the Berber dialect (Tamazight) which has been largely excluded from public and private institutions. As much as 28% of the country’s population only speaks Tamazight and the launch of this particular TV station points toward a larger trend in using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to represent the voice of the marginalized."
Sources:SFG-ME Dec 2010 pgs. 2-4
Islamic Finance Meets Microfinance in Syria, Possible Solution to Food Security Issues (08)
"In 2007, Syria became the first country in the Arab region to issue legislation in the area of microfinance. However, microfinance is growing at a slow pace as private and commercial banks are oriented towards high- income clients and reluctant to enter microfinance arena because of the 9% interest rate cap. A few NGOs and donor agencies working towards poverty alleviation support microfinance initiatives in the country. If this trend continues in the future, microfinance will take several years to meet the needs of Syrian society.
Sources:SFG ME January 2011 pgs. 11-13
Turkish/Islamic Traditions of Charity Driving Formation of NGOs/Philanthropic Orgs
"The practise of charity is deep rooted in Turkey owing to Islamic teaching, and giving alms to the poor was the main activity of the time. While this practise has continued, it has emerged in new forms, where tradition, culture and religion provide an important base for philanthropic endeavours. According to some surveys, 66 per cent of individual donations are given to non-religious organizations. A correlation has been found between an increase in income and increase in donations, specially in Central Anatolia and Western Turkey."
New Culture Among Providers in West Africa to Increase Telecom Access
A new 14000km, ultra-high capacity (5 terabits per second) fibre-optic submarine cable made landfall on the west coast of Western Cape... after landing stops in 13 countries, 11 of which are on Africa's west coast. The cable is the first to be funded by all South Africa's major telecoms operators... The “open access model” employed for WACS (West African Cable System) is a system that allows all the funders or telecoms operators that own bandwidth capacity on the cable to have equal access, despite them not having landing sites of their own...."
Traditional Water Conservation Techniques Revived in India
"The revival of ‘paar’, a traditional system of rainwater harvesting is the latest in a series of attempts to use ancient techniques to alleviate the pervasive water insecurity in [Rajasthan in India]...The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has a small grants program through which it has assisted Thar Integrated Social Development Society (TISDS) revive the ancient ‘paar’ technique in Jaisalmer district."
Sources:SFG Feb 2011:
Grief/Disaster Tourism in Indonesia, World
The Mt. Merapi volcanic eruption in Yogyakarta, Java that killed over 350 people and internally displaced about 400,000 people, is currently attracting scores of tourists. The ‘Volcano Tour Package’ is being added to the list of sites that Yogyakarta, the site of an ancient kingdom, has to offer. Tourists are taken to the village closest to the volcano to see the extent of devastation as a result of the eruption. The region had also seen a brief increase in tourism post the earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006.
Sources:SFG Feb 2011:
New preventative measures against El Nino: risk assessment and traditional-scientific knowledge
Early initiatives at mitigating El Nino damages focus on research and integrating traditional and scientific knowledge.
Sources:FORO March 2011 pages 6:
Corporación Andina de Fomento (2007). “El fenómeno el Niño 1997-1998: memoria, retos y soluciones” Volumen IV:
Corporación Andina de Fomento (2007). “El fenómeno el Niño 1997-1998: memoria, retos y soluciones” Volumen V: Perú.
The HDR of Piura is 0.5714 compared to 0.7033 in Lima. See PNUD Peru. “Cuadro de IDH Nacional”. Available in:
http://www.pnud.org.pe/frmDatosIDH.aspx [accessed: March 2011].
Centro Internacional para investigación del fenómeno del Niño – CIIFEN (2009). “Guía técnica para la implementación de un sistema regional de información climática aplicada a la gestión de riesgo agrícola en los países andinos”. Proyecto BID ATN/OC – 10064 – RG. Guayaquil – Ecuador.
Gestión de cuencas para enfrentar el cambio climático y el Fenómeno del Niño. Propuesta de adaptación tecnológica frente al cambio climático y el FEN en Piura. Available in: www.solucionespracticas.org.pe/publicaciones.php.