Just Released: ‘UNESCO Science Report 2010: The Current Status of Science around the World’

Europe, Japan and the USA (the Triad) may still dominate research and development (R&D) but they are increasingly being challenged by the emerging economies and above all by China. This is just one of the findings of the UNESCO Science Report 2010 launched in Paris on 10 November 2010.

Written by a team of independent experts who are each covering the country or region from which they hail, the UNESCO Science Report 2010 analyses the trends and developments that have shaped scientific research, innovation and higher education over the past five years, including the impact of the current global economic recession, which has hit the Triad harder than either Brazil, China or India. The report depicts an increasingly competitive environment, one in which the flow of information, knowledge, personnel and investment has become a two-way traffic. Both China and India, for instance, are using their newfound economic might to invest in high-tech companies in Europe and elsewhere to acquire technological expertise overnight. Other large emerging economies are also spending more on research and development than before, among them Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.

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‘Cabinet approves draft climate policy’

Engineering News, 12 November 2010

South Africa’s draft national Climate Change Policy, known as the green paper, has been approved by Cabinet, and would be gazetted imminently, opening up the public comment process.

Newly appointed Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said that following the comment phase, a white paper would be compiled, and the final policy was expected by mid-2011.

The climate change green paper was long awaited, and was initially tipped for publication in September 2009, then delayed till after the global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.

“Climate change is considered one of the most serious threats to sustainable development,” Molewa said, adding that its adverse impacts were particularly prevalent in Africa.

She added that the green paper shows that the department has begun acting on climate change, and that it was not merely adopting a wait-and-see approach.

Molewa also stated the department has been tasked to present proposed programmes for a green economy at the Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2011.

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