ECOSUMMIT DAY 2: ECOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND NEOLITHIC PATHWAYS TO UNSUSTAINABILITY

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member The latest theory and practice in ecological science, topped the bill on Day 2 of the Ecosummit, as well as some “big picture” viewpoints looking at humankind’s place in ecosystems, from modern cities right back to the Neolithic age. Wolfgang Haber gave a fascinating picture of some highly significant,…

ECOSUMMIT DAY 1: DAVID, GOLIATH & THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF ECOLOGY

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member The first morning of the EcoSummit 2007 started with a plenary session of four “state of the art” keynotes, delivered to a packed hall of delegates. Each of the speakers highlighted the growth in interdisciplinarity and international collaboration as fundamental to the challenges posed by ecological complexity and sustainability….

ECOSUMMIT 2007: BRUSSELS TO BEIJING BY LAND ON THE TRANS-MONGOLIAN EXPRESS

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member I was keen to try and cut my carbon footprint in coming to Beijing for the Ecosummit and had been lucky enough to find the time and the resources necessary to travel to the conference by land, which allowed me the opportunity to enjoy a fascinating journey. I left…

ECOSUMMIT 2007, BEIJING: LIVE BLOG

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member I am in China on the eve of Ecosummit 2007 attending the conference in Beijing to represent STEPS. For the next two months, I will also be meeting with Chinese researchers and trying to learn Mandarin. It’s 9pm on 22 May and I have just returned from the ‘welcome…

STARTING WITH THE SEED – BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND FOOD SECURITY

By JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member Each year, the 22nd of May is celebrated as the ‘International Day for Biological Diversity’. This year’s theme has been designated as ‘Biological Diversity and Climate Control’. The links between biodiversity and climate change run both ways: biodiversity is threatened by human-induced climate change but, biodiversity resources can reduce…

RISK IN INDIA: NEW CROP TECHNOLOGIES OR NEW DISEASE?

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member A deadly strain of disease has been identified as spreading fast across the wheat fields of Asia and Africa and scientists are worried that it could potentially cause mass starvation, according to new reports in the Indian and the UK press. The Hindu recently picked up on an article…

RISK IN INDIA: NEW PHARMACEUTICALS & PATENT LAW

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member Controversy over the extent to which private pharmaceutical interests can creep into the debates around public good has arisen recently here in India. A technical expert committee constituted by the government of India to look into the patent laws with respect to new pharmaceuticals and micro-organisms recently withdrew its…

RISK, UNCERTAINTY AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN INDIA

By ESHA SHAH, STEPS Centre member Our time is marked by a rapid technological change and associated anxieties about public and private risks, a significant part of which remain uncertain and unpredictable and yet could have enormous potential to influence our present and future. The STEPS Centre is looking into how different institutions and groups…

WORLD WATER DAY 2007: TOP FIVE PRIORITIES

By STEPS Centre and Institute of Development Studies researchers To mark World Water Day 2007, IDS researchers set out what they believe are the five top priorities that need to be addressed if we are to cope with water scarcity. Investing in rainfed agriculture: Upgrading rainfed areas has high potential both for food production and…

WORLD WATER DAY 2007: SPEND LESS TO ACHIEVE MORE

By ROBERT CHAMBERS, research associate, Institute of Development Studies Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a radical participatory approach in which mainly rural communities are facilitated to analyse their practice of open defaecation and its effects and through disgust and self-respect decide to take action to stop it. Typically this takes a matter of weeks…