Environment & Climate Change

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News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Daniel Schrag to Direct Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

| September 16, 2015

Cambridge, MA – The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and Director of the Center for the Environment at Harvard University, to lead its Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. STPP, one of Harvard's most collaborative and cross-disciplinary programs, is renowned world-wide for its cutting-edge research on technology innovation, nuclear non-proliferation and safety, climate science and policy, cybersecurity, and globalization and development.

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Plutonium Mountain Mission: Lessons

| Sep. 27, 2013

In Summer of 2013, The Project on Managing the Atom released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Dangerous Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing.” In the report, Eben Harrell and David Hoffman tell how dedicated scientists and engineers in three countries overcame suspicions, secrecy, bureaucracy, and logistical obstacles to secure more than a dozen bombs worth of plutonium that had been left behind at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the outline of the Semipalatinsk operation had been made public before, the report filled in new details.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Africa and Brazil at the Dawn of New Economic Diplomacy

| Feb. 26, 2013

In recent years the major focus of China’s engagement in Africa has been on economic diplomacy. Much of this debate has been influenced by concerns over China’s rise as an economic superpower and the preoccupation with viewing Africa through the jaded natural resource lens. A closer look at Africa’s growing economic diplomacy reveals a more complex picture involving other important emerging market economies as illustrated by economic relations with Brazil. Africa’s relations with Brazil highlight the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) as a new economic alliance that is reshaping international trading relations.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Developing Country Farmers Bridge the “Biotechnology Divide”

| Feb. 22, 2013

  Critics of agricultural biotechnology have long contended that it would not benefit farmers in developing countries. Their concerns were not unjustified. A large number of technologies continue to be restricted to industrialized countries despite their global relevance. Farmers in developing countries, however, are bridging the “biotechnology divide.” According to a new report by Clive James of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), “For the first time, developing countries grew more, 52% of global biotech crops in 2012 than industrialized countries at 48%.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Africa’s Economic Growth Prospects

| Feb. 15, 2013

Africa’s economic growth outlook has come into sharp focus recently. Some analysts have argued that claims about “Africa Rising” are a myth. Others argue that Africa’s growth is underestimated. These contrasting views, however, pay little attention to major trends that are shaping the continent: deepening regional integration; shifting trade relations; and the rise of technocratic presidencies. Deepening Regional Integration African economies are generally viewed as being too dependent on global trends.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Empowering Women by Upgrading Local Training Institutions

| Mar. 05, 2012

Inequality between men and women remains one of the most critical sources of low economic productivity in Africa. Many of the efforts seek to address the challenge by creating new training institutions. A complementary strategy is to identify and upgrade promising local initiatives. In her preface to the new Gender Equality and Female Empowerment, of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton states that achieving US global development objectives “will demand accelerated efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Seeding Agricultural Innovation in Africa: Eight Imperatives for Leaders

| Dec. 15, 2011

The on-going famine in the Horn of Africa has put in sharp focus the urgency to raise the continent’s food production through improved agricultural innovation. This cannot be done without reforming the continent’s research system by creating greater synergies between research, training, extension and commercialization. Africa’s research and higher education systems are dominated by fragmented approaches where research and teaching are carried out in separate institutions often under different ministries.

May 31, 2011: Issiaka Ouedraogo lays cocoa beans out to dry on reed mats, on a farm outside the village of Fangolo, Ivory Coast. Climate change will leave many cocoa-producing areas in West Africa unsuitable for chocolate production by 2050.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Science

Science Meets Farming in Africa

| December 9, 2011

"Africa has a long history of exporting resources and importing food, despite the potential to meet its own food demands, reduce poverty, and drive economic growth. Unfortunately, major international agencies such as the United Nations (UN) have persistently opposed expanding biotechnology to regions most in need of its societal and economic benefits."

Analysis & Opinions - Business Daily

Putting Biotechnology to Economic Use in Africa

| November 13, 2007

African leaders are determined to forge a new economic outlook based on science and innovation. This is reflected in their decision to seek advice from African experts on the role of biotechnology in Africa’s development.

The results of the work of the High-level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology are contained in Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development....Freedom to Innovate outlines specific and practical measures to advance development, quality of life and environmental sustainability using biotechnology. It is a bold statement on the need for Africa to build the capacity needed to manage emerging technologies.