Sunday, April 22, 2012

Research initiatives/academic groups links

Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International
Africa Harvest — founded by Kenyan scientist Florence Wambugu — supports policy development and scientific and institutional capacity building across East Africa and promotes the use of modern biotechnologies to help the region's farmers. The foundation's flagship project uses tissue culture technology to reproduce disease-free banana plants for distribution across East Africa.
It also runs a communication and advocacy programme to promote public acceptance of biotechnologies — especially genetic modification. The organisation publishes information about its tree-planting programme in Kenya and links to other African and international organisations working in biotechnology.

African Molecular Marker Applications Network
AMMANET promotes using genetic marker-assisted selection (MAS) technologies to accelerate African plant breeding efforts and deliver food security and economic growth. Over 100 African scientists established the network in 2003, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
The network brings regional and international agricultural researchers together, publishing information about its activities and providing contact information of all its members. It also links to news, scientific articles and other useful resources on MAS.

Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS)
The Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) plays an important role in reducing deforestation in the Amazon Region. FAS manages the Juma reserve, established by the Government of Amazonas in 2006, and runs the Bolsa Floresta programme that pays families and communities to contribute to sustainable forest management. The FAS website provides an introduction to the organisation, an overview of their programmes and links to relevant related documents.

ASB – Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins
ASB is a global partnership for research on tropical forest margins that operates as part of the Consultative Group for International Research in Agriculture (CGIAR). By including a broad range of stakeholders, ASB identifies and develops policies and practices that can achieve their vision of prosperous people and flourishing forests across the tropics. It publishes information on its work, policy briefs and working group reports.

BioSafe Train
The BioSafe Train project is an international collaboration of scientists aiming to build capacity for dealing with the challenges associated with implementing genetically modified (GM) crops in East Africa.
It publishes information on students' research projects that cover topics such as the environmental impacts of GM maize in Kenya, biodiversity in cotton fields in Uganda and the ecological risks posed by transgenic rice in Tanzania.
BioSafe Train also publishes a regular newsletter, issues press releases, links to partner institutions and related organisations, and highlights meetings and events.

Census of Marine Life (COML)
The Census of Marine Life is a catalogue of marine life set up by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Its aim is to compile information about the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life, from microbes to whales. The website hosts the results of the project, which inform ocean research, as well as several reports including a summary written to help policymakers use the data to address issues surrounding the sustainable use of marine life. Visualisation tools and maps are available to help users make sense of the data, as well as free to use image galleries and related videos.

Center for Applied Biodiversity Science
CABS was founded in 1998 and is a part of the US non-governmental organisation Conservation International. It brings together leading experts in science and technology, and conducts research that supports the mission of its parent organisation, namely to identify and respond to elements that threaten the earth's biological diversity. CABS recently launched its Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) initiative, which aims to monitor long-term trends in biodiversity through a growing network of tropical field stations.

Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
With its headquarters in Indonesia, CIFOR conducts collaborative research with partners in over 40 countries to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. The website provides a thorough introduction to CIFOR research including an overview of regions covered by the centre and access to publications including journal articles, working papers and info briefs. Activities are arranged into three programmes covering environmental services and sustainable use of forests, forest governance, and forests and livelihoods.

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research is an association of public and private members supporting a system of 16 Future Harvest centres that work in more than 100 countries to mobilise cutting-edge science to reduce hunger and poverty, improve human nutrition and health, and protect the environment. As well as taking a keen interest in agricultural biotechnology, much of CGIAR's research has direct relevance to biodiversity. CGIAR also coordinates a global network of genebanks that aims to keep the bulk of the world's plant genetic resources in the public domain.

Dartmouth Flood Observatory
The Dartmouth Flood Observatory, based in the United States, uses remote sensing data to detect, measure and map river discharge and flooding. It publishes rapid response inundation maps during a flood as well as an atlas of large floods from 1985 to present.
Data from the observatory are used by several disaster alert and relief agencies, including Sentinel Asia, Thomson Reuters AlertNet, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Europe's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Desert Research Institute
The Desert Research Institute is based in Nevada in the United States. Its principal research areas include atmosphere, water and land management – in the United States and in the developing world. The institute is engaged in a project to bring clean water and sanitation to communities in Ghana, Mali and Niger through the West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI). WAWI aims to do this before 2008.

Funded by the European Union, DESIRE is an international collaborative project aimed at establishing alternative strategies for using and protecting arid and semi-arid ecosystems under threat from land degradation and desertification. Field sites for testing new conservation techniques include areas in Africa, China and Latin America.
The DESIRE website publishes news and information about the project, highlights upcoming events and links to other relevant sites.

Diversitas is an international network of the world’s leading biodiversity scientists. It has headquarters in Paris and is sponsored by five partner organisations including UNESCO and the International Council for Science. The Diversitas website is an accessible source of information on the major natural science questions that researchers are seeking to answer, which include: predicting changes to biodiversity; assessing the impacts of these changes; and developing sharper research tools. A quarterlynewsletter provides a good overview of progress on the main scientific themes in global biodiversity conservation, as well as updates from its member scientists.

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is an independent not-for-profit research institute which opened in 2001 as a parternship between the Missouri Botanical Garden, Monsanto, and various US universities. Part of the Danforth Center’s mission is to facilitate the development and transfer of technologies for developing countries and much of this work takes place in the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology (ILTAB) where rice, cassava and tomato currently form the core of research activities.

Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT)
EM-DAT, run by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, provides statistics and data on disasters' impact on humans, such as the number of people killed, injured or affected as well as economic damage estimates and disaster-specific aid contributions.
Users can search the database or pull out summary information including graphs to show temporal trends as well as reference maps of disasters by type or date.

Environment and Development Action in the Third World
ENDA is an association of research groups based both in Senegal and other Southern countries, which work on development and environment themes. It collaborates with grassroots groups in search of alternative development models on the basis of the experience, expectations and objectives of marginalised peoples.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is an international, government-funded initiative focused on providing free and open access to biodiversity data online for scientific research, conservation and sustainable development.
The website provides an Internet-based index of primary biodiversity data, such as museum specimens and field observations of plants and animals in nature; community-developed tools for formatting and sharing data; and capacity building through training, including access to international experts and mentoring programmes. The website links to relevant reports and news, and publishes information in different languages including English, Chinese and Korean.

Global Canopy Programme
The Global Canopy Programme (GCP) is an alliance of over 30 scientific institutions in 19 countries that work on forest canopy research, education and conservation. In addition to supporting research projects, GCP is active in informing policymakers and working with governments and the finance sector to establish pilot projects for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). GCP publishes information for journalists, policy briefs and a range of related publications.

Gobabeb Training and Research Centre
The Gobabeb Training and Research Centre aims to understand the relationship between the ecology of arid environments and human activities. Its areas of focus include developing appropriate technologies that can help improve quality of life, such as fog-collection and alternative energy sources. The centre is attached to the Southern Africa Development Community, the intergovernmental organisation representing countries in southern Africa. It is also associated with the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia.

India, Brazil, South Africa Nanotechnology Initiative (IBSA)
IBSA, a joint project of the departments of science and technology in Brazil, India and South Africa, promotes research collaborations between scientists working on applications of nanotechnology. Its priority fields of research include health, water treatment and agriculture. India leads its flagship project on water purification.
IBSA publishes information on participating scientists from all three countries, ongoing projects, key global events and activities, and fellowships and job openings.

Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (India)
The Institute of genomics and Integrative Biology is a constituent laboratory of India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. It is engaged in various aspects of modern biotechnology with a special focus on functional genomics and genome informatics. Formerly the Centre for Biochemical Technology, the organiastion is evolving into an interdisciplinary institute comprising several networked laboratories.

InterAcademy Council
The IAC was created in 2000 by the world's science academies to support informed decision making through sound scientific advice on issues ranging from genetically modified organisms to climate change. At the request of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the IAC organises UN ambassador symposia to call attention to various issues and their potential impact on policy making.

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
This non-profit organisation aims to develop sustainable ecological farming in Africa and India. ICRISAT's mission is "to help empower 600 million poor people to overcome hunger, poverty and a degraded environment in the dry tropics through better agriculture".

ICRISAT's BioPower initiative aims to ensure that bioenergy research benefits the poor. Its activities include analysing bioenergy trends and understanding their repercussions for the poor, and enabling governments to formulate pro-bioenergy policies that benefit poor people.

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) was founded in 1967 with a mandate for improving food production in the humid tropics and to develop sustainable production systems. It became the first African link in the worldwide network of agricultural research centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. IITA's research agenda addresses crop improvement, plant health, and resource and crop management within a food systems framework, targeted at the identified needs of four major agroecological zones: the dry savanna, the moist savanna, the humid forests, and the midaltitude savanna.

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
The International Water Management Institute — one of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research centres — conducts research aimed at improving water and land management. Its website includes information about all its work, including regional profiles of areas in Africa and Asia. It also publishes details of upcoming events and recent publications.
Information and commentary are available by topic, including climate change, wetlands and gender. The website also links to other relevant tools and resources such as the Drought Information Center and the African Water Law Database.

Millennium Ecosystems Assessment
The Millennium Ecosystems Assessement is an international science-based initiative to document the state of the world’s ecosystems and how they are affected by human activities. The Assessment’s reports are due to be published over two years beginning in September 2003. Main donors include the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the UN Foundation, the Packard Foundation and the UN Environment Programme.

NASA Aquarius Mission
NASA’s Aquarius Mission is a joint US and Argentinean venture using space science to measure the concentration of dissolved salt (salinity) of the world’s oceans. It has produced the first global map of the salinity of Earth's ocean surface, a video of which is available on the website. Maps showing some results from the mission are available on the website, providing more detailed salinity information than would otherwise be available. The aim is to provide scientists and policymakers with data to build more accurate climate change models and to better understand natural systems such as sea temperatures and the water cycle.

National Innovation Centre for Plant Biotechnology
PlantBio is a grant-making initiative from the South African Department of Science and Technology. It aims to develop a strong and sustainable plant biotechnology sector in South Africa by promoting new products and services, incubating commercial programmes and new businesses, building scientific capacity and developing human resources.
PlantBio prioritises technologies aimed at alleviating poverty and improving food security — for example, biofertilisers, plant breeding, tissue culture and genetic modification. The organisation encourages collaborating institutes to build national capacities and consolidate costs.
It publishes information on how to apply for funding and hosts a useful page of links to South African biotech investors, business incubators, funding agencies and service providers.

Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology
The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology is part of Nepal's Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology. It monitors the hydrological and meteorological activities of the country, including river hydrology, climate, agrometeorology, sediment, air quality, water quality, snow hydrology, glaciology, and wind and solar energy. The department also provides regular general and aviation weather forecasts.

Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education: IK Pages
This website on Indigenous Knowledge is maintained by NUFFIC. It offers announcements related to IK, a database of online resources, a monthly newsletter (Indigenous Knowledge WorldWide), and several best practice guides. An archive of the Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor (published from 1993) is also available online.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
This website publishes freely accessible data on marine species living in oceans worldwide. It aims to bring together separate databases to build a larger picture of ocean life, and promote research into global marine systems. The OBIS web portal is run by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
Users can search the database for biodiversity hotspots and ecological patterns; track the movement of species over time and different locations; and analyse how species' locations are related to physical attributes of the ocean. This information can be visualised using maps and downloaded free of charge.

Programme for Traditional Resource Rights
Based at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, PTRR aims to extend to indigenous peoples and local communities "knowledge of appropriate mechanisms for protecting the integrity of their knowledge and resources".

South African National Research Foundation: Indigenous Knowledge
Indigenous Knowledge Systems is a special focus of the National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa. The NRF aims to: develop theoretical and methodological paradigms within which to understand the specific characteristics of IK; shed light on the role of IK in nation-building; develop research capacity in the field of IK in South Africa.

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
The Stockholm International Water Institute is a policy institute that seeks sustainable solutions to the world's escalating water crisis. Its website summarises current research and publishes findings and recommendations on current and future water, environment, governance and human development issues, including climate change.

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation
The AATF is a not-for-profit foundation established in 2003 supporting public-private partnerships to increase smallholder farmers' access to appropriate technologies in sub-Saharan Africa. It publishes news and information about ongoing projects and hosts a monthly open forum bringing together scientists, journalists and policymakers to discuss how science and technology can improve African agriculture.

The African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE)
AARSE is a nongovernmental network of African scientists and professionals working in remote sensing and geographic information systems. It holds a biannual conference and runs regional and local seminars and workshops on how to use remote sensing for environmental studies.
The AARSE website publishes contact details of council members, news about developments in remote sensing that are relevant to Africa and a list of events among other information.

The Desert Research Foundation of Namibia
The DRFN provides research-based advice and training aimed at sustainable development policymakers in southern Africa. The organisation's areas of focus include managing rangelands and livestock, water, energy efficiency and combating land degradation and desertification. The DRFN also helps raise public awareness of deserts and desertification.

Uganda National Agricultural Research Organisation
NARO is an unbrella organisation for nine research institutes in Uganda, tackling the issues surrounding crops, fisheries, forestry and livestock and their applicability to sustainable development.

University Network for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa (UNEDRA)
UNEDRA promotes collaboration among African universities in disaster risk reduction using remote sensing and geoinformation.
It publishes online training courses, runs regional workshops and provides advice on curricula development, among other activities. Information on its activities and achievements is made available through the UNEDRA website together with a list of participating universities and contact information for organisations wishing to join the network.

Vital Climate Graphics Africa
After the release of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, UNEP and GRID Arendal published this set of 25 graphics focused on the special challenges that Africa faces due to expected long term climate change.
Three sections cover the evidence of change in Africa, the science driving these changes, and vulnerability to — and trends in — extreme events on the continent. The graphics also show the severity of climate impacts on fresh water, human health, and food in Africa.

World Agroforestry Centre
The World Agroforestry Centre, formerly the International Council for Research in Agroforestry, promotes agroforestry research in developing countries. Part of the Consultative Group for International Research in Agriculture (CGIAR), the centre partners with science and development institutions to inform, and advocate for, science-based policies that encourage agroforestry. The centre publishes articles, policy briefs and multimedia, as well as information on its research and projects, including the REDD-ALERT project that aims to provide policy options for emissions reduction.


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