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Bangladesh needs consistent power and gas supply to maintain growth

“The ongoing shortage of power and gas supply will be the main obstacle to Bangladesh’s economic growth, as forecasted by the Bangladesh Bank (BB). The government’s ability to eliminate energy shortages and to add capacity will have significant effects on short- and medium-term growth.”

Implications from IFTF:

We often focus development efforts on new technologies and innovations, this signal however points out something very important. Without basic infrastructures growth will only reach a certain level, until basic infrastructures are in place.

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Food security efforts should focus on energy independence, not food or energy subsidies

Countries that rely heavily on food imports and foreign oil are particularly sensitive to food price spikes, which helped catalyze Middle East and Bolivia unrest (see Middle East unrest holds lessons for South America: indicators for political vulnerability) Such dependence limits the government’s ability to shield the poor, which is a short-term strategy regardless. Investing in agricultural innovation and energy strategies that don’t rely on subsidies will be key for long-term stability.

Gonzalo Alcade of FORO writes,

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Sources:

FORO March 2011 pages 4-5:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Mar2011.pdf#page=4

UNDP, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano para Bolivia 2010, online at: http://idh.pnud.bo/index.php?option=com_hello&view=hello2&Itemid=56&id=6

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, “La volatilidad de precios en los mercados
agrícolas”. Informes de Política 12, available online at: http://www.fao.org/economic/es-policybriefs/es

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Recent increases in oil prices could lead to longer-term economic damage for poorest countries

Increasing oil prices will not just effect the GDP of poor countries in potentially startling degrees, but will also make life dramatically harder for the poorest households.

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Sources:

South Africa Node April 2011 pg. 2
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SANode_April2011.pdf#page=2

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Angola passes law to spur biofuel production

Angola recently passed a law aimed at promoting domestic biofuel production. The South Africa Notes writes: “According to the Oil Minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos, the law will address Angola’s national energy needs and ‘preserve the environment given the diversification of the economy’ [sic]. ‘Bio-fuel production will also create jobs and build a renewable energy source and will allow regional integration and promote return of populations to rural areas’.

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Oil creates poverty in Nigeria (Resource curse)

Nigeria experiences a resource curse perhaps worse than any other nation. Oil exploration has enriched corrupt leaders and done deep and sustained harm to local communities for decades:

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Potential for a solar energy boom in the Middle East and North Africa

The Strategic Foresight Group writes,

"Due to the suitable conditions for solar power in the Middle East, solar powered energy projects are a rising trend in many MENA countries – particularly Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). If successful, these efforts to foster solar power could lead to a renewable energy boom in the MENA region in the future.

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Sources:

The Strategic Foresight Group, Middle-East Edition, July 2010, page 5-7: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG-ME_July2010.pdf#page=5

Kordab, Prof. Dr. Mohamad. ‘Solar Water Heaters Development in the MENA Region.’ Solar
Thermal Application in Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan – Cairo. March 2009.
<http://www.arab-innovation.net/files/file/2009-03- 24%20Solar%20Thermal%20Applications%20WSH%20- %20Egypt/Session1_Solar%20Water%20Heaters%20Development%20In%20MENA%20Region _MKordab.pdf>

Trieb, Dr. Franz. ‘’Concentrating Solar power for Seawater Desalination’ German Aerospace
Center (DLR). November 2007. <http://www.solarec-egypt.com/resources/AQUA-CSPExecutive-
Summary-English-01.pdf>

Moskowitz, Ira. ‘MENA Cleantech Sees ‘Existential Need’ for CSP in MENA.’ Green Prophet. 12
May 2010. <http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/05/12/21119/mena-cleantech-sees-existentialneed-
for-concentrating-solar-power-in-mena-region/>

‘Saudi Arabia and Solar Energy – A Special Section.’ Saudi Aramco World Magazine. Vol. 32,
Number 5. September-October 1981.
<http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198105/saudi.arabia.and.solar.energy.a.special.section.
htm>

‘Launching the First Phase of the National Initiative for Water Desalination Using Solar Energy.’
King Abdullah City for Science & Technology.
<http://www.kacst.edu.sa/en/about/media/news/Pages/news49.aspx>

‘Conergy Completes Largest Solar Park at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology’
AMEinfo. 20 May 2010. <http://www.ameinfo.com/233101.html>

Kloosterman, Karin. ‘Ausra reflectors to Power 100MW Solar Thermal Plant in Jordan’ Green
Prophet. 22 Ocotober 2009. <http://www.greenprophet.com/2009/10/22/12905/ausra-joan1-
jordan/>

‘Israel to Build World’s largest Solar Power Plant’ Arutz Sheva. 16 June 2003.
<http://www.israelnationalnews.com/SendMail.aspx?print=print&type=0&item=45123>

Thompson, Richard. ‘Region Embracing Solar Energy’ MEED (Middle East business intelligence), UAE.
<http://www.meed.com/supplements/2009/sustainable-development/region-embracing-solarenergy/3001850.article>

‘Saudi Arabia to Export Solar Power Soon, US Says’ Gulf News. 24 February 2010.
<http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidGN_23022010_240218/Saudi%20Arabia%20to%20export
%20solar%20power%20soon,%20US%20says>

Van son, Paul. ‘Desertec Industrial Initiative: Bringing the DESERTEC Concept into Reality’.
Berlin Conference. 20 January 2010.
<http://www.desertec.org/fileadmin/downloads/press/DII_Presentation_2010-01-20.pdf>

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Science and Technology Parks could make the Middle East a place of innovation, R&D, and foreign interest

The Strategic Foresight Group writes,

"Over the past few years Science and Technology parks have been sprouting up all over the Middle East: from Egypt and Lebanon in the West, to UAE and Qatar in the East.These parks are attempting to invigorate the spirit of innovation in the Middle East and consequently spark intellectual development.

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Average: 3 (1 vote)
 

Sources:

The Strategic Foresight Group, Middle-East Edition, July 2010, page 11-12: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG-ME_July2010.pdf#page=11

Al-Shobaky, Waleed. ‘The Rise of Middle East Technology Parks.’ The Conscience of a Bit (Blog). 30 October 2007. <http://en.shobakky.org/uae/>

Al Shamsi, Dr. Maitha. ‘Higher Education and Science & Technology Research in the Arab World.’ Gulf News. 11 January, 2004. <http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/highereducation-and-science-and-technology-research-in-the-arab-world-1.310644>

Shehadi, Ramez & Oknayan, Shant. ‘Technology in GCC? It’s a Walk in the Park.’ The National. 20 September 2009.
<http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090920/BUSINESS/709209970/1053/rss>

Atilla, Mustafa. ‘Science and Technology Parks in Turkey.’ Presentation on Innovation and Competitiveness Practitioners Workshop. April 2004.

Hoodbhoy, Pervez. ‘Science and the Islamic World – The quest for rapprochement.’ 2 August 2007 <http://www.chowk.com/articles/12422>

‘MENA Region by Industrial Sector’. United Nations Industrial Development Organization. <http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=o26781>

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Signs of hope for environmental issues in the Niger River Delta

Oil dumping into Nigeria's Niger River Delta has been wrecking environmental havoc in the region, but there are some signs that regulation, which has failed to curb environmental abuses, will change.

Terfa Hemen of CDD writes,

Multinational corporations reportedly spill roughly 260,000 barrels of oil on an annual basis into natural water ways and fresh water sources. The Nigerian National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) recorded approximately 2,400 oil spills between 2006 and 2010.

3
Average: 3 (6 votes)
 

Sources:

Searchlight Centre for Democracy and Development, Oct 2010, pg 11
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/CDD_Oct2010.pdf#page=11

Environment responsibilities of resource companies under host country and home country laws -the growing demand for extraterritorial liability - case studies and options for reform by Prince Charles Williams (2010 IBA Conference Vancouver, Canada) www.era.org

http://www.businessdayonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13378:oil-spill-in¬the-niger-delta-&catid=98:editorial&Itemid=351

http://www.nationaldailyngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2159:niger-delta¬seeks-relief-from-oil-spills&catid=126:business-news&Itemid=545

http://e360.yale.edu/content/digest.msp?id=2496

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Nigeria/Full.html

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Ecuador's Yasuni-ITT Initiative Not So Successful Three Years Later

"With the signing of the Yasuni-ITT (Initiative), Ecuador agreed to permanently leave 846 million barrels of oil untapped in the Amazonian fileds of Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini, fields that represent 20 percent of the country's oil reserves. In exchange, Ecuador will receive $3.6 billion dollars from several international donors. For their contribution donors receive Yasuni Certificates of Guarantee, which do not accrue interest or expire and include the total amount of tons of CO2 emissions avoided.

1.02
Average: 1 (1 vote)
 

Sources:

FORO Nacional International, August 2010, pg. 6
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Aug2010.pdf#page=6

For a review of blogger reactions:
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/03/17/ecuador-the-yasuni-itt-initiative/
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