Five countries in southern Africa have joined forces to launch a research centre that will work on combating climate change in the region. South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia signed a declaration on Wednesday to base the initiative in the Namibian capital Windhoek.

The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (Sasscal) is intended to support cross-border research and land management.

Tata Power and Exxaro, on Wednesday, announced the launch of Cennergi, a new cleaner energy company which will serve the expanding energy markets in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

Tata Power Company, through its subsidiary Khopoli Investments, and Exxaro Resources Limited (Exxaro) of South Africa, have formed a 50:50 joint venture to create a new energy company, Cennergi (Pty) Limited.

The choice between centralized and decentralized electricity generation is examined for 150 countries as a function of population distribution, electricity consumption, transmission cost, and the cost difference between decentralized and centralized electricity generation. A network algorithm is developed to find the shortest centralized transmission network that spans a given fraction of the population in a country. The least-cost combination of centralized and decentralized electricity that serves the country is determined.

China's fast-growing consumerism and lax policing of ivory laws are the latest threats to wild elephant populations, said an author of a recent report on endangered species.

The African elephant's misfortune has been its teeth, in particular the well developed pair of upper incisors known as tusks for which it is being killed in large numbers. The visible ivory part of the tusks is made up of dentine with an outer layer of enamel, and when viewed in cross section it reveals criss-cross lines that form a series of diamond shapes. This is what gives the elephant ivory its distinctive lustre, and makes it so valuable economically.

Some good ideas, but too little cash, were among the fruits of a global gathering

On the first anniversary of a historic court judgment, the Bushman organization First People of the Kalahari released an open letter to Botswana President Festus Mogae, detailing the ways in which

The wrongs and rights of ivory sales

FOR anybody who cares about animals, the biggest fixture on the diplomatic calendar is a bunfight that happens every three years to review the working of a convention on the international trade in endangered species, known as cites. At the current gathering, now taking place in The Hague, the sale of elephant ivory has been high on the agenda.

In December 2006, Botswana's Bushmen won legal rights to return to their homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (See

Botswana's autochthonous Bushmen (or the San people) have won legal rights to return to their ancestral homeland in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, after the High Court of Botswana ruled against

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