Wednesday, November 7, 2007

UN-backed environmental database accessible to 100 developing states

More than 100 developing nations now have access to a United Nations-backed online environmental database which allows users to view material worth $1.5 million from prominent environmental science journals.

The "Online Access to Research in the Environment" project - involving the UN Environment Program (UNEP), Yale University, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers and over 300 publishers, key scientific societies and associations - was launched last year and offered free or low-cost service to 70 of the world's poorest nations with per capital incomes below $1,000.

In its second phase, the initiative has added 37 more countries, areas and territories - including Algeria, the Maldives, Suriname and Vanuatu - with per capita incomes ranging between $1,000 and $3,000, a press release issued by the UN Information Center (UNIC) said here Wednesday.

"Providing practitioners, researchers and scientists with online access to scientific research on the environment has been a long-held dream and desire by institutions around the world," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The project is making great strides towards bridging the North-South scientific gap and digital divide, as well as bolstering environmental institutions in many developing nations, he added.

After a three-month free trial period, participating countries' institutions will be asked for yearly contributions of $1,000, which is less than 0.1 per cent of the annual retail subscription value of the available resources. These fees will be reinvesting in training programs in these countries.

Source: ISRN

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