State of the Tropics sees universities reach out to society

Paulo Rebêlo | 25.jul.2014 link Twelve universities and research institutions from around the world have joined forces to assess the critical issues facing the world’s tropical regions and to examine how investments in aid, research and education affect development there. The institutions say they “share a responsibility to work with and for the people of the tropics, to bring to bear the power of our understanding, science and innovation on the issues of the tropics to create a brighter future for the tropics and its peoples”. Participating universities include Ecuador’s university Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and the University of Papua New Guinea. The group says it will produce a major report every five years, and a paper focusing on a key tropical issue every year. They released their first State of the Tropics report in Myanmar last month (29 June) to address a broad question: is life in the tropics getting better? “The report demonstrates that nations in the tropics have made extraordinary progress across a wide range of environmental, social and economic indicators in recent decades,” says Sandra Harding, vice chancellor of James Cook University in Australia and convenor of the

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