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 The Developing World > Sustainable development - the key to prosperity
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Sustainable development - the key to prosperity

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Since 1983, the European Union has offered a scientific co-operation programme to developing countries. Focused primarily on agriculture, health, and the environment - themes common to all developing countries - the emphasis is on sustainable, non-damaging solutions. The programme design has evolved over the years towards a more interdisciplinary approach with greater involvement of scientists from these countries and greater integration of social and economic factors.

The current INCO-DEV Programme aims particularly at global development, such as stemming desertification, enabling food security, reducing the impact of food production practices on land and water environments, and promoting health care for all. The research priorities cover policy for sustainable development, research in the global knowledge society and sustainable settlement patterns - especially with regard to rural-urban interactions. Other specific themes include safe water for all, protection of vegetation and waterways, and fighting major infectious diseases (e.g. malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS).

Successive programmes, involving hundreds of teams, have encouraged scientists to set up networks within and between continents and thus place their collaboration on a permanent footing. The results have been tangible for developing countries. They have also added value to the Community research base, while European research is now better appreciated and more accessible in the developing countries.

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Confirming the international role of community research