Sustainable development - the key to prosperity
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.