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Geoscientists have voiced concern that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization) plans to cut funding to one of its most successful Earth sciences programmes will negatively affect developing countries.

Since 1972, the International Geoscience Programme has helped thousands of geologists from developing countries coordinate their work with colleagues. It has given funding of up to US$10,000 to about 500 regional geological and mining-related projects in 150 countries.

The programme's annual funding of US$200,000 might be cut by as much as half. The proposed reduction, which will mostly affect scientists in the developing world, is part of a total cut in the UN's science budget for 2006. A final decision on how much the International Geoscience Programme will receive will be made in April.

Link to full news story in Nature

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