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Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 31 October–12 November.

Asian roadmap for cleaner fuels
The Asian Development Bank and the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities have launched a roadmap for cleaner fuels and vehicles. It discusses the interaction between fuels and vehicle technologies, and addresses how refineries can produce cleaner fuels. More>>

Pakistan sets up environmental monitoring systems
Pakistan is to set up monitoring systems and mobile laboratories in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and water pollution. The project is funded by Japan. More>>

Don't forget climate change, says Ban Ki-moon
Advanced countries must continue to help poor countries cope with the impact of global warming despite the economic crisis, said UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. A one-metre rise in sea levels could displace 30 million Bangladeshis and cripple its economic growth and development, he said in Dhaka. More>>

WHO warns South-East Asia of melamine contamination
The WHO's South East Asia Regional office (SEARO) has warned member countries to be alert about possible melamine contamination of infant milk and milk-containing products such as chocolate and biscuits which have reportedly been exported to the region. More>>

South Asian physiologists team up
Physiologists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have formed a network of physiological societies of the South Asian region to work jointly in medical research and education. At their first meeting, in Islamabad this week, they also agreed to fight practices such as the kidney trade and sex selection through abortion. More>>

Microbes 'degrade oil from steel mill sludge'
A technique that can halve the oil content of sludge has been developed by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai. The scientists used microbes to degrade the steel mill sludge and, after 60 days, had reduced the oil content by 40–50 per cent. More>>

Pakistan introduces Hib vaccine
Pakistan is introducing a vaccine to combat Haemophilus infuenzae type b (Hib), a bacterium that causes pneumonia and meningitis in children. An estimated 23,000 children die of Hib every year in Pakistan. More>> [41kB]

Eco-friendly leather tanning
Scientists at the Central Leather Research Institute in Chennai, India, have devised an eco-friendly vegetable tanning process for the leather industry. They say that the process, which is done using protein-dissolving enzymes, produces better leather and could reduce pollution. More>>

Pakistan issues ordinance against cyber crime
Pakistan has announced harsh punishments for cases of cyber crime. Criminal access to data, e-frauds, cyber-stalking and spamming are now punishable offences. More>>

Nanotech 'could help Nepal achieve MDGs'
Nanotechnology could help Nepal tackle issues including energy production and storage, agriculture, water treatment, medicine, and food processing and storage — and thus help it to achieve its Millennium Development Goals, says a non-resident Nepali scientist. More>>

India leads in snake bite deaths
More than half of the 20,000 deaths worldwide from snake bites happen in India. An analysis in PLoS Medicine of a study by Sri Lankan researchers notes that snake bites are a common medical emergency in tropical developing countries, and anti-venom, the only available treatment, is usually out of stock.

Compiled by T. V. Padma. Additional reporting by Sohail Yusuf and A. A. Khan.

If you would like to suggest a story for this news in brief, please contact the South Asia Regional Coordinator T. V. Padma ([email protected]).

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