Volume 14 Issue 7 - July 2, 2010
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Maryann Bird
Green growth in the Himalayas
Recycling of "Specialty Metals" Key to Boom in Clean-Tech Sector, From Solar and Wind Power to Fuel Cells and Energy Efficient Lighting
Article Digest
Psang Dain Lin
Miniaturized auto-focusing VCM actuator with zero holding current
Yao-Ting Wu
Synthesis, Structure and Photophysical Properties of Highly Substituted 8,8a-Dihydrocyclopenta[a]indenes
Ching-Ting Lee
Phase-separated Si nanoclusters from Si oxide matrix grown by laser-assisted chemical vapor deposition
Chao-Ching Huang
VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 signaling leading to CREB phosphorylation is a shared pathway underlying the protective effect of preconditioning on neurons and endothelial cells.
News Release
NCKU Press Center
NCKU 2010 Culture and Creativity International Conference Began on June 21st
NCKU Press Center
NCKU Awarded Academician Cheng-Sheng Tu and Academician Ing-Kang Ho Honorary Professors on June 23rd
NCKU Press Center
Former NCKU President Cheng-I Weng Received Honorary Doctor Degree of Literature from Gyeongsang National University, Korea
Banyan Forum
Editorial Group
Green growth in the Himalayas
Maryann Bird
Associate editor of chinadialogue
This article first appeared in the China Dialogue on July 30, 2009
In the cold desert valleys of Ladakh, simple greenhouses provide fresh vegetables year round, writes Maryann Bird. For its innovative work in India, France's GERES has won an Ashden Award for sustainability.

When winter comes and the temperatures plummet to -25º Celsius in Ladakh, in the dry, remote eastern corner of Jammu and Kashmir, the price of vegetables triples. They triple, that is, if there are vegetables to be had – if airplanes and trucks can get them into India's northernmost state. For six months of the year, snowfall largely cuts the sparsely populated region off from the rest of the world, and the people make do with stored root crops and dried leafy greens.

Here in the desert valleys of the western Indian Himalayas, above 3,000 metres, vegetables can be grown outside only during a short summer season. Ladakh's high altitude and low rainfall mean that crops can be grown for only about 90 days and are reliant on water from melting glaciers. But what the region has in abundance – in addition to stunning scenery – is exceptional sunshine. For more than 300 days a year, the sun beams brightly in cloudless skies.

That sunshine now is being utilised in a pioneering renewable-energy project that helps villagers to grow fresh vegetables year-round in simple solar greenhouses. GERES, a French NGO, has been working with local organisations in Ladakh for more than 10 years to harness the sun's potential. The result: local people are enjoying their own nutritious produce beyond the short summer season. Thanks to the scheme -- honoured recently with a prestigious 2009 Ashden Award for sustainable energy -- the villagers produce spinach, lettuce, onions, radishes, strawberries, coriander, garlic and more throughout the year. Eating a balanced diet has become much easier.

Copyright National Cheng Kung University