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We begin this issue of Tiempo with an assessment of the use of sugarcane as a renewable energy source. Francis Johnson describes the range of potential options that the sugarcane plant offers as a cost-effective and renewable resource, focusing on energy options in southern Africa.

The Horn of Africa is a region afflicted by many environmental, political and social difficulties. Renee Storteboom profiles non-governmental organizations and their role in mobilizing sustainably-sound environmental and development strategies. She discusses the need for greater communication and collaboration between the various organizations, highlighting the value of working together.

Barrie Pittock examines the evidence that global change could have a serious and adverse effect on coral reefs. Noting that coral bleaching is already a widespread problem, closely linked to rising sea surface temperatures, he warns that the combination of environmental change and societal pressure could pose a serious threat to reef health in coming decades.

Roger Jones describes the results of two recent projects on climate change and sea-level rise in the South Pacific. These projects were commissioned by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme and have led to the development of new climate and sea-level scenarios as well as recommendations regarding the study of adaptive options.

In our news section, we report on a recent workshop concerning the impact of El Niño and La Niña on Southeast Asia, held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Participants assessed implications for the region, paying particular attention to the situation of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and considered ways to limit future impacts. Lavanya Rajamani then considers the varied contentious issues that negotiators must address before COP-6. Finally, we present the estimate of global-mean surface air temperature for 1999.

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