Saturday, November 24, 2007

ICSU Statement on Recommendations of the Review of UNESCO.s Science Programs

Thomas Rosswall, Executive Director of the International Council for Science, made a supportive statement about UNESCO's efforts to improve its science programs at last month's meeting of the General Conference. He said, among other things:
In particular, we believe that the following recommendations require special emphasis:
  • UNESCO should strengthen its science policy work, but not only in relation to capacity-building in science but also for the development on national knowledge and research systems.
  • We agree that UNESCO should further emphasize new scientific paradigms, such as socio-economic resilience, vulnerability and adaptive management of the environment. This should be done in the context of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, where UNESCO has joined ICSU in important follow-up activities. MAB Biosphere Reserves could play an important role.
  • In particular, we welcome the conclusion that all science programmers should have components of both natural sciences and social and human sciences. Collaboration with ICSU on a programme on hazards and disasters is an example of such a new initiative, where ICSU would welcome UNERSCO collaboration.
  • We agree that UNESCO should take a more comprehensive approach in its environmental programmes and there is scope for strengthened collaboration on biodiversity (through our joint programme DIVERSITAS), on climate change (where both organizations sponsor the World Climate Research Programme), on energy conservation issue (through the ICSU International Science Panel on Renewable Energies) and on natural resource management, through our joint work on Millennium Ecosystem Assessment follow-up.

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