Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In this issue
Sustainable Management of the Dominican Republic's Only Biosphere Reserve
Building Capacity in Dryland Biosphere Reserves in West Africa
International Cooperation between Biosphere Reserves Strengthened
Sound Tourism Development in Biosphere Reserves in Central and Eastern Europe
Education Kit on Combating Desertification
Towards Joint Transboundary Management of the Marin Lagoon
Kruger to Canyon Biosphere Reserve Celebrates the International Biodiversity Day
VIII Meeting of the East Atlantic Biosphere Reserve Network (REDBIOS)
Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance New Publications
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Chicago's Olympic bid group Tuesday hailed a U.S. Senate ratification of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.
"We are pleased the U.S. Senate recognizes the importance of UNESCO's anti-doping treaty and shares in this common goal to support the integrity and spirit of the Olympic Games," Chicago 2016 chairman Pat Ryan said in a statement. "As a bid we are committed to clean competition.''
CDS/ISIS is a generalised Information Storage and Retrieval system. The Windows version may run on a single computer or in a local area network. The JavaISIS client/server components allow remote database management over the Internet and are available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh. Furthermore, GenISIS allows the user to produce HTML Web forms for CDS/ISIS database searching. The ISIS_DLL provides an API for developing CDS/ISIS based applications.
There are information processing tools available as well that link to CDS/ISIS:
IDAMS is a software package for processing and analysing numerical data. It provides a great number of data manipulation and validation facilities and a wide range of classical and advanced statistical techniques. Interactive components allow for construction of multidimensional tables, graphical exploration of data and time series analysis. WinIDAMS software (IDAMS for 32-bit Windows operating system) as well as its documentation are available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
IDIS is a tool for direct data exchange between CDS/ISIS and IDAMS.
Knowledge and training in the use of information processing tools is as important as the tools themselves. At present, UNESCO offers a computerized tutorial "How to work with WinIDAMS", available both on stand-alone PC configurations and in virtual courses through the Internet.
Greenstone Digital Library Software is a suite of software for building and distributing digital library collections. It provides a new way of organizing information and publishing it on the Internet or on CD-ROM. Greenstone is produced by the New Zealand Digital Library Project, and developed and distributed in cooperation with UNESCO and the Human Info NGO. It is open-source, multilingual software, issued under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
These software products were developed to meet the needs for free and open software in developing nations, and may be of special interest to U.S. organizations involved in development assistance. CDS/ISIS has been used extensively by UNESCO itself in the creation of online databases. Therefore the software might also be of interest to some U.S. organizations for their domestic applications.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Disaster preparedness and risk reduction, renewable energies, and water and associated ecosystems were identified as strategic areas for collaboration among the parties to the meeting.
This was his report on the natural science and social and human science programs:
Let me now turn to the sciences, staring with the follow-up to the overall review of major programmes II and III.
You have asked how this is progressing. The recommendations adopted by the General Conference are gradually being implemented, and I am pleased to report that significant results have already been achieved. For example, the Natural Sciences Sector has reinforced its support to Member States in the review of national science, technology and innovation policies, an area where UNESCO has longstanding expertise. We are giving special focus to Africa, with reviews currently being undertaken in 14 countries in the region.
Earlier this month, during the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, I organized a ministerial roundtable breakfast meeting to discuss how we could better harness scientific knowledge for sustainable development through effective policies. It aroused considerable interest, and many interesting proposals for action were made, which UNESCO will actively follow up.
Interdisciplinary and intersectoral activity is also being strengthened. The ADGs of SC, IOC and SHS lead four of the platforms, on Science Education, Climate Change, Small Islands and National Research Systems. One example of successful intersectoral work is in the field of science ethics. In response to the question of how UNESCO is bringing together its expertise in ethics and the natural sciences, let me mention the effective collaboration between the two sectors in addressing subjects such as biotechnology, nanoscience, and new developments in the life sciences. In this regard, I should highlight the important roles played by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) and the International Bioethics Committeeof UNESCO (IBC).
In addition, International and Intergovernmental scientific programmes are now cooperating in a more coherent way. For example: MAB and IOC now coordinate coastal and marine activities; and MOST and MAB work on outreach to youth and women in African biosphere reserves.
We are also improving outreach through new partnerships, as for instance, with the BBC, to disseminate science programmes in least developed countries, as well as through international years, such as the International Year of Planet Earth. Following the global launch of the Year at UNESCO Headquarters in February, regional launches were held for Latin America and the Caribbean in Brasilia in April and for Africa in Arusha in May. I had the great pleasure to attend the latter event personally, together with President Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Chair of the African Union.
Responding to your question on UNESCO’s Strategy for Action on Climate Change, it has been revised to take into account discussions at the last Board, as well as on-going efforts to promote a UN system-wide approach to the issue. I am pleased to inform you that the CEB has accepted UNESCO’s position to create a new working group, under the joint leadership of UNESCO and WMO, in the cross-cutting areas of science, assessment, monitoring and early warning, which will coordinate system-wide action in those areas for the UN system. Their work will then serve as a basis for proposals to be made by the UN Secretary-General to the 2009 Poznan meeting of the State Parties to the UNFCCC.
Under the intersectoral platform on Climate Change, which is charged with coordinating the implementation of UNESCO’s strategy, efforts have been made to identify high-impact intersectoral projects for extrabudgetary funding and to increase UNESCO’s visibility and participation in international action to address climate change. These will be presented in a detailed plan of action at the 2009 spring session of the Executive Board.
In response to Member States’ requests, the strategy gives special focus to Africa and Small Island Developing States. Another key area of concern is the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples, who often find themselves excluded from debates on the subject. In collaboration with Professor Malaurie, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for polar issues, and with the support of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, UNESCO will organize a meeting of international experts in Monaco in Spring 2009 on the transformations of Arctic land and seascapes due to climate change and their implications for sustainable development.
IOC plays a key role in the area of climate change. I am pleased to note that IOC’s Executive Council, which met from 24 June-1 July 2008, endorsed the conclusion of the Working Group on the Future of IOC that the future of IOC should unquestionably remain, and be reinforced, within UNESCO. This is something I feel very strongly about, as do you, the Member States, who at last year’s General Conference expressed unanimous support for IOC and decided to increase its resources for the 2008-2009 biennium by US$500,000. I have already allocated this extra funding and will soon identify its sources.
In the area of freshwater, the preparations for the third edition of the World Water Development Report are well under way. The Report’s theme is “Water in a Changing World” and it will establish the links between water and climate change, the global food crisis, energy, demographics, economic development and changes in land use patterns.
The preparatory process has been inclusive, with the participation of hundreds of scientists, professionals and decision makers in a variety of consultations, which included, for the first time, an open online consultation with the broader public.
I will have the honour to launch the Report, on behalf of the UN system, on the first day of the 5th World Water Forum, on 16 March 2009 in Istanbul. This will ensure that the Report receives good visibility, and is used as a reference throughout the Forum.
With regard to the question on the global rise in food prices, let me remind you that FAO is the principal agency responsible for food security. Nevertheless, UNESCO is providing some support through scientific initiatives such as the recentlycompleted International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). The report considers such major issues as biofuels, GM crops, use of traditional know-how, and the impact of climate change, and underlines the pressing need to change the rules of modern agriculture.......
In the human and social sciences, I know that UNESCO’s action to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is of great interest to Member States.
The celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2008 took place on 3rd May in Maputo, Mozambique, with major activities organized by UNESCO and numerous other events around the world. The richness of the deliberations is reflected in the “Maputo Declaration: Fostering Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People”. On this occasion, I also had the pleasure of handing over the 2008 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize to the Mexican reporter Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, in the presence of the President of Mozambique, Mr Armando Guebuza.
Preparations are well advanced for the high-level symposium on freedom of expression, including an exhibition on the safety of journalists and press freedom, planned for the 29th of October at UNESCO Headquarters. UNESCO is also involved in organizing the regional conference on the Contribution of the Media and Education to the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, which will be hosted by the Government of Colombia in Cartagena, in early September.
In response to the specific request of Member States, the UN Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Human Rights Education in the School System (UNIACC) – of which UNESCO is an active member – will organize a side-event on human rights education at the forthcoming International Conference on Education.
The ICE will be an important occasion to reaffirm education as a basic human right – and, in response to Mexico’s question, a meeting is scheduled to be held duringthe conference by the UNESCO/ECOSOC Joint Expert Group on the Monitoring of the Right to Education.
The visibility of UNESCO’s action on human rights will receive a boost when we host from 3 to 5 September the 61st annual UN Department of Public Information/NGO conference. We are fully involved in the preparation of this major event, and I will participate in the opening session.
We also foresee various events at Headquarters in December, including the award ceremony of the first UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights. We will also stage an exhibition of UNESCO human rights-related posters from the past sixty years, and another of human rights learning materials demonstrating the diverse ways that Member States are carrying out human rights education in their countries.
I take this opportunity to emphasize again that the implementation of many of these activities depends on extrabudgetary resources, and reiterate my appeal to Member States to consider making financial contributions. I count on your full support to ensure the visibility of UNESCO’s action in promoting “Dignity and Justice for All of Us”.
On a related subject, I must add that UNESCO’s role in the fight against doping in sport has become highly visible. As of today, there are 86 States Parties to the Convention from across all five regions. Our cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is also very successful, and allows us to continue focusing on the harmonization of anti-doping rules and policies worldwide, as well as antidoping education and prevention programmes.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Some 192 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, the political document through which governments show their intention to implement the World Anti-Doping Code through ratification of the UNESCO Convention. More than 570 sports organizations have already adopted the Code.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
UNESCO and the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organization (WHO/EMRO) have a joint bioethics initiative in the Arab and Eastern Mediterranean Region. The UNESCO Cairo office (UCO) is the focal point for bioethics and ethics of science and technology projects for UNESCO’s Member States in the Arab region.
UNESCO also has a program assisting the development of independent, multidisciplinary and pluralist ethics committees at national, regional, local or institutional levels where such committees had not previously been established. That program has been assisting African nations.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
EU/OS/ITA/SC/0016 - (P3) Perugia, Italy Read more!
# PROGRAMME SPECIALIST, S&T STATISTICS, (UNESCO Institute for Statistics)
INN/ST/CAN/UIS/0455 - (P3) Montreal, Canada Read more!
# DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR PROGRAM (Bureau of Field Coordination)
LA/RP/BRA/BFC/0010 - (D1) Brasilia, Brazil Read more!
I strongly advise Americans applying for jobs at UNESCO to contact the State Department and inform employees dealing with UNESCO of your application. JAD
According to the State Department, the Convention was forwarded to the U.S. Congress for ratification in February. In late June the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously advanced the treaty for a final vote on the floor of the Senate. According to cott Burns, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. is already in compliance with the convention and no new laws, policies or financial obligations would be required for its ratification.
According to the Associate Press:
Ratification is considered a boost for any country hoping to host the Olympics. The United States is the only country among the seven bidding for the 2016 Games that hasn't put the treaty into law. The host city will be chosen in October 2009.
The Permanent Delegation of the United States to UNESCO has published a brief article on the NatCom annual meeting on its website. The note suggests that 100 Commissioners attended, where by my count less than half actually showed up. The note is more informative about the side events that accompanied the meeting of the Natcom than about the substantive content of the meeting itself.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
All material must be submitted electronically to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Executive Secretariat (DCUNESCO@state.gov) by August 5, 2008 at 5 p.m. EST.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Professor Carter Snead is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and a Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He previously served as General Counsel to the President's Council on Bioethics. From 2004-2005, he served as the chief negotiator and head of the United States delegation to UNESCO for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.
His research and scholarship explore the possibility, wisdom, and mechanisms of the governance of biomedical science, medicine, and technology according to ethical principles. He was the principal drafter of the President's Council on Bioethics' 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies,” a controversial assessment of the governance (both public and private) of the activities at the intersection of assisted reproduction, human embryo research, and genetics. He has also published on the implications of neuroimaging techniques in criminal legal proceedings.
Professor Snead received his B.A. from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University. He clerked for the Hon. Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 1999-2000.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector Magazine
Globalization : To leave half of humanity living in poverty is expensive and will be more and more as time passes
Interview with Sylvie Kayitesi Zaïnabo: “Poverty is a denial of human rights”
Dossier: social and human sciences within National Commissions for UNESCO – Focus on Canada –
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UNESCO and Tokyo's Keio University at the end of June, for “Mobilizing Science Knowledge for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific through Information and Communication Technologies”. Under the agreement UNESCO and Keio are to work together to help strengthen national and regional higher education in Asia and to help develop human resources, particularly in Science, Technology and Engineering through the use of information and communications technology (ICT) networks.
UNESCO`s Jakarta and New Delhi offices have been working with the School on Internet Asia (SOI) Network on a distance education program since 2007. SOI currently connects 27 universities and research institutions from 13 countries in Asia via satellite and Internet networks. The MoU was developed to further expand this collaboration.
In 2007, UNESCO and SOI implemented an e-learning program on Renewable Energy. UNESCO is currently planning to broadcast several energy conferences and develop new courses in 2008 on S&T policy formulation, coastal resources management, HIV/AIDS prevention and university-industry partnership for technology transfer.
The recommendations that emerge from the forum are to contribute to the "UNESCO Forum on Higher Education in the Europe Region: Access, Values, Quality and Competitiveness" from 21 to 24 May 2009 in Romania and the "2009 World Conference on Higher Education: The New Dynamics of Higher Education" from 6 to 8 July 2009 at UNESCO headquarters, Paris.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
More particularly, the incumbent of the post will provide intellectual, strategic and operational leadership of the Section; ensure the management of its staff; advise Member States on the use of ICT in education, science and culture; plan and execute projects of strategic nature.
Applications must be made to UNESCO. It is recommended, however, that Americans applying to the post also inform the U.S. Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and/or the State Department secretariat to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO of their application.
UNESCO hosted a Ministerial Roundtable (New York, 1st July 2008) at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level Segment.
The UNESCO Round Table debate focused on “Harnessing scientific knowledge through effective science policy as a key lever for achieving sustainable development in its Member States.” The ECOSOC Ambassador from Madagascar, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research from Egypt and the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology of Tanzania were invited speakers.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Science 4 July 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5885, pp. 123 - 126
A number of researchers from U.C. Berkeley have published a report in the current issue of Science magazine with the following Abstract:
Protected areas (PAs) have long been criticized as creations of and for an elite few, where associated costs, but few benefits, are borne by marginalized rural communities. Contrary to predictions of this argument, we found that average human population growth rates on the borders of 306 PAs in 45 countries in Africa and Latin America were nearly double average rural growth, suggesting that PAs attract, rather than repel, human settlement. Higher population growth on PA edges is evident across ecoregions, countries, and continents and is correlated positively with international donor investment in national conservation programs and an index of park-related funding. These findings provide insight on the value of PAs for local people, but also highlight a looming threat to PA effectiveness and biodiversity conservation.The article suggests the complexity of the landscape management challenge required by biosphere reserves. Without a global network of biosphere reserves that really work, mankind will lose access to huge amounts of biodiversity, with grave economic as well as cultural impacts. It is increasingly recognized that in poor countries, there has to be a development component in the management of a bioreserve to provide economic opportunities to the local population. Not only is such development ethically required, but it seems likely that local populations will otherwise over exploit what is intended to be the reserve. This paper, however, suggests that this approach may ultimately be self defeating, if the population growth around the bioreserve leads ultimately to its overexploitation anyway.
The UNESCO program on Man, Biodiversity and Ecology provides an international mechanism for research on such issues. Indeed, its World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which includes 531 sites, provides one of the most effective (and cost-effective) means to encourage African, Asian and Latin American nations to set aside bioreserves and to develop sound plans for their protection. The Network also provides a means for a global community of scientists to collaborate in developing the knowledge and understanding for the management of bioreserves.
The Joggins fossil cliffs in Nova Scotia have been named by UNESCO to its select list of world heritage sites. Located on the Bay of Fundy, the cliffs were studied by geologists Charles Lyell and Sir Walter Dawson and cited by Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species. The World Heritage Committee has been interested in adding more sites to the World Heritage List that are important as parts of the world's scientific heritage, and this appears to fit that bill!
Members of the World Heritage selection committee voted unanimously in favor of the designation at a meeting in Quebec City on Monday evening. The fossil cliffs are regarded as the best record of life in the Coal Age - 300 million years ago - and are home to enormous fossilized trees and what's believed to be the remains of the world's oldest reptile.UNESCO site designation encompasses a 15-kilometer strip of sea cliffs more than 30 meters high, and a multi-million dollar interpretative center that was opened this year to showcase the area's natural and cultural history.
"There really isn't anywhere in the world that's as good as Joggins as far as we know," said Martin Gibling, a professor of earth sciences at Dalhousie University in Halifax."It's truly a marvelous place - you can see the entire ancient landscapes of the Earth laid out before you, so to speak."According to the Windsor Star:
Local authorities hope that being added to the World Heritage sites list will give the region an economic boost by making it a tourist destination.
"This decision will have a very significant economic and social impact," said Rhonda Kelly of the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Key Workshop Papers and Presentations are now available.
Modern science and technology is a critically important element in the cultural heritage of mankind, Indeed, much of UNESCO's overall program is oriented to the diffusion of this common heritage to less developed nations, especially the nations of Africa. Thus it seems appropriate that UNESCO's World Heritage Center should specifically give testimony to this cultural heritage by inscribing sites making and commemorating key scientific and/or technological advances were first made.
The United States is (in the opinion of JAD) quite rich in sites of technological significance adequate to justify inclusion in the World Heritage list, and indeed in scientific sites as well.
U.S. sites that merit consideration for inclusion in the World Heritage list on the basis of their importance in the technological history of mankind include:
The American System of Manufacturing: This system which used semi-skilled labor employing machine tools with templates to manufacture standardized interchangeable parts revolutionized industry. It was developrd by the United States Department of War in the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories.
Thomas Edison's Laboratory: Edison invented the first practical electrical lighting system as well as many electrical devices, and stands as the nation's and perhaps the world's most important inventor. His laboratory was a trailblazing institution in itself, industrializing the process of invention and technology development. The site is maintained by the National Park Service as the Edison National Historic Site.
The Henry Ford Museum: Which commemorates (among other things) the creation by Ford of the first manufacturing assembly line.
The National Air and Space Museum: Which includes key artifacts of the development of manned aviation and space flight, including the Wright Brothers plane, the first plane to make the transatlantic flight, and a number of vehicles that pioneered space flight.
Perhaps the next time that the U.S. Government revises the tentative list of World Heritage sites in this country, sites commemorating the U.S. contribution to the worlds heritage of scientific knowledge and technology might be added to the list.
Since 2002, UNISPAR has focused on capacity-building and technical assistance in the governance of science and technology parks. The expected results are:
- stronger partnerships and linkages between universities and industry, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to promote innovation, engineering education, North-South cooperation, gender mainstreaming, maintenance and related areas for technological development.
- development of human resources, including the training of engineers in the transfer of research results, maintenance of equipment and related areas.
- stronger networking of technology for development, sponsored by industry with UNESCO support.
To this end, UNESCO’s works in close cooperation with the international professional organizations in this field. These include the World Technopolis Association (WTA) and the International Association of Science Parks (IASP).
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
on the occasion of the Opening of the 2008 Water Science Forum titled
Cutting-Edge Technology for Water Services: Application in Africa. The meeting was held at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C, on 27 June 2008.