Monday, September 29, 2008
Libraries are essential to the free flow of ideas and to maintaining, increasing and spreading knowledge. As repositories of books and other printed material, they are key to promote reading and writing. With the advent of the Internet, new opportunities and new challenges have been created for libraries, especially in developing nations. UNESCO has promoted the work of libraries since it was created. More....
:: UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change (180 EX/16)
:: Brochure on the UNESCO Strategy
The Geographic Clustering of
High-Tech Industry, Science
and Innovation in Appalachia
2 Megacities of tomorrow
11 Benin first to host African Virtual Campus
11 UNESCO nominated to AMCOST
12 Poland rewards architect of molecular biology centre
12 UNCLOS gives countries breathing space
13 Kanawinka joins global geopark network
13 Launch of European Ocean Acidification Project
14 GRAPHIC Africa kicks off
14 Geological gems join World Heritage
15 Patricia Glibert on why scientists are taking a stand against ocean fertilization with urea
17 Mayangna knowledge deep in the heart of Mesoamerica
20 A geotropical paradise
Friday, September 26, 2008
At the same time IOC began coordinating the establishment of similar Early Warning Systems (EWS) for tsunami and other ocean-related hazards in the Caribbean (CARIBE-EWS) and the Mediterranean and Northeast Atlantic Ocean and connected Seas (NEAMTWS).
To provide immediate interim coverage for tsunami warnings in all other oceans, advisory systems have been established under the aegis of the IOC of UNESCO, in cooperation with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) from the USA and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) from Japan.The UNESCO/IOC global tsunami website is a one-stop resource for all tsunami-related information.
© White House/Chris Greenberg
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura attended the Global Campaign for Education event in New York this week, where the new coalition was launched to galvanize action towards achieving the Education for All Goals by the target date of 2015.
Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, expressed his “immense joy” over the release by the authorities of Myanmar of U Win Tin, the 2001 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize, after 19 years in prison.
Aged 79, U Win Tin is the former editor of the daily Hanthawati newspaper, vice-chair of Myanmar's Writers' Association and a founder of the National League for Democracy, which is led by Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest.
He was arrested in July 1989 and was accused of belonging to the banned Communist Party of Myanmar. Condemned to 14 years jail, he received an additional sentence of five years in 1996 for breaking prison regulations prohibiting the possession of writing materials.
UNESCO promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press and fosters media independence and pluralism as part of its fundamental mission. It does so primarily by providing advisory services on media legislation and by making governments, parliamentarians and other decision-makers aware of the need to guarantee free expression.
However, the Director General is a constant voice protesting violence against or imprisonment of journalists. The World Press Freedom Prize (named in honor of assassinated Colombian journalist Guillermo Cano) is awarded annually on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. While, as the long prison term of U Win Tin illustrates, UNESCO is not always successful in protecting journalists, it is an important element in the global effort to assure freedom of the press.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
© ESA - PROBA
The main goal of the Remote Sensing efforts, administered within UNESCO's natural science program, is to assist Member States to improve knowledge, interpretation, and presentation of our natural and cultural heritage: World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves.
The journal's purpose is to bridge diverse communities of social scientists, working in different problems and disciplines and in different parts of the world. It provides information and debate on subjects of interest to an international readership, written by an equally international range of authors. The ISSJ has a particular interest in policy-relevant questions and interdisciplinary approaches. It serves as a forum for review, reflection and discussion informed by the results of relevant research, rather than as an outlet of “first publication” for the results of individual research projects.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.Information and media literacy enables people to interpret and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right. UNESCO encourages the development of national information and media literacy policies, including in education.
The American Library Association
In September 2007, the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Program (IFAP) decided to fund a global scale-up project on information literacy and agreed on a series of regional Training-The-Trainers workshops in information literacy.
The project foresees to organize a series of 11 Training-the-Trainers workshops in information literacy, to be held from 2008 to 2009 in several institutions of higher education covering all regions of the world.
Audubon Canyon Rance Bioresrve, California
The UNESCO/MAB Secretariat is now preparing a book on biosphere reserves, which is to be a global compilation of information on all the biosphere reserves in the world. The MAB Secretariat and the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs have agreed to produce the book.
Potential contributors are invited to send a one-page description of your biosphere reserve to be included in the book to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also obtain the template for submissions from the UNESCO secretariat.
The State Department provides a list of U.S. Biosphere Reserves on its website with links to their websites. About.com has a useful short discussion of UNESCO's biosphere reserves program. The George Wright Society has a useful facet of its website about the Man and the Biosphere program, which is UNESCO's umbrella program under which the World Network of Biosphere Reserves has been organized. (The GWS, headquartered in Michigan, is a nonprofit association of researchers, managers, administrators, educators, and other professionals who work on behalf of the scientific and heritage values of protected areas.) You might also be interested in an earlier book published by UNESCO on biosphere reserves.
Since the U.S. Man and the Biosphere Committee is now inactive, it is suggested that interested parties in the United States contact the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will attend the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. During his visit to New York, 21 - 25 September. He will meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and participate in a series of high-level events:
- 22 September: White House Symposium on literacy; luncheon hosted by First Lady Laura Bush; high-level meeting on Africa’s development needs
- 23 September: meeting of the five UN agencies responsible for the Education For All (EFA) program; host lunch on “Financing Education for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, and present Rumi Medal to Afghanistan President Karzai
- 24 September: side event hosted by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Spain on the MDG Achievement Fund
- 25 September: act as rapporteur in Roundtable on Education and Health.
The Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) is an important element in UNESCO's overall People, Biodiversity and Ecology effort, which is in turn part of the organizations Major Program in the Natural Sciences.Since its creation in 1968, MAB has acted to encourage and facilitate protection of endangered ecosystems and sustainable approaches to development.
Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They are under national sovereign jurisdiction, yet share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. There are 531 sites worldwide in 105 countries.The U.S. State Department makes a website available describing the U.S. contributions to the Man and the Biosphere program.
Three deadlines, described in the following paragraphs, come on September 30 related to MAB. Since the U.S. Man and the Biosphere Committee is inactive it is suggested that interested parties contact the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO secretariat or the Permanent Mission of the United States to UNESCO.
Biosphere reserve nominations for 2008. The deadline for submission of new biosphere reserve nominations is 30 September 2008. The MAB National Committees are invited to submit biosphere reserve nominations (and/or extensions to existing biosphere reserves) in hard copy with the original signatures of endorsement and original maps, and also in electronic form as well as periodic review reports. Countries wishing advice may contact the MAB Secretariat or the Field Offices. The nomination and periodic review forms are available in English, French and Spanish. More
30 September 2008
30 September 2008
The project aims to provide universities in five African countries with grid computing technology so as to reduce migration of African university graduates by giving them the tools they need for their research.
The joint project “Reversing Brain Drain into Brain Gain for Africa” follows the successful implementation of a similar UNESCO/Hewlett-Packard initiative for Southeast Europe, launched in 2003.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The programs are:
- Science education
- HIV and AIDS
- Education for sustainable development
- Contribution to the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
- Fostering ICT-enhanced learning
- Strengthening national research systems
- Languages and multilingualism
- Contributing to the dialogue among civilizations and cultures and a culture of peace
- Support to countries in post-conflict and disaster situations
- Priority Africa: coordinating and monitoring the plan of action to benefit Africa
- UNESCO action to address climate change
- Foresight and anticipation
The UNESCO Intersectoral Platform: Strengthening national research systems
This intersectoral platform involves four Major Programs (Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences and Communications and Information) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and builds on the results of the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge. The program seeks to strengthen research and knowledge management as a driver of economic and social development in Member States and for the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, especially poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The platform shall also draw on the contribution of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs program, the results of the UNESCO-supported policy dialog and capacity-building for the formulation of national science, technology and innovation policies, the strengthening of research-policy linkages in the field of the social and human science policy elaboration, efforts to build knowledge societies and the implementation of relevant recommendations of the 2005 UNESCO World Report on Towards Knowledge Societies.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The International Basic Sciences Program (IBSP) seeks to strengthen national capacities in the basic sciences and science education. It fosters region-specific actions that involve a network of national, regional and international centers of excellence or benchmark centers in the basic sciences. The Program promotes North-South and South-South co-operation. It is carried out by UNESCO in partnership with the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), scientific unions of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and other science centers, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“The efforts of science should not only enable mankind to surpass itself; they must also help those who lag behind to catch up.”
“No doubt we take comfort in the dream that equality and fraternity will one day reign among men, without compromising their diversity.”
“Nothing indicates racial prejudices are diminishing and indications are not lacking to suggest that after brief local respites, they surge up again elsewhere with renewed intensity. Which is why UNESCO feels the need periodically to take up again a struggle whose outcome is uncertain, to say the least.”
“But who better than UNESCO can draw the attention of scientists and technicians to the fact (which they so often tend to overlook) that the purposes of science are not only to solve scientific problems but to find answers to social problems as well.”
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Thus, our readers have put this blog in the top one percent of all blogs.
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We hope it has and will continue to provide useful information and insights,
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Welcome message by the Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information to the online version of the UNESCO’s stand at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, December 2005.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
“Water and Peace for the People”, released by UNESCO Publishing, offers a practical guide that suggests concrete ways to resolve these crises. Analyzing what is at stake in each situation while releasing new information, the author examines the conflicts in the Upper Jordan River between Israel and Syria around the Golan Heights, between Israel and Lebanon over the Wazzani Spring, and the longstanding water dispute between Palestinians and Israelis. Challenges confronting Turkey, Syria and Iraq in sharing water of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers are also assessed.
In addition, the 61st Annual Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which was held at UNESCO Headquarters from 3 to 5 September 2008 by the United Nations Department of Public Information, focused on the commemoration of the Declaration’s 60th anniversary.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
10.7 percent of the visitors to the UNESCO website are from the United States.
The most visited pages are:
- The UNESCO homepage
- The World Heritage Center
- The UNESCO Documents and Publications
- The International Bureau for Education
- UNESCO's vacant posts website
- The UNESCO Communication and Information Program website
- The UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- UNESCO Webworld
- UNESCO Publishing
- The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
- The HIV/AIDS Impact on Education Clearinghouse
Monday, September 01, 2008
More than 2000 delegates are to meet at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 3 to 5 September 2008 under the banner of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Declaration was signed in Paris, and it was therefore considered fitting that the NGO meeting be held there. UNESCO played a key role in the deliberations leading to the Declaration, carrying out a landmark study to demonstrate that indeed, all cultures did recognize common human rights.
The Conference will provide:
- background on the human rights treaty system (Day 1);
- perspectives on the implementation of human rights in the context of on-going challenges as well as emerging issues worldwide (Day 2); and
- outlooks on how to make better use of existing mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international and national levels, as well as to examine ways to empower civil society at the local level (Day 3).
Literacy is the best remedyFinishing primary school makes it five time more likely that the person is informed about HIV and AIDS. Malaria, which kills a million people a year, is most deadly among the illiterate. Literacy and good health are inseparable. This is the theme of International Literacy Day (8 September) and the 2008 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes.
Read the new issue of the UNESCO Courier focusing on literacy and health!
The Forum is to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 16 September 2008Six million people worldwide are over 60 today; in 2050 there are expected to be two billion in this age group. Q
As we live longer, how can we preserve our mental, physical, visual and other faculties for as long as possible? Within their specific research areas, scientists are discovering how to slow down the aging process and stop the development of geriatric diseases They are also working on the genetic underpinning of longevity. This Forum will provide up-to-date information on these research topics.
Presentations are to begin at 3 p.m. (Paris time) with a talk by geneticist Axel Kahn, “How long a life are we programmed for?” Five Round Tables will follow: ageing of the brain, changes in the eye and vision, mobility complaints, staying young longer, and the search for longevity genes. The French Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot, will close the Forum at 6.30 p.m.
The Forum will be broadcast live on the internet in English and in French via a new web TV magazine at www.longevitv.com