NATURAL SCIENCES and the ENVIRONMENT
Since 1945, UNESCO fosters science and its application in favour of the development of knowledge and capacities which are crucial for economic and social progress and form the basis for peace and sustainable development. In the area of science, as a part of its mandate, UNESCO focuses on the issues of global nature that require international cooperation, for example the management of drinking water resources, ocean health, reduction of natural disasters, loss of biodiversity and capacity building in science, technologies and inovations.
UNESCO activities in this area focus on two major tasks – to foster science, technologies and innovations, and to benefit from scientific knowledge and experience when it comes to sustainable management of the environment (for example in relation to oceans, drinking water, natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity). In order to build a sustainable tomorrow, the UNESCO programmes also focus on engineering and renewable sources of energy, on the reduction of natural disasters and on education in the field of science. UNESCO focuses its attention primarily at small developing island states, on the needs of Africa and on the promotion of gender equality in all areas.
UNESCO also provides space for creating and sharing ideas, for setting standards and the promotion of dialogue between the scientific community and politicians. In the context of growing global challenges – environmental degradation, economical regress and social inclusion – UNESCO is aware of the increasing importance of science, technologies and innovations for sustainable development and it takes this fact into account when preparing the post 2015 agenda.
The priorities of the section for natural sciences (designed to streamline and enrich the programme focus of UNESCO) for the 2014 – 2017 period:
- Promotion of science, technologies and innovations on national, regional and international level;
- Promotion of international scientific cooperation on the critical challenges of sustainable development;
- Strenghtening the links between science and policies, the support and sustainibility of science;
- Institutional capacity building in science and engineering;
- Promotion of knowledge and capacities in the protection and sustainable management of oceans and coasts;
- Strenghtening international scientific cooperation in the field of terrestrial systems, biodiversity and the reduction of risks of natural disasters;
- Strenghtening the role of ecological sciences and biosferic reserves;
- Strenghtening the safety of drinking water resources;
International scientific programmes
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC)
International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
Slovak Committee for International Hydrological Programme
Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB)
Slovak Committee for Man and Biosphere Programme
International Geoscience Programme (IGCP)
Slovak Committee for International Geoscience Programme
International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP)
Institutes and Centres
Scientific Category 1 institutes which are an integral part of UNESCO:
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, in Delf in the Netherlands
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICPT), Trieste in Italy
Category 2 institutes and centres are under the auspices of UNESCO, but are not legally part of the Organizatin; they are associated with it through formal agreements approved by the General Conference:
A network of approx. 50 centres in the area of water, renewable sources of energy, science policy, mathematics, physics, biotechnologies and earth sciences.
More information at:
UNESCO Chairs in the field of natural sciences:
There are about 250 university departments of UNESCO/UNITWIN in the area of science, namely – the basic and engineering sciences, ecological and earth sciences, policies on science and sustainable development, sciences dealing with water and oceans.
UNESCO Chair in the area of natural sciences in Slovakia:
UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development and Ecological Awareness, Technical University in Zvolen
UNESCO prizes, awards and felowships in the field of natural sciences:
UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/science-technology/sti-policy/global-focus/science-popularization/prizes/kalinga-prize/
L´Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science
UNESCO Sultán Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/man-and-biosphere-programme/awards-and-prizes/sultan-qaboos/
UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences
UNESCO-MAB Young Scientists Awards
Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management