A Green Economy for Sustainable Development: Literacy, Land and Women’s Rights (1-3)
UNESCO produced a report on how the world can achieve a green economy on the basis of sustainable development which was present to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 which was convened on 20-22 June 2012 in Brazil. We review on this page this report due to its importance of development especially in developing countries during the coming decades.
UNESCO is launching a new initiative, the Science, Technology and Innovation Global Assessment Programme (STIGAP). STIGAP will monitor, analyze and identify existing indicators and reporting systems to illustrate the development of STI in the form of a global assessment with a direct connection to the UNESCO’s mission: science for peace, for sustainable development and for inclusiveness. 14
Sustainable solutions, whether at the global, regional or country level, require creativity, new advances in scientific knowledge, discoveries and innovation.
Innovation geared towards sustainable development has the potential to promote economic growth, create green jobs and boost social development while at the same time contributing to environmental conservation.
In this endeavor, science and technology parks, closely related to universities, can be strong engines of innovation and green economic growth.
Regional gaps in tertiary enrolment rates are widening. Large and widening disparities and opportunities for tertiary education will inevitably reinforce the already extreme wealth disparity between countries.
Tertiary education systems play a critical role in developing the knowledge intensive skills and innovation on which future productivity, job creation and competiveness depend in a globalized world.
In the transition to green societies and economies, science, technology and innovation (STI) are part of the ‘soft power’ that countries seek to acquire in order to advance sustainable development and their position in the world arena.
The UNESCO Science Report 2010 has identified such a trend, even in parts of the world not generally characterized by a large STI effort, including in the Arab region and in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, Morocco began the construction of an industrial park for clean energy in 2010 and Sudan inaugurated its first biofuel plant in 2009.
Clean energy research and sustainability have become a priority for many of the world’s major economies. For instance, China’s Eleventh Five-Year Plan to 2010 imposes the mandatory objective of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20% and emissions of major pollutants by 10%.
STI policies are increasingly reflecting concerns about climate change. For example, in Cuba, disaster monitoring and mitigation are emerging as one of the R&D priorities, in anticipation of stronger hurricanes, droughts, coral bleaching and flooding.
The priority accorded to clean energy and climate research is having repercussions on S&T fields upstream, such as space science and technology. Driven by concerns about climate change and environmental degradation, many developing countries are attempting to more closely monitor their territory than before, with the aid of satellites.
Building Capacities in Natural
Today’s world calls for resolute science and technology based international actions to combat poverty, pandemic and emerging diseases and to promote science education so that every citizen can lead a meaningful life in increasingly knowledge-based societies. Sustainable development and the future of the planet depend on the world’s ability to co-operate in the acquisition, sharing and application of knowledge to improve the quality of life for all, in harmonious coexistence with the environment. Capacity-building in the basic sciences and engineering, their interconnection with the needs of society, and equal access for women and men to scientific and engineering education are essential components of a science-based response to national, regional and global challenges.
UNESCO promotes capacity-building in basic sciences and engineering with the aim of enhancing human resources development; increasing education for green technologies, including renewable energy and energy efficiency; and levering the transfer of scientific knowledge, thus bridging the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries. This is implemented through UNESCO’s various programmes and networks in such fields as basic and engineering sciences, ecological and earth sciences, water and ocean sciences. This includes UNESCO’s International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, its vast network of Category.
Green technologies in UNESCO: Biotechnology for Sustainable Development.
Biotechnology has the potential to provide the means to address some of the pressing issues of global concern by contributing to ensuring a safe environment through bio-conservation and remediation methodologies, research for health, as well as for food production and security. This is particularly important in mitigating the effects of climate change on the environment, and thus on sustained food production, and on addressing reemerging diseases and newly emerging pandemics. Through its International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP), UNESCO is building the institutional capacity of developing countries to conduct high-level biotechnology research on sustainable development priorities and to promote green chemistry.
Biotechnology applications in India through a UNESCO-IBSP supported research project involving Indian and German researchers.
The Global Chemistry Experiment – Water: A Chemical Solution is a cornerstone activity of the UN International Year of Chemistry 2011 which provides students with an appreciation of chemical investigation, data collection and validation. The results submitted by the students are available online as an interactive global data map, demonstrating the value of international cooperation in science. With over 470 schools registered and more than 10,000 students participating worldwide, the Global Chemistry Experiment is truly the largest chemistry experiment ever made.
South African pupils measuring the pH of water using the UNESCO/IUPAC Global Experiment kits during the Big Splash project in Cape Town in March 2011. These kits can also be used to carry out the UNESCO Micro-science experiments.
Introducing Innovations to Improve the Environment of the Aral Sea Basin. UNESCO is working to improve the economic efficiency and ecological sustainability of the agricultural sector in Uzbekistan through a joint project with the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, Germany. Through the project, sustainable solutions are being developed for the Aral
Sea region with local and international stakeholders. The Organization is also working to promote water-saving technologies and to introduce cash crops to help restore saline land in the Aral Sea basin.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, 17/07/2012