A Green Economy for Sustainable Development: Literacy, Land and Women’s Rights (2-3)
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’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC):
50 years in the service of society
UNESCO-IOC has been promoting international cooperation and coordinating research, services and capacity-building to find out more about the oceans and coastal areas and to generate knowledge to improve the sustainable management and protection of the marine environment. It has also been providing an evidence base for the decision-making process of its Member States.
The ACCC is a project coordinated by UNESCO-IOC to improve the climate change adaptive capacity of sensitive coastline ecosystems in five West African countries (Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Gambia), whilst promoting the development of sustainable livelihood alternatives of local coastal communities.
Coastal Dune Protection in Mauritania
Progress towards the sustainable development of oceans and seas includes:
• IOC-UNESCO has led the successful establishment of a Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS);
• Marine spatial planning was recognized by the international ocean community as a key component of integrated coastal management;
• The UN General Assembly approved in 2010 the programme on reporting on the state of the marine environment.
Rio+20 is an opportunity to provide new guidelines on priorities in coastal and ocean sciences for global sustainability.
IOC is one of the sponsors of the World Climate Research
Programme (WCRP), which is singularly placed to make use of the totality of climate-related science systems, facilities and intellectual resources of more than 185 countries. The programme aims at determining the predictability of climate and determining the effect of human activities on climate. This predictive knowledge is useful for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies, which assist communities in addressing the impacts of climate volatility and change on social and economic sectors, along with energy and transport, food security, environment and water. The programmes’ objectives directly support the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
UNESCO’s Initiative on Marine Spatial Planning
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) helps countries put into action ecosystem-based management by defining and identifying space for biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development in marine environments. UNESCO’s work in this area includes documenting marine spatial planning initiatives around the world, analyzing good practices of marine spatial planning, sharing knowledge about it, and promoting capacity building in this area. This is a collaborative effort of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB), and the World Heritage Centre.
Millions of people are totally dependent on coral reefs for their livelihoods. The world’s coral reefs could be the first ecosystem casualty of climate change. This will likely occur in 20 year’s time if we continue with ‘business as usual’. To provide insights on how to address this global challenge, UNESCO-IOC, through the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), is working with its UN partners, to support coral reef monitoring and data management, and to provide information on related ecological and socio-economic information.
© UNESCO/Yvette Lee
IOC has been working to enhance marine scientific research, exploitation and development. The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) facilitates the free and open exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States and meets the needs of users for data and information products. The IODE Ocean Data Portal is growing steadily.
The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), co-sponsored by UNESCO-IOC, WMO and UNEP, is a permanent global system for observations, analysis and modeling of marine and ocean variables to support ocean services at a global level.
UNESCO-IOC (GOOS): Argo is a global array of over 3,200 free drifting profiling floats that for the first time, allows continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper 2,000m of the ocean. All data are relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection.
Water must be a key component in all decision-making processes for sustainable development. A lack of dialogue between decision-makers and water managers has contributed to the serious degradation of the world’s water resources. Unless water resources management is improved and financing for water development projects is met, billions of people will remain hungry, in poverty, in poor health, and vulnerable to floods and drought.
Water is highly vulnerable to the impact of human activity, and its management transcends political frontiers. To wisely manage this irreplaceable resource, action must be based on partnership.
DID YOU KNOW?
Effectively Managing the World’s Freshwater Resources
Two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in water stressed countries by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue35. Securing access to safe drinking water for all and wisely managing our limited freshwater resources are therefore high priorities on the sustainable development agenda.
Providing the knowledge base necessary to make informed decision-making processes in relation to water management and consumption is pivotal, particularly under revolving weather patterns. Currently, only 22% of developing countries and 37% of developed countries have national Integrated Water Resources Management Plans in place.
Even fewer countries have National Water Efficiency Plans. Our knowledge of water use is as poor as our knowledge of water resources.
Currently only 22% of developing countries and 37% of developed countries have national Integrated Water Resources Management Plans in place. Even fewer countries have National Water Efficiency Plans. Our knowledge of water use is as poor as our knowledge of water resources.
Dried up Aral Sea
Water and Sustainable Development
Water is a vital issue for the green economy agenda in a number of different areas, such as:
• Mitigating of water pollution;
• Increasing efficiency of energy use in water and wastewater distribution, reuse and treatment;
• Modernizing irrigation systems to make them less wasteful;
• Developing hydropower as a ‘clean’ alternative to fossil fuels;
• Managing and protecting natural water ecosystems.
Projects in these areas can conserve energy, reduce the wasteful use of materials, encourage better use of scarce water, and reduce the impact of human activities on the natural environment. Many of these projects are win-win, potentially delivering benefits on several objectives simultaneously. For this, water needs to be explicitly and holistically incorporated in both the framework and the resulting processes of green economies.
While covering most aspects of freshwater resources management, UNESCO’s water programmes have developed specific expertise in the following areas: conflict prevention and resolution, water education, cooperation on transboundary groundwater and surface waters, emergency situations and risk management, water ethics, and access/right to water.
Water is cardinal for achieving sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals. Sound management of water resources is an essential component of social and economic development, poverty reduction and equity, and sustainable environmental services.
UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, education and capacity-building. The programme, tailored to UNESCO Member States’ needs, is implemented in six-year phases and relies on a vast network of experts and partners in addition to its National Committees.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, E-mail:email@example.com, 27/07/2012