Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Island Agenda 2004 +

About this booklet

This booklet provides a glimpse into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s concerns and activities in small island developing states. Emphasis is on recent and ongoing activities, but with mentions of activities from decades past as well as indications on some future directions of work.

Between top and tail, the booklet has six main sections: New and emerging themes; Culture and society; Environment and natural resources; Communication and information; Education; and UNESCO in the island regions.

More extensive and referenced information – including a substantial bibliography and many URL-links – is accessible through the dedicated website (portal.unesco.org/islandsBplus10) that has been set-up as part of UNESCO’s contribution to the Barbados+10 review and forward-planning process, as well as through the web pages of the Organization’s sectors, programmes, services and field offices. 

UNESCO’s focus on islands

UNESCO was established in 1945, with the overall purpose of contributing 

to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

Like a number of other UN institutions, UNESCO has had projects specifically focused on small islands for several decades. An account of many of these projects was compiled as part of UNESCO’s own preparations for the Barbados Conference of May 1994 on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and published in the 131-page Island Agenda: An overview of UNESCO’s work on island environments, territories and societies. Subsequent to the Barbados Conference, UNESCO reviewed its programme of work relating to SIDS, in an effort to contribute to the implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA). Relevant activities and projects have spanned a wide range of technical subjects and areas of concern in UNESCO’s fields of competence: culture, natural and basic sciences, social and human sciences, communication and education.

Start       First chapter

Introduction Activities Publications search
Wise practices Regions Themes