Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Extract from the: 2000-2001 Programme
  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands

The General Conference
Authorizes the Director-General:
to implement the corresponding plan of action in order to contribute to sustainable development in coastal regions and small islands, in particular by: consolidating intersectoral activities under the pilot projects; reinforcing training and capacity-building through interdisciplinary UNESCO Chairs; and elaborating, on the basis of the experience gained, a set of wise practices for application in different contexts.
Launched in 1996, the Coastal regions and small islands project has achieved integrated intersectoral action involving natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication. Over 20 intersectoral pilot projects have been established in over 50 countries, uniting decision-makers, local communities, cultural heritage experts and scientists. Five UNESCO Chairs have been established to foster interdisciplinary training and capacity-building activities for environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and culturally appropriate development in coastal regions and in small islands. On the basis of the lessons learnt so far in implementing the project, a preliminary set of
wise practices” for sustainable coastal development have been formulated, compiled and widely disseminated.

Strategy. The strategy followed will be fourfold: (i) supporting field-based activities (i.e. pilot projects) that combine tangible frameworks for collaborative action with integrated project goals; (ii) coupling these pilot projects with interdisciplinary UNESCO Chairs in sustainable coastal development to link local field-based action to networks of scientific reflection and research; (iii) stimulating innovative training and capacity-building activities through the UNESCO Chairs; and (iv) further developing and reinforcing “wise practices” and fostering their adaptation for first stage implementation in different regional, national and local contexts. Particular efforts will be made to follow up the priorities under the Focus on the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean initiatives, and under the Programme of Action from Barbados+5, as well as the World Conference on Science recommendations on traditional ecological knowledge.

02236   Results expected at the end of the biennium
  • Intersectoral cooperation in 20 existing pilot projects (in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, as well as in small island developing States in the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Ocean regions) consolidated and extended;
  • In cooperation with the MOST programme and the Culture Sector, a dozen pilot projects tailored to address major UNESCO themes: (i) combating poverty and exclusion/marginalization (e.g. projects in the Caribbean [including Haiti] and Africa [including the Mediterranean network of small historic coastal cities and Atlantic ocean SIDS]); and (ii) resolving resource-use conflicts through cooperative State-stakeholder management arrangements (e.g. projects in Asia, Pacific and the circumpolar region);
  • Two or three advanced pilot projects transformed into fully integrated development strategies (e.g. on environment, culture and development of the Master Plan for Alexandria);
  • Innovative interdisciplinary training tested through networking and cooperation between eight UNESCO Chairs in sustainable coastal development;
  • Follow-up provided to the PACSICOM process initiated in Maputo (July 1998) by addressing communication-education components that complement IOC's coastal marine science activities and those of regional IGOs (e.g. Secretariat for Eastern African Coastal Area Management; Indian Ocean Commission) and NGOs;
  • Wise practice concepts strengthened and refined via local, regional and global electronic and face-to-face discussions;
  • A research/action agenda established for elaborating protocols for on-site application of wise practices and initial frameworks for related policy development;
  • National agencies, stakeholder groups, coastal resource managers and developers better equipped to address issues of sustainable coastal development through wide dissemination of information via the website, publication series, video clips and radio programmes;
  • Actions on indigenous and local knowledge enhanced in cooperation with MAB, MOST and the Culture Sector (e.g. applications on resource management; articulation with scientific knowledge).
  Introduction    Activities   Publications     word
Wise Practices   Regions   Themes