UNESCO's overarching objective in the Natural Sciences Sector is to mobilize science knowledge and policy for sustainable development.
In UNESCO Dakar, activities focus on four areas:
Development of water policies in the Sahel region
The chronic depopulation of communities in the Sahel Region due to drought, conflicts, and other natural disasters requires more collaboration and assistance regarding policy and innovative approaches for the management of water. Under the UN Sahel Strategy, the Dakar Office heads the sub-component on water management (surface/underground). We also support Sahel region experts to attend international meetings and trainings to ensure that they have the required knowledge and competencies to address national issues regarding water policies.
Development of ICT-based Geology Open Online Courses
A new initiative lead by UNESCO Dakar will provide online instruction to augment materials available to teachers of geology and other geoscience courses in West African universities. The project entitled GEOLOOC-WA aims to provide quality graduate-level courses that reflect the latest state of the art in science, applied to and drawn from the specific geological problems found in the sub-region.
Man and Biosphere
UNESCO contributes to enhancing the work of AfriMAB in the management of biosphere reserves in Africa. AfriMAB members in the countries covered by the UNESCO Office are supported in achieving the goals and recommendations agreed upon at the Accra MaB General Assembly of 2013. UNESCO Dakar also supports the revision and updating of management plans for biosphere reserves in the Sahel region as part of its contribution towards achieving the goals and objectives of the Accra Recommendations and the updated Madrid Action Plans. Recently, a Management Manual was launched to engage stakeholders and communities in African Biosphere Reserves.
Innovative Case Studies
UNESCO Dakar is directly involved in the support of innovative enterprises in West Africa. As a result, 13 case studies covering projects in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde and Senegal, have recently been published. The studies analyze a diverse range of industries with different degrees of technological and non-technological product and process innovation. They offer a closer look to real market realities and contexts in the management of entrepreneurship and innovation in the selected countries.