Ecological and Earth Sciences
UNESCO has two global means of protecting natural sites and dealing with environmental issues; the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, with at its core the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and the World Heritage Convention.
There are currently 610 Biosphere Reserves in 117 countries worldwide. The World Heritage List holds 188 Natural World Heritages and 29 mixed natural and cultural properties.
Environmental Sciences approach to sustainable development is characterized by long-term commitments to site conservation, development of broad-based partnerships and interdisciplinary cooperation, enhanced exchange of scientific knowledge and information, and building a strong relationship with local peoples, especially in natural World Heritage and Biosphere Reserves properties. Part of the work concerns tropical rainforest conservation and some of the recent projects include protected area governance, orangutan protection and habitat conservation, participatory management of natural resources, ecosystem restoration, ecotourism development, community development and the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
UNESCO Office, Jakarta has also been working on broader environmental issues such as eco-disasters, climate change, desertification, island ecosystems, the linkages between biological and cultural diversity and other topics relevant to the Asia and the Pacific region.
The activities of Environmental Sciences of UNESCO Jakarta have moreover demonstrated the relevance of UNESCO’s programmes in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals in the region, particularly MDG 7 - "Ensure environmental sustainability".
Past and present projects
- Sustainable Tourism in South Nias, North Sumatra, Indonesia.
- Heritage Tourism in Nusa Tenggara Timor Province, Indonesia: Contributing to the Millenium Goals.
- Biosphere Reserves for Environmental and Economic Security (BREES).
- 6th South East Asia BR Network Biannual Meeting.
- Adaptive and Carbon Financed Forest Management in the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), Indonesia.
- Saving the Heritage of Gunung Leuser National Park.
- Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Siberut Island.
- Improve the management of conservation of the tropical forests of Timor Leste.
- Promoting Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation at Mount Isarog Natural Park, Philippines.
- Contributing to the integrity of Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) in response to the inscription on the In Danger List in 2011.
- Enhancing livelihoods and increasing community resilience to climate change through community learning centres, improved awareness and communication in the Ex-PLG area: REDD+ in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia.
For more information about People, Biodiversity and Ecology Unit programme and activities in the Asia and the Pacific, please contact:
Mr. Shahbaz Khan
Deputy Director and Senior Science Program Specialist