Ecological and Earth Sciences

© UNESCO/Jakarta

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

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

s.khan(at)unesco.org

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