Water and Environmental Sciences

© UNESCO/Jakarta

UNESCO Office Jakarta’s Water and Environmental Sciences programme links UNESCO’s intergovernmental programmes and initiatives under the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Man and the Biosphere programme, International Geosciences and Geoparks programme (IGGP) as well as a number of cross-cutting thematic initiatives in support of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals across Asia and the Pacific.

Water Sciences

The UNESCO Office, Jakarta Water Sciences programme is an active member of UNESCO’s Water Family – a global network of institutions and individuals committed to the promoting global water security and the contributions of the hydrological sciences towards the 2030 Agenda. The UNESCO Water Family includes UNESCO Offices around the world, IHP National Committees in member states, water-related UNESCO Category 2 Centres, the World Water Assessment programme as well as water-related UNESCO Chairs and Networks at universities around the world.

The UNESCO Office, Jakarta has coordinated activities on water resources in Asia and the Pacific over the last thirty years in close cooperation with 17 IHP National Committees or Focal Points (Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Island Countries, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam), nominated and established by UNESCO Member States. The National Committees all help to ensure that IHP maintains its multidisciplinary approach and remains responsive to country needs, as their members are drawn from various sectors of society.

The Water Sciences programme promotes integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Asia and the Pacific by providing support for technical projects, cooperative research networks, capacity-building, community-based initiatives, training and non-formal education at national and regional level. Aiming to achieve sustainability in both ecosystems and human populations, as well as to improve Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), UNESCO Office, Jakarta’s activities in ecohydrology support SDG6, with particular reference to targets 6.5 and 6.6. The application of new knowledge and insight emerging from ecohydrological research has the potential to enhance IWRM, allowing policy makers and water managers to improve the resilience of freshwater ecosystems to human impacts. This in turn has the potential to place a stronger focus on water-related ecosystem services and help achieve IWRM goals with minimal engineering inputs and financial investment.

For details of key recent and ongoing projects, please see: Key Projects

For further information on the UNESCO Water Family and UNESCO Office, Jakarta’s Water Sciences Programme, please see:

Past Projects

Environmental Sciences

UNESCO works with three global mechanisms to protect biological and geological diversity and to promote sustainable local development:

There are currently 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries worldwide. The World Heritage List includes 206 Natural World Heritage sites and 35 mixed natural and cultural properties. The UNESCO Global Geoparks network includes  127 sites in 35 countries.

UNESCO’s work in the ecological sciences aims to advance the goals of sustainable development by the:

  • collation and creation of knowledge and its use in the improvement of the sustainability of human-environment interactions and relationships;
  • promotion of innovation in linking ecological knowledge to policies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
  • identification, testing and strengthening of principles and practices that concurrently improve human well-being, minimize biodiversity loss and mitigate and promote adaptation to the consequences of climate change.

Through its environmental sciences programmes, the UNESCO Office, Jakarta contributes towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals by supporting 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 UNESCO-designated sites.

Part of this 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.

Present Projects

Past projects

For more information about the Water and Environmental Sciences programme and its activities in the Asia and the Pacific, please contact:

Mr. Hans Dencker Thulstrup
Senior Programme Specialist

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