International Science Programmes

UNESCO implements its activities in science essentially through its International Science Programmes (ISPs):

In addition to these programmes, a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO carries out a specific mandate on ocean sciences: the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).


In their respective scientific fields, the ISPs work to develop:

  • international cooperation, networking and knowledge-sharing;
  • research and the generation of knowledge;
  • human and institutional capacity;
  • sound policies and governance;
  • educational initiatives;
  • monitoring activities;
  • North-South and South-South cooperation;
  • responses to requests for technical assistance from Member States;
  • awareness on scientific issues among policy-makers and the general public.

The ISPs are supported by extensive networks and have long-standing experience in mobilizing the best available fundamental and applied science in their respective fields to serve UNESCO Member States. The environmental ISPs benefit from the concrete experience gained from the UNESCO designated sites: biosphere reserves, natural sites inscribed on the World Heritage list, and the UNESCO Global Geoparks.    


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