26.10.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Youth discuss the role of Science in promoting Green Societies

© UNESCO/Mateo Gallego

On Thursday 19 October 2011, during the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum, Youth Delegates from all over the world voiced their opinions on UNESCO’s role in the promotion of Green Societies and sustainable development.

The Parallel Session was organized with the aim of getting feedback from the youth on issues they think should be highlighted at the Rio+20 Summit next year. A number of Youth Delegates took the floor pointing out issues –such as green jobs, desertification in Africa, climate change and water resources management in Small Island Developing States, natural disaster risk reduction and mitigation, science governance and science education– that are important to them and should be considered as priority issues during the organization’s preparations for the Rio+20 summit. During the session, other delegates also shared local examples which contributed to the promotion of green societies in their countries.

The session consisted of two panels, the first consisting of Young Professionals from the Natural Sciences Sector while the second mostly comprised UNESCO partners. These included Mr. Walter Staveloz, Director of the International Relations Association of Science-Technology Centres in Washington DC, and Mr Owen Gaffney, Director of communications, International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden. Other participating organizations included UNEP, FAO and UNFCC. There was also an online discussion prior to the parallel session that allowed youth who were unable to attend the event to share their views on the subject. The results of this discussion were also shared with the participants of the parallel session.

The recommendations of the discussion will be presented to the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011.

The session was co-sponsored by the musée du quai Branly, which generously provided free entrance to the museum for 50 youth delegates that participated in the discussion. This serves as a part of the Museum’s commitment to the promotion of sustainable development.

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