28.11.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Working Together: United Nations Climate Change Conference 2011


Since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC has been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change. It adopts decisions and resolutions that make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention. It also serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission both participate in the Conference of the Parties as observers. They provide input upon request by Member States.

Hence the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2011 (COP17) taking place in Durban, South Africa from 29 November to 9 December is mainly a negotiating forum. But it is also a technical conference and a climate change expert meeting with a range of side events and exhibits, attracting key members from governments, UN Organizations and civil society who professionally deal with climate change on a regular basis.

Side Events were established as a platform for observer organizations to highlight diverse climate change issues at UNFCCC conferences. Side Events are a vital component of the sessions, as they provide opportunities for information dissemination, capacity building, policy discussions and legitimizing global governance. The successful development of Side Events over the last decade has led to high popularity among Parties in recent years. UNESCO will be participating in a wide range of events relating to its domains of action, especially:

  • Migration and the social impacts of climate change
  • Ocean-related issues
  • Water-related issues
  • Education to climate change
  • The gender dimension of climate change

Publications, multimedia products and UNESCO materials relating to the climate change knowledge base will be made available at the UNESCO booth (booth 59), where you can discuss the UNESCO Climate Change Initiative and the broad range of related actions with UNESCO staff.

UNESCO will also be participating in the Durban Green Festival with an exhibition that uses satellite imagery to explain the impacts of climate change on World Heritage sites.


Key dates for UNESCO during COP17:

29 November

  • The Social Sciences in a Changing Climate: Meaningful knowledge that works (side event)

30 November – 10 December

1 December

  • Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS): Climate Information for Sustainable Development (side event)
  • Green technology and China’s climate adaptation: toward a low carbon society (side event and launch of a handbook on climate change adaptation)
  • Explaining climate change to youth: A Prerequisite for Action (side event)

2 december

3 December

5 December

6 December

7 December

8 December

  • Public - Private Partnerships: Promoting inclusive, equitable, and gender-sensitive climate finance (side event)
  • Ocean Acidification: The Other Half of the CO2 Problem

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