UNESCO’s Participation Programme is designed to provide direct assistance to initiatives undertaken by Member States in the Organization’s fields of competence, in line with priorities determined by the countries themselves, with proposals submitted via UNESCO National Commissions. The funds are modest (up to a maximum of US$26,000 granted for national project requests, with about six projects per country in each biennium, and up to US$46,000 for regional submissions). But UNESCO is not a funding agency. And support at these sorts of level may often be easier to assimilate than higher orders of financial contribution.
As an ensemble, Participation Programme projects touch on many of the technical fields and areas of concern addressed in the Mauritius Strategy. Among the recent projects related to ‘Science and technology’ are the following.*
Bahrain. Building up an environmental data base at the Environmental Research Centre at the University of Bahrain.
Barbados. Coral reef monitoring and management training: youth within coastal communities. Characterization of secondary metabolites from marine corals found in Barbadian waters. Database and on-line resources of the Flora of the Eastern Caribbean.
Cape Verde. Support to participation of secondary school students in Mathematics Olympiad. Computers for the Department of Educational Sciences of Higher Education Institute. Exchange visits between Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau for developing UNESCO/IUPAC project on microscience experiments.
Comoros. Littoral protection of Grande Comore, including support to involvement of local populations. Travelling exhibit on natural and cultural heritage of Comoros.
Cook Islands. 'Sandwatch' programme for schools.
Cuba. International conference on science and technology for development (Havana).
Cyprus. Evaluation and revision of mathematics textbooks, including seminars for elementary school teachers.
Dominican Republic. Regional meeting of schoolchildren and teachers taking part in the intersectoral project 'Sandwatch'. Accessing scientific information for coastal-marine studies.
Fiji. Experimental mathematical and information technology skills workshop (Capacity building project for science teachers).
Grenada. Development of Duquesne beach and surrounding heritage site. Enhancing the delivery of electricity/electronics curriculum in secondary schools. Building interest, enthusiasm, appreciation and understanding of science and technology in pupils.
Haiti. Capacity-building in tertiary studies in the human and social sciences.
Jamaica. School-based waste-water treatment systems for sustainable science and technology application.
Maldives. Basic equipment and chemicals for the teaching of science. Advisory services for creating interactive science centre. Development of microalgal culture laboratory.
Malta. Sand dunes habitat protection. Setting up a marine biology course on a pilot basis within the University of Malta.
Niue. Research on pollution vulnerability of Alofi Bay (including sources, indicators, tools, measurements). Assessment of Niue groundwater systems. Enhancing disaster preparedness.
Palau. Establishing the Palau Herbarium.
Papua New Guinea. National public awareness workshops on marine resource preservation and rehabilitation.
St Kitts & Nevis. Helping young people to appreciate and understand the fundamentals of science and its impact on society. Mathematics summer camp for primary school pupils. Science and technology popularization network ('Popnet').
St Lucia. Joint Schools Science Fair and Industry Exhibition.
St Vincent & the Grenadines. Promoting science in primary schools through the provision of basic science equipment.
Seychelles. National policy for science, technology and innovation.
Solomon Islands. Water resources assessment for water supply, sanitation and renewable energy development.
Tonga. Natural disaster preparedness and prevention for primary school children. Travelling science exhibition. Provision of science equipment for Ha’apai High School.
Trinidad & Tobago. Provision of a state-of-the-art telescope and ancilliary equipment for the Trinidad & Tobago Astronomical Society. Assessing the human watershed aquifer system through establishing an experimental catchment. Travelling science exhibition on natural disasters.
Tuvalu. Research documentation on ecological knowledge, Funafuti.
* Information culled from lists of approved Participation Programme projects in documents prepared for various sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board, such as the 171th session in April 2005 (document 171 EX/34) and the 177th session in October 2007 (177/EX/56).