24.10.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Arab scientists call for greater regional co-ordination of research into sustainable development

Research into sustainable development to be better co-ordinated by Arab countries at the regional level

12-14 October has called for research into sustainable development to be better co-ordinated by Arab countries at the regional level. The 40 natural and social scientists and engineers attending the workshop observed that policies established after the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) ‘had largely failed’. The participants also expressed concern that the Rio+20 conference taking place in June next year might focus on the green economy to the detriment of science.

Nazar Hassan from UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab Region was cited by SciDev.net as saying that scientists were ‘calling for a paradigm shift that would have three dimensions: knowledge management in all strategic economic sectors to enable a shift to green technologies; well structured networks that strengthen the links between scientists and science institutions through improved governance; and socio-economic research towards better understand people and their surrounding environment to allow devising the required modalities of interaction towards a greener economy.

The workshop’s conclusions were presented to the Rio+20 Intergovernmental Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab Region on 16–17 October, which was also held in Egypt . The scientists call upon policy-makers ‘to recognize, support, and facilitate’ the work of scientists in the Arab region and to ‘make better use of their knowledge.’

Read the SciDev.net news item on the meeting

Contact Nasar Hassan in UNESCO's Cairo office




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