16.05.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

UNESCO - a key scientific partner in bringing the power of science to the post Rio+20 agenda for sustainable development

© ICSU Opening of the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, 11 June 2012

Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development.

11 to 15 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

UNESCO is joining the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and other partners in a major five-day Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development which is being held just prior to the Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro. The Forum provides a platform for the science, technology and innovation community to discuss sustainable development challenges and solutions with policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Participants are exploring the key role of interdisciplinary science and innovation in the transition to sustainable development, a green economy and poverty eradication. The aim is to help establish the research, technology and policy agendas that will be needed after Rio+20. The work of the Forum is informed by five regional workshops held in 2011 (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the Arab States) and the conclusions of the Planet under Pressure Conference held in London in March 2012.

Scientific evidence shows that humanity has put the functioning of the Earth system at risk. Current development paradigms and economic patterns are responsible for many of the interlinked and growing social, environmental and economic crises facing the planet. A strong interdisciplinary science base will be key to integrated decision-making for sustainable development. All disciplines across the sciences and engineering and including the social sciences have a crucial role to play to respond to the multi-faceted challenge of sustainable development. Science needs to renew its contract with society, enhancing collaboration between scientists, governments, policy-makers and civil society to produce the knowledge, solutions and technologies that are needed to build the future green societies in a time of rapid environmental and social change.

UNESCO is co-convening four sessions on:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission will give a keynote address at the climate and other environmental sessions and also organize a side event entitled ‘Oceans in Focus: Science and Governance for Global Sustainability’. Other side events organized by UNESCO cover the areas of water resources, young women in science for sustainable development, and engineering for sustainable development. The Future Earth project in which UNESCO is a partner will be launched at a side event during the Forum.

The programme consists of thematic sessions focused on in-depth exploration of key topics. The Forum is organised by ICSU, in partnership with UNESCO, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
It will be held at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC-Rio), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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