UNESCO, through its bioethics programmes, aims to accelerate the debate on environmental ethics regarding biodiversity.

Bioethics Programme

This Programme addresses the ethical, legal and social concerns stemming from advances in the life sciences, particularly progress in a context of ethical reflection rooted in the cultural, legal, philosophical and religious heritage of the various human communities. UNESCO tries to involve all countries in this international and transcultural debate.

Global Ethics Observatory (Geobs)

The observatory is a system of databases with worldwide coverage in bioethics and other areas of applied ethics in science and technology such as environmental ethics, science ethics, and technology ethics. It enables UNESCO to support its Member States' ethics activities.

Access to genetic resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) promotes collaboration for attaining three important global objectives: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of its components; and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the access and utilization of genetic resources and transfer of relevant technologies.

The adoption in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, of a new protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to promote international co-operation with regard to the third objective of the convention, will be promising with respect tor international co-operation on biodiversity policy. This is also of interest to UNESCO biosphere reserves, which aim to protect natural areas, including the genetic resources contained therein.

Back to top