Biodiversity research, monitoring and management

© UNESCO/Dominique Roger
National Centre for Oceanographic Research , deep-sea divers, ocean preservation, scientific research, IOC

The acquisition of environmental knowledge and information is done through research; monitoring and observation. In addition modelling environmental change and the development of scenarios have become key in understanding and supporting the decision-making processes. UNESCO is involved in environmental research, modelling, and managing programmes, frameworks and systems that facilitate national and international cooperation in this area.

UNESCO promotes the participation of its Member States and scientists in international biodiversity monitoring programmes and global observing systems that focus on parameters and processes with an impact on biodiversity. In particular, UNESCO jointly with WMO, UNEP and FAO and ICSU, have established the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) coordinated by UNESCO-IOC and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) coordinated by FAO.

UNESCO one of the founders and co-sponsor of the international research programme DIVERSITAS and of the Ecosystem Change & Society (PECS) programme. Both of these programmes provide an international multi-disciplinary research framework to address the complex scientific questions posed by the loss and change in biodiversity.

UNESCO is also directly involved in environmental research and management through its Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB) and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The UNESCO-MAB biosphere reserves are ideal learning site for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. UNESCO is also bringing space technologies to developing countries through its partnership with space partners to improve the monitoring, documentation and protection of their biodiversity.


UNESCO participates in several international projects and networks, including the Local Science Network for Environment and Sustainability.

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