16.10.2018 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UPCOMING EVENT: Bioethics and Sustainability Science in Action to Stop Haze Pollution: UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Academy

Haze in China Town, Singapore (2013)

8-10 November 2018, Riau Province, Indonesia


UNESCO’s MOST Academy will bring together researchers, policymakers, and community based organization to focus on finding evidence-informed, human rights-based and sustainable solutions to haze pollution. The event will be held in Riau province – one of the hardest hit regions of Indonesia from this socio-environmental disaster (8th to 10th November 2018).

Every year people suffer from the effects of haze pollution resulting from peatland, forest, and plantation fires in various parts of Indonesia, especially in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Besides the grave threats to human health that extends to the populations of Singapore and Malaysia, the exposure to haze pollution harms living resources, fragile ecosystems, as well as material property, leading to the violation of fundamental human rights to life and health, and a considerable financial loss for the governments.

To better understand the cultural, social and environmental aspects of transboundary haze, UNESCO has launched a project on Seeking Solutions to Haze Pollution from Sustainability Science and Bioethical Perspectives. Funded by the Malaysian Funds-in-Trust, the project is implemented in three consecutive phases:

Phase I: Five institutions conducted researches on various ethical, societal and cultural aspects of haze to generate recommendations for all parts of society that have a stake in this issue – the governments, the private sector, and the civil society.

Phase II: Forum of National Bioethics Committees on Transboundary Haze Pollution (Jakarta, Indonesia, 6-7 December 2017) highlighted the outcomes of the multifaceted researches, using the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights and the Declaration on Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change to frame the debate on haze pollution as an ethical and human rights issue.

Phase III: In 2018, UNESCO and its partner institutions designed and implemented pilot models based on the knowledge generated in the earlier phases, to address the socio-environmental aspects of haze within the affected communities in six different villages of Indonesia. In partnership with Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Palangka Raya and Bogor Agricultural University, the activities directly engaged the local stakeholders, including community representatives, businesses, and governments, to promote sustainable practices based on ethical principles and local knowledge.

The MOST Academy: Bioethics and Sustainability Science in Action to Stop Haze Pollution brings together the knowledge and experiences gained through these pilot projects. On the first two days of the Academy, the participants will engage in intensive exchange of experiences, lessons learned, and evidence gathered in the course of the implementation of applied sustainability science projects. The last day of the Course will focus on the field visit to one of the villages in Riau province that benefited from the pilot project. The participants will have a chance to interact with the local community and observe the transformations taking place on the site.

For the Programme of MOST Academy (Draft), please click here.

Contact Person: Irakli Khodeli (i.khodeli(at)unesco.org)

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