Science and technology are critical drivers for achieving sustainable development. Their role is outlined in several major documents, including the 2000 UN Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.
In order to contribute to these system-wide efforts towards the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, the Science Unit of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office has adopted the following strategic objectives:
- To improve understanding of scientific concepts and approaches in the area of natural sciences.
- To identify and disseminate best practices, success stories, indigenous knowledge, and local innovative approaches in natural resource management.
- To build the capacities of local experts and decision makers.
- To create thematic and intersectoral networks among scientists and policy makers.
- To promote equal access to science and technology knowledge and benefits.
Areas of intervention:
- Improving the national response capacities and understanding of processes affecting water dependency (climate change, integrated water resource management in arid zones, urban waters, groundwater, water harvesting, Qanats systems, sedimentation & erosion, groundwater modeling, sources of water pollution).
- Promoting environmental sustainability and the conservation of biodiversity through the world network of biosphere reserves.
- Strengthening human and institutional capacities in science, technology and innovation (science policy formulation, science entrepreneurship, science parks, access to knowledge banks, linkages between universities and industry).
- Mobilizing science and technology for disaster prevention and preparedness.
In Iran, two water-related centers function under the auspices of UNESCO: the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management-Tehran (RCUWM) and the International Centre on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures (ICQHS).