Natural Sciences

©UNESCO Science for Peace and Sustainable Development

Mobilizing Science Knowledge & Policy for Sustainable Development

Leveraging scientific knowledge for the benefit of the environment and the management of natural resources; Fostering policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation; Contributing to disaster preparedness and mitigation

Strategy and Programme

The 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference (in 2013) adopted the Medium-Term Strategy for 2014 to 2021 (Document 37 C/4) which sets out the strategic vision and programmatic framework for UNESCO’s action for this period. The two overarching priorities remain for this eight years: Africa and gender equality.

The two overarching objectives for the Organisation are:

  • Peace: contributing to lasting peace; and
  • Equitable and sustainable development: contributing to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

While there are two strategic objectives relevant for the natural sciences:

  • SO 4: Strengthening science, technology and innovation systems and policies - nationally, regionally and globally;
  • SO 5: Promoting international scientific cooperation on critical challenges to sustainable development.

The Programme and Budget for Natural Sciences for the quadrennium 2014-2017 (Document 37 C/5) will be implemented within the framework of the Medium Term Strategy.


Implementation of the natural sciences activities within the context of UNESCO's strategic planning and results-based management and result-based budgeting are grouped under six Main Lines of Action:

  • MLA 1: Strengthening STI policies, governance and the science-policy-society interface;
  • MLA 2: Building institutional capacities in science and engineering;
  • MLA 3: Promoting knowledge and capacity for protecting and sustainably managing the ocean and coasts;
  • MLA 4: Fostering international science collaboration for earth systems, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction;
  • MLA 5: Strengthening the role of ecological sciences and biosphere reserves;
  • MLA 6: Strengthening freshwater security.
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