the PDF version
Contact for subscription:
S. Schneegans, Editor
p 2 - UNESCO and Johannesburg
p 6 - Member States celebrate first World Science Day
p 7 - Door opens for SESAME
p 8 - CUBES seals partnership between UNESCO and Columbia
p 9 - Steep increase for women in science prize money
p 9 - A strong voice for small islands
p 9 - UNESCO Chair launched in sciences
p 10 - Maciej Nalecz talks about plans for an international
basic sciences programme
p 12 - Where have all the beaches gone?
p 15 - Large-scale cultivation protects Himalayan biodiversity
p 20 - Diary
p 20 - New releases
p 20 - Governing bodies
house is burning’
World of Science is being launched as part of the new communication
strategy of the Sector of Natural Sciences of UNESCO. The
aim of this quarterly newsletter is to keep UNESCO’s concerns
in the public eye and at the centre of public debate by making
information easily available and attractive reading. It is
my hope that this will provide a new service for all those
who follow with interest developments in UNESCO’s science
innovations in communication include the UNESCO science portal
1 and more specific portals, such as those on water 2 and
being available on the web, A World of Science is being despatched
to depository libraries around the world, to government ministries,
to the 188 National Commissions for UNESCO and to UNESCO’s
partners in the intergovernmental and non-governmental communities.
first issue of A World of Science is published in the wake
of the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg,
South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September.
‘Our house is burning and we are looking the other way’, French
President Jacques Chirac chided in his address to the Summit.
Chilling but fitting words. Indeed, in the ten years since
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro first adopted the conventions on
climate change and biodiversity, the state of the planet has
deteriorated dramatically: according to a recent BBC news
report, in 1999 the human economy was absorbing 120% of the
Earth's productive capacity. National delegations to the Summit
had before them the arduous – but essential – task of erecting
the three pillars of sustainable development (social, economic
and environmental) in a 153-point Plan of Implementation.
is my belief that the Summit has succeeded in instilling a
sense of urgency in the most complacent of minds. To those
who contend that the Plan of Implementation lacks A teeth,
I would draw their attention to a number of ambitious targets
agreed upon by governments. Timetables have been fixed, for
example, for reducing biodiversity loss and for halving the
proportion of those deprived access to water and sanitation,
focal areas for UNESCO’s science programmes. The recommendation
of a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development also
has far-reaching repercussions for UNESCO. The lead story
in this issue overviews UNESCO’s contribution to the Summit
and examines the implications of the outcome for UNESCO. Only
time will tell whether there has been a real, ‘sustainable’
awakening to the threats posed by growing poverty and galloping
environmental degradation to our planet’s future.
time will tell whether the participants in the Summit heard
the warning from one young orator that ‘we don’t have another
planet to move to’.
A World of Science goes to press, the USA has just
announced its return to UNESCO after an absence of 18 years.
I look forward to extending a warm welcome to our American
partners and to seeing the enormous scientific resources of
the USA – a country which alone contributes over one-third
of the world's effort in research and development – play a
full and active part in UNESCO’s science programme.
but not least, my best wishes for World Science Day for Peace
and Development – being celebrated for the first time on 10
Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences