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What is Sustainable Development?

Background & Preparations
UNESCO at Johannesburg
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UNESCO's Priorities
Educating for Sustainability
Scientific Dimensions
Ethical Principles
Cultural Dimensions
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Some Action Themes
Biological Diversity
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Home > Sustainable Development - Updated: 08-09-2004 10:44 am
The World Summit on Sustainable Development took place in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September.  
UNESCO was involved in a number of parallel events, side-events and partnership initiatives associated with the World Summit.

The Organization has long been concerned with activities related to sustainable development, contribution to many of the streams of action generated by the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992.

UNESCO's contribution to the World Summit built on its mandate in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, and on key documents and events such as the UNESCO Medium Term Strategy for 2002-2007, a resolution of the UNESCO General Conference on the Johannesburg Summit, the UN Millennium Declaration, the World Conference on Higher Education, the Dakar 'Education for All' Forum, the World Conference on Science in Budapest, the World Conference on Culture and Development in Stockholm. more

Photo:© Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Earth from above/UNESCO

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No sustainable development without education - (UNESCOPRESS)
02-09-2002 10:00 pm Johannesburg – A new vision of education for sustainable development was outlined yesterday by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, President Gustavo Noboa of Ecuador, President Natsagiin Bagabandi of Mongolia and Education Minister Kader Asmal of South Africa, at a major symposium during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. More

Water is not just a commodity, but a common public good, says UNESCO - (UNESCOPRESS)
29-08-2002 10:00 pm Johannesburg/Paris, August 30 - Preliminary results of the most extensive United Nations undertaking to assess the world’s freshwater resources will be presented on September 3 at the Water Dome (2p.m. to 4.30p.m., rooms 3 and 4) during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. More

UNESCO launches the world's largest encyclopedia on sustainable developpement - (UNESCO Press)
28-08-2002 10:00 pm Johannesburg/Paris-UNESCO will launch the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia ever published on sustainable development on September 3, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. More

Libraries and Sustainable Development - (UNESCO/CI)
28-08-2002 10:00 pm As negotiations on the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg continue, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) asserts that library and information services promote sustainable development by ensuring freedom of access to information. More

Cultural diversity essential for sustainable development, maintains UNESCO - (UNESCOPRESS)
27-08-2002 10:00 pm Johannesburg/Paris – How can we alleviate poverty while promoting cultural and biological diversity? What political and legal measures need to be taken at the national and international levels to promote cultural diversity and protect biodiversity? More

Education for Sustainable Development - (UNESCOPRESS)
26-08-2002 10:00 pm Paris/Johannesburg, August 27 - For sustainable development to become a reality, people everywhere must learn to think and act differently. More

What's the use of Ocean Science? - (UNESCOPRESS)
22-08-2002 10:00 pm Although they hit the headlines, flood, drought and famine are often the results of natural, regular and probably predictable cycles lasting a decade or so. They are infrequent, but not unusual – as are the years of plenty that do not make the front page. More

UNESCO Promotes Cultural Diversity and Education at World Summit on Sustainable Development - (UNESCOPRESS)
21-08-2002 10:00 pm New trade and environmental agreements alone won't alleviate poverty and unbridled consumption, which are wreaking ecological havoc and deepening economic inequalities the world over. More

United Nations Atlas of the Oceans@ - (UNESCO)
04-06-2002 10:00 pm 12adelie100w.jpgAs part of activities marking World Environment Day on 5 June 2002, a ceremony at UNESCO House in Paris served to officially launch the UN Atlas of Oceans - an Internet portal containing a wealth of information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans. More

Asia Pacific Gender Equity in Science and Technology (APGEST)@
Linking modern and indigenous knowledge, UNESCO supports specific technologies and local practices that empower women to combat poverty. >> More

Cities, the Environment and Gender Relations@
UNESCO supports action-research projects that are accompanying local initiatives. >> More

Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs)@
Promotes community empowerment and to addresses the digital divide by combining community broadcasting with Internet and related technologies. >> More

Conexiones is a computer educational research project in Colombia developed by the EAFIT University and the Pontificia Bolivariana University in Medellin. >> More

Curriculum theme: women and sustainable development@
UNESCO has developed an online teacher education programme to explore ways in which women are working to promote sustainable development in their communities and how these ideas can be integrated into a teaching programme. >> More

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)@
In collaboration with the "Forum for African Women Educationalists" (FAWE), ESD conducted a study on economic activities and technology needs of women farmers and producers in Machakos, Kenya. >> More

Global Problematique Education Network Initiative (GENIe)@
UNESCO launched the Global Problematique Education Network Initiative, otherwise known as GENIe, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland (Ohio, USA). >> More

International Central-Asian Environmental Chair – Center of UNESCO Irkutsk Scientific Center RAS, Irkutsk, Russia@
This chair is established within the Irkutsk Scientific Center RAS, and involved in international programmes and contribution to an effective development of the network of Chairs in the universities of Eastern Siberia and abroad. >> More

Special Project on Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education of Girls in Africa@
UNESCO is developing gender-sensitive teaching material to overcome the barriers to girls' access to and successful completion of scientific, technical and vocational education. >> More

A number of UNESCO programmes and units have been involved in the lead-up to Johannesburg, in discussing and negotiating partnership arrangements with other bodies with shared concerns and intentions. >> More

UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Teacher Education towards Sustainability,@
The purpose of this Chair is to take leadership in developing an international pilot network among existing teacher training institutions, based in part on the results of the UNESCO workshop held in Thessaloniki, Greece, in December 1997. >> More

United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI)@
UNESCO provides strategic guidelines for Member States on how to strengthen national policies and programmes to ensure women's and girls' right to education. >> More

Women and Gender in Science@
UNESCO seeks to create an enabling policy environment for gender equity in science and technology. >> More

Women in the Media@
UNESCO provides training and technical support for radio programme production to women running community radio stations; radio being a powerful tool for giving voice to women in developing countries and fostering participatory democracies. >> More

World Water Assessment@
UN-wide assessment of freshwater resources is underway, which will culminate in the publication of the first World Water Development Report in early 2003. >> More

Youth, Sustainable Consumption and Lifestyles@
In a joint project , UNESCO and UNEP seek to gain better understanding of young people’s consumption patterns and to work with them in promoting more sustainable consumption patterns for the future. >> More

What is sustainable development ? - by UNESCO
01/06/2002 -The term 'sustainable development' was popularised by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in its 1987 report entitled Our Common Future.More

Sustainable Human Development - by UNESCO
01/06/2002 -Since the Earth Summit, sustainable development has been a key theme as a series of United Nations conferences discussing pathways to development.More

Thinking about the Future - by UNESCO
01/06/2002 -No one knows what the future will be, except that it will be very different from what life is today and that decisions about whether the future is a sustainable one or not will depend upon changes in human culture.More

Thinking about Forever - by UNESCO
01/06/2002 -Underlying all our images of a sustainable future is the key principle that sustainability is about 'thinking about forever'.More

A Dynamic Balance - by UNESCO
01/06/2002 -The dynamic balance between cultural differences and this emerging global ethic is a key concept in educating for a sustainable future.More

Why link Gender And Sustainable Development ? - by UNESCO BSP/WGE
Nenek50.jpg14/08/2002 -Sustainable development must be for all, men and women alike.More

UNESCO Events at the World Summit on Sustainable Development@ (Johannesburg; 25-08-2002 10:00 pm - 03-09-2002 10:00 pm )
From 26 August to 4 September 2002 Synoptic calendar More

Educating for a sustainable future: action, commitments and partnerships@ (Summer Place, (located in Zone 1) - Johannesburg; 01-09-2002 10:00 pm - 02-09-2002 10:00 pm )
Parallel Event to the World Summit on Sustainable Development Organized by UNESCO and the South African Ministry of Education More

A short history of UNESCO's culture and development agenda
From early work on intercultural dialogue as a key strategy for peace building to the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and its emphasis on culture as a full-fledged resource for development.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) - UNESCO
Launched in 1953, ASPnet promotes the ideals of UNESCO through a worldwide network which includes over 6,700 educational institutions ranging from pre-school education to teacher training in 166 countries.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Biodiversity Observations on the Internet (BIO)
Fledgling global platform of biodiversity observations on the Internet, launched at an international workshop held in Bonn in December 2000.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Biosphere Reserves and More Responsible Tourism
Testing improved approaches to tourism development is a key activity at many of the sites in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (currently, 408 sites in 94 counties) within the MAB Programme.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Biosphere Reserves: Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves (currently, 408 sites in 94 countries) embodies a practical approach to one of the most important questions the world faces today: How can we reconcile conservation of biodiversity and biological resources with their sustainable use?
>> More info   >> Go to website

BRIM (Biosphere Reserve Integrated Monitoring)
MABFlora and MABFauna databases are among the products of BRIM, which provides a framework for abiotic, biodiversity, socio-economic and integrated monitoring in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI)
CSI serves as a platform for environmentally sound, socially equitable, culturally respectful and economically viable development in coastal regions and small islands.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs)
Promotes community empowerment and addresses the digital divide by combining community broadcasting with Internet and related technologies.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Conservation International (CI)
Washington D.C. based non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of natural ecosystems and the species they contain. For several years, UNESCO and CI have been co-operating in promoting the biosphere reserve concept.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The aims of the CBD are ‘the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources’.
>> More info   >> Go to website

CSI Web-based Forum on Wise Coastal Practices
Tourism is one of the topics addressed in a web-based forum operated by the platform on Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI).
>> More info   >> Go to website

Cultural Tourism
Helping countries and communities to devise strategies for the long-term preservation of the cultural heritage
>> More info   >> Go to website

Culture, Women and Gender Equality
Web-site within UNESCO’s Culture Sector provides entries to reference sources.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Collaborative research programme set up in 1991 to promote and catalyse knowledge about biodiversity, including its origins, composition, ecosystem functioning, maintenance and conservation.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Earth Sciences and International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP)
Ongoing work includes collaborative studies on such topics as landslide hazard assessment and cultural heritage.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems and contiguous land areas forms part of the research agenda of work on ecohydrology within the International Hydrological Programme (IHP).
>> More info   >> Go to website

Educating for Sustainable Development (ESD) transdisciplinary project - UNESCO
Set-up in 1994 on an experimental intersectoral basis, as the principal mechanism within UNESCO to follow up the recommendations concerning education made by the major UN conferences of the 1990s and related international conventions.
>> More info   >> Go to website

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