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UNESCO Implementing Mauritius Strategy


 1.  Climate change
 2.  Natural disasters
 3.  Waste Management
 4.  Coastal & marine resources
 5.  Freshwater resources
 6.  Land resources
 7.  Energy resources
 8.  Tourism resources
 9.  Biodiversity resources
10. Transport & communication
11. Science & technology
12. Graduation from LDC status
13. Trade
14. Capacity building & ESD
15. Production & consumption
16. Enabling environments
17. Health
18. Knowledge management
19. Culture
20. Implementation
UNESCO at Mauritius '05
Contributions & events
From Barbados'94 to Mauritius'05
UNESCO involvement
Related information






Institutional capacities

In many of the domains flagged on this web-site, a priority dimension in UNESCO’s work is that of helping its member states in building-up capacities in fields related to sustainable development. A wide range of subjects and approaches are encompassed, as illustrated through a sampling of recent and ongoing activities accessible elsewhere on the web-site.

Some activities are organized and managed at a regional or sub-regional level, very often as joint operations with specialized regional bodies. Examples in the Caribbean include work on capacity building in such fields as basic and distance education, beach management, natural disaster reduction, emergency broadcasting, and community multimedia centres. Examples from the Pacific include capacity building in renewable energy and biodiversity conservation.

Other projects for reinforcing institutional capacities are organized on a country-by-country basis, within the broader substantive and logistic frameworks provided by UNESCO’s international programmes in various fields. Examples of such national projects include those on setting-up a system of educational radio on the nine inhabited islands of Cape Verde, upgrading television production capability in the Cook Islands, country-based technical assistance for strengthening governmental education statistics sections in Granada and six other Caribbean countries, developing capacity for coral reef monitoring in the Maldives, introducing microscience experiments in pilot schools in Mauritius.

In field activities such as these, capacity-building in a particular field is firmly placed within a broader institutional context, emphasizing partnership activities at the interface of two or more sectors or institutional responsibilities. This seeking of intersectoral connections and cooperation is somewhat analogous to the importance of the inter-relatedness between the five WEHAB thematic areas (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture, and Biodiversity and ecosystem management) proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as a contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). It is also consistent with the emphasis of the Johannesburg Summit on developing innovative partnerships of various kinds.

From its side, UNESCO has a number of mechanisms and structures designed to promote institutional cooperation, in terms of the planning and implementation of its own programmes and projects, approved and funded by its Member States, including collaboration between different bodies at the national level.

The network of UNESCO National Commissions forms the vital link between UNESCO and the intellectual and scientific communities in each country, facilitating the outreach of the Organization to civil society. Of UNESCO's 188 Member States and six Associate Members, 191 have set up National Commissions. Unique in this respect, within the United Nations system, and recognized by their own charter in 1978, the National Commissions represent a special resource for the dissemination of information and best practice in programme support and evaluation. They also organize their own activities, implement activities on behalf of UNESCO and disseminate information about UNESCO, often through publication of books and documents in national languages. In different parts of the world, periodic regional consultations among National Commissions provide a mechanism for enhancing cooperation among countries in UNESCO’s fields of competence. Recent (2003) examples include the ninth consultation of Pacific National Commissions held in Nadi (Fiji) in July, a sub-regional cluster meeting organized by UNESCO-Dar-es-Salaam in August (involving Comores, Mauritius, Seychelles) and a consultation among English-speaking Caribbean island countries held in Kingston (Jamaica) in September.

UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations are groups of people of all ages, who share UNESCO's ideals, seek to make them known and associate themselves with the Organization's work by undertaking activities directly inspired by it. The movement sprang up spontaneously following the foundation of UNESCO, with the first UNESCO Club being established in Sendai (Japan) in July 1947. Today, around 5,000 conduits to civil society, notably youth, are active in more than 87 countries world-wide.

One of the key features of UNESCO’s decentralization strategy is the grouping, or clustering, of Member States with a view to their being served by a global field network of multi-disciplinary cluster offices, national offices, regional bureaux and liaison offices. Offices having a special interest in SIDS include those for the Pacific (Apia) and the Caribbean (Kingston).

In line with Article XI of its constitution, UNESCO has built-up over the years a valuable network of cooperative arrangements in its fields of competence with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Given that UNESCO is not a funding institution these relations are essentially of an intellectual nature. At present, some 350 NGOs have consultative status with the Organization, with the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee providing a mechanism for mobilizing the NGO community for the preparation of major international conferences and for collaborative activities of various kinds (e.g. in the field of education for sustainable development).

The environmental and development crisis is above all a crisis of institutions, both international and national. For over a century, culture, the educational system, trades as a whole, have all been based on a compartmentalization of knowledge and activities...Every time an attempt is made to break down institutional barriers – whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental – it runs into outdated forms of obstruction... It is of course indispensable to know each field of activity in depth, but problems of environment and development will never be solved by a single discipline...Given that it is impossible to have generalists capable of solving all the problems, why not have specialists who, besides having one main disciplinary root, would also have lateral roots, just as plants have central tap-roots and lateral roots that interact with the roots of other plants for mutual cross fertilization?... In this way, competition would be replaced by tolerance and mutual respect,...

Francesco di Castri, sometime Co-ordinator of UNESCO’s environment programmes, in an interview in the UNESCO Courier of September 1992.

Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN): South Asia Node
Five-year project funded by UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) and executed by IOC, in India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, focusing on the development of capacity among national and regional counterparts to develop and implement coral reef monitoring and management programmes. >> More

Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC)
One of core science projects of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). Research agenda centres on the role of social institutions in determining the nature of human-environment interactions and the outcomes arising from these interactions. Recent studies include that on the sustainable use of national exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the seas of the Asia-Pacific region. >> More

Introducing Microscience Kits to Pilot Schools in Mauritius
In July 2003, the Mauritius National Commission for UNESCO organized a two-day practical training workshop as part of a project to introduce microscience kits to 23 pilot schools and the teacher-in-service training centre in the Mauritius Institute of Education. >> More

Monitoring Beach Changes as an Integral Component of Coastal Management in the Eastern Caribbean
Joint initiative of the Caribbean Development Bank and UNESCO, for institutional strengthening of beach management capabilities in islands belonging to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Turks and Caicos Islands. >> More

UNDP Capacity 2015: Regional Strategy for Small Island Developing States
Capacity 2015 is a global partnership mechanism assisting countries to develop the capacity of their professionals, institutions, and systems to formulate and implement strategies for sustainable development to achieve local, national and international development goals. One of the components of Capacity 2015 is specifically focused on sustainable development challenges in Small Island Developing States. >> More

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Established in 1973, works towards attainment of a viable, internationally competitive and sustainable community of nations in the Caribbean, with improved quality of life for all.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Council of Regional Organizations for the Pacific (CROP)
Network of eight primary regional organizations.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Global Islands Network
Non-profit organization established in June 2002 to conduct and promote culturally appropriate, ecologically sound, economically sustainable and socially equitable development on islands world-wide.
>> More info   >> Go to website

International Scientific Council for Island Development (INSULA)
Non-governmental international organization created in 1989, with the aim of bringing together and mobilizing the skills of those who consider islands and their progress as a shared heritage.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Island Resources Foundation
Private non-profit research and education organization based in US Virgin Islands, dedicated to addressing the environment problems of development in small tropical islands.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Islands and Small States Institute, University of Malta
Based at the Foundation for International Studies, promotes research and training on the economic, social, cultural, ecological and geographical aspects of small states, including sustainability and vulnerability indices.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific (USP)
Set-up in 2001, with the brief to work with all sections of the university, government agencies, regional and international organizations and NGOs, in promoting environmentally sustainable development.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC)
Secretariat of a regional coalition of NGOs for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement (NFIP), grouping 120 affiliate organizations from 33 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Pacific Island Forum
Provides 16 member nations with opportunity to express their joint political views and to cooperate in areas of political and economic concern.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Participatory Planning in the Caribbean
Provides information on conferences, government agencies, NGOs, consultants, academics, references and new books, as well as posting a ‘monthly paper’ (that for June 2003 concerns a proposal for knowledge-based tourism in Montserrat, that for September “Whatever happened to democracy?”).
>> More info   >> Go to website

Partnerships for Sustainable Development in SIDS
Non-negotiated partnerships were an important outcome of the Johannesburg Summit. Of the 250+ partnerships posted by the UN, a score of projects in SIDS address such issues as renewable energy, governance, managing vulnerability and building resilience, reinforcing regional NGOs.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Broadly-based regional agency working with 22 independent and associated island territories in providing technical, research and management assistance.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Forty-one states and territories are included in the list used by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in monitoring progress in implementing the Barbados Programme of Action.
>> More info   >> Go to website

Small Island Developing States Network
The Global Network for the Barbados Programme of Action.
>> More info   >> Go to website

South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC)
Intergovernmental agency serving 16 island member states in the fields of hydrology, geology, disaster management, ocean science, and related domains.
>> More info   >> Go to website

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Established in 1982 within the Regional Seas Programme of UNEP, became an autonomous intergovernmental organization in 1993.
>> More info   >> Go to website

UN Division of Sustainable Development --Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Web-page on SIDS by the United Nations focal point for the lead-up to the 2004 Mauritius meeting.
>> More info   >> Go to website

UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme
Promotes regional cooperation for the protection and development of the environment in the wider Caribbean region, and services a clearing house for marine-coastal environmental data and information in the region.
>> More info   >> Go to website

UNESCO Unit for Relations with Small Member States
Established in July 1990, with the mandate of contributing to a general policy and a global approach for the specific needs of the Organization’s small Member States.
>> More info   >> Go to website

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Activities in Marine and Coastal Areas
Provides access to UNEP’s Regional Seas’ Action Plans and Conventions.
>> More info   >> Go to website

University of the South Pacific (USP)
Established in 1968, with 12 member countries, premier provider of tertiary education in the Pacific, and an international centre of excellence for teaching and research on all aspects of Pacific culture and environment.
>> More info   >> Go to website

University of the West Indies (UWI)
Autonomous regional organization supported by and serving 15 countries in the West Indies, with three main campuses: Mona (Jamaica), Cave Hill (Barbados), St Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago).
>> More info   >> Go to website

World Bank and Small States
Web-site on 45 developing countries with a population of 1.5 million or less, of which 41 are members of the World Bank.
>> More info   >> Go to website






NGOs and the WiCOP Forum

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