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What is Sustainable Development?

Background & Preparations
UNESCO at Johannesburg
Alliances & Partnerships

UNESCO's Priorities
Educating for Sustainability
Scientific Dimensions
Ethical Principles
Cultural Dimensions
Media and ICTs

Some Action Themes
Biological Diversity
Fresh Water
Local and indigenous knowledge



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Home > UNESCO's contribution - Updated: 09-01-2003 6:22 pm
UNESCO’s contribution to the Johannesburg debate emphasizes that human security and poverty alleviation are inconceivable without sustainable development.  

This requires that environmental, social and cultural as well as economic aspects of sustainable development be taken together, and that the interactions and interfaces between them be better understood.

Activities relating to sustainable development are found in many parts of UNESCO’s programme, and it is possible to group these activities in several different ways. In this website, activities are presented under five main thematic headings:

  • Educating for sustainability, including both formal and non-formal education, alternative delivery systems to reachthe unreached, and training and capacity-building in fields related to sustainable development.

  • Science for sustainable development, including the promotion of multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches involving the natural as well as social and human sciences to the wise use of natural resources and to the improved understanding of human-environment relationships.

  • Ethical principles and guidelines for sustainable development, including the promotion of principles, policies and ethical norms to guide scientific and technological development that is sustainable.

  • Integrating culture, cultural diversity and the world heritage as key dimensions in activities aimed at sustainable development.

  • Contributing to sustainable development through the media and information and communication technologies (ICTs).

In providing an entry to information on these different subjects and thematic areas, this web site will be further developed in the coming weeks, including a gradual broadening of linkages with relevant web sites held by collaborating institutions of various types (governmental, non-governmental, private) at various levels (national, regional, international). New entries will also be prepared on UNESCO work related to sustainable development in more specific cross-cutting fields, additional to the existing entries (tourism, biological diversity, ...).

Environment and Development - World Conference on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, 2002
>> More info   >> Go to website

Education for Sustainability - From Rio to Johannesburg: Lessons learnt from a decade of commitment - by UNESCO Education Sector
A report on the lessons learnt about the contribution of education to sustainable development over the decade between the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). More

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