Sciences for Society
- © UNESCO/Georges Malempré
- Woman working on rice field, Celebes Island, Toraja, Indonesia
“Sophisticated knowledge of the natural world is not confined to science. Societies from all regions of the world have developed rich sets of experience, understanding and explanation.” (from brochure of UNESCO’s LINKS programme)
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) today face unprecedented challenges. In many ways, SIDS are suffering from the impacts of global changes that are affecting their livelihoods and increasing their vulnerability. However, local and indigenous societies living in small islands have a record of thriving in challenging times, inventing and refining new and innovative approaches to development, societal mobilization and technological adaptation. The environmental knowledge of local and indigenous peoples is now widely recognized as an essential building block of sustainable development and the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, all of which can be used to build their resilience in facing global changes.
UNESCO recognizes the importance of the role of local and indigenous knowledge for sustainable development in SIDS, which has been reflected in UNESCO’s medium-term strategy (2008-2013) and implemented through its SIDS Platform to implement the Mauritius Strategy for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and the Local and Indigenous Knowledge System (LINKS) programme.
The mandate of the Sciences for Society (SCS) Unit of UNESCO Office, Jakarta is to foster interdisciplinary and intersectoral activities that facilitate dialogue between science and policy, and generate usable (rather than merely “useful”) context-specific scientific knowledge for society and decision makers. Among the unit’s main areas of action are:
- Contributing to the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, as well as other development objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals.
- Mobilizing endogenous capacities for sustainable natural resource use and management, including local and indigenous knowledge, skills and worldviews, and their synergies with science.
- Supporting rural and indigenous communities in their efforts to cope with the interlinked processes of environmental, socio-economic and cultural changes.
- Building resilience in the face of climate change and variability, while enhancing natural disaster prevention and preparedness.
- Heightening collaboration and solidarity among vulnerable and isolated communities, across generations (including marginalized youth), and between scientists/decision-makers and society at large.
The work of the SCS unit is interdisciplinary, cutting across the Organization’s programme sectors, allowing it to interact with other initiatives on specific themes, such as, climate change, disaster preparedness and education for sustainable development. The Unit works with local knowledge holders to promote recognition of their expertise about the natural environment and to reinforce their contribution to a more equitable governance policy for natural resources. The unit focuses its activities on Timor Leste, as the only SIDS within UNESCO Office Jakarta cluster countries, nevertheless the unit also works in other countries in the cluster, i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and the Philippines.
Focus Group Discussions on community’s livelihood priorities and values based on traditional ecological knowledge held in Ataúro Island, Timor-Leste, 3 – 10 April 2013
Regional Workshop on Integrating Local and Indigenous Knowledge related to Hydro-meteorological Hazards and Climate Change Adaptation with Scientific Knowledge: Lessons learned, held in Manila, Philippines, 18-21 April 2013
Request For Proposal Small Grant for Community Organization for the Pilot Project “Observing the Beach: Building Climate Change Resilient Communities in Timor-Leste”
Sandwatch pilot project launched in two schools in Lhoknga, Aceh, Indonesia
Request for Proposal for “organizing a workshop to launch educational and awareness-raising materials and to share lessons learned on LINK) related to hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change adaptation (Philippines, in April 2013)"
Philippines National Workshop on Validation of Local and Indigenous Knowledge on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Small Island and Coastal Communities
Three schools in Nusa Penida, Bali, join Sandwatch in Indonesia
Request for Proposal for “Fostering Coastal Community Livelihoods and Resilience through Revitalization of Timor Leste’s Traditional Ecological Knowledge”
Sandwatch in Indonesia is initiated in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi
Now available online: Water, Cultural Diversity, and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
The important role of Indigenous knowledge in disaster warning
UNESCO Jakarta participates in a session held at the 3rd Indonesia Carbon Update
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR THE PILOT PROJECT "OBSERVING THE BEACH: BUILDING CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENT COMMUNITIES IN INDONESIA"
Regional Workshop titled “Integrating Local and Indigenous Knowledge with Scientific Knowledge for Knowledge-Based Risk Reduction” held in Jakarta, Indonesia, 6-8 August 2012
RFP for organizing a regional workshop on “Integrating Local and Indigenous Knowledge with Scientific Knowledge” in Indonesia, in July 2012
Seminar on “Traditional Knowledge Systems & Cultural Diversity and Book Launching “Matenek Lokal, Timor Nian!” in Dili, Timor-Leste, 10 May 2012
Environmental education for youths and adults in Community Learning Centres in Timor Leste
Research on plants and textiles traditions in Timor Leste
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: The development of environmental education materials and implementation of training on traditional ecological knowledge in Timor Leste
National Workshop on Indigenous Knowledge on Climate Change Adaptation and Hydro-meteorological Hazards in the Philippines
National Workshop for Promoting Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) programmes in Timor Leste, from 7 to 8 June 2011
Request for Proposal for Preparing Papers for a Book Publication from "Promoting Small Island Development States & Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programmes in Timor Leste" National Workshop
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR CONDUCTING COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH ON TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE IN TIMOR LESTE
National Workshop for Promoting SIDS and LINKS Programmes in Timor Leste
Regional Workshop on Hydro-meteorological Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change
Participation in the Regional Co-Production Workshop on “Traditional Knowledge and Early Warning Systems”
Sandwatch flyer in Bahasa Indonesia
Environmental education materials (booklets and posters) for youths and adults in Timor Leste
Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
“Matenek Lokal, Timor Nian!” (Traditional Knowledge of Timor!): a proceeding of the national workshop on promoting Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Timor Leste
StResCom: Strengthening Resilience of Coastal and Small Island Communities Towards Hydro-Meteorological Hazards and Climate Change Impacts
Ms. ESTRADIVARI (Estra)
- Programme Assistant for Sciences for Society
Ms. Lisa HIWASAKI
- Programme Specialist in Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge
Mr. Bustamam KOETAPANGWA
- Project Assistant for StResCom