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UNESCO Report Highlights Social Sciences’ Role in Addressing Environmental Change

UNESCO15 November 2013: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched a new report on social sciences and global environmental change, titled 'World Social Science Report: Changing Global Environments.' The report was released during the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France.

The report, which is co-published by UNESCO, the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlights the connections between global environmental change, particularly climate change, and challenges such as accelerated production and consumption, population growth, socio-economic and cultural globalization, and widespread patterns of inequality. It stresses that, to address these challenges and achieve global sustainability, there is a need for integrated thinking and responses, and it outlines the contributions that social sciences can make in this regard. In particular, the report finds the social sciences can bring about economic and behavioral changes.

The report concludes by calling on social scientists and their stakeholders to, inter alia, intensify research on the human causes, vulnerabilities and impacts of environmental change, and to “frame the change, enable change, build capacity for change and be the change.” [Report Webpage] [Publication: World Social Science Report: Changing Global Environments (Online readable)[Publication: World Social Science Report: Changing Global Environments – Executive Summary (PDF)] [UNESCO Press Release] [UN Press Release]