UNESCO’s Executive Board Welcomes Initiative on Climate Change

30 April 2010: The 184th session of the Executive Board of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) took place in Paris, France, from 30 March-15 April 2010. Among other agenda items, the Board took note of UNESCO's ongoing work on climate change and welcomed the new Initiative on Climate Change, which will give special attention to UNESCO's two global priorities, Africa and gender equality, as well as to the increased vulnerability of small island developing States (SIDS).

In her opening address, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, recalled UNESCO's "profoundly humanist agenda" and underlined that the Organization has "always taken 'development' to mean the holistic development of the intellectual, social and cultural fabric of societies, as well as material well-being." She added that "today, with the financial and economic crises, with global challenges such as climate change, it has become more evident that only this holistic approach can bring truly sustainable development."

The Initiative on Climate Change will focus on climate science, climate change impacts on water resources, biological diversity, cultural and natural heritage, ethics and social dimensions. UNESCO's Initiative on Climate Change was launched by the Director-General during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC  in 2009, and comprises four pillars: scientific, educational, environmental and ethical. It seeks to strengthen the scientific, mitigation and adaptation capacities of countries and communities that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in a holistic manner. Ultimately, the Initiative aims to contribute to the emergence of less carbon-intensive, green societies. [IISD RS Sources] [Executive Board Decisions] [UNESCO Climate Change Initiative]