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Updated: 1 min 39 sec ago

Local knowledge for sustainable use of marine resources

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 17:36

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), with the support of the Regional Ministry of Environment and Territory Planning of Andalusia and the Autonomous Local Entity of Facinas, will meet on 20 February 2018 with local actors of the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean: Andalusia (Spain) - Morocco and its area of influence, as part of UNESCO’s MAB Programme and the European Union’s AQUACROSS project on knowledge, assessment and management of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services through public policies.

The meeting will be attended by national and international experts and a delegation from Facinas invited by UNESCO to represent the socio-economic sectors most related to the topics to be discussed.

The overall aim of the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean: Andalusia (Spain) - Morocco is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of resources by local populations, while also bringring together two territories that, despite their physical division, share various aspects of their natural and cultural heritage.

The geographical scope of the Reserve includes some of the most emblematic natural areas of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga in Andalusia (Spain) and the provinces of Tangier, Tétouan, Larache and Chefchaouen in northern Morocco. Facinas is part of the Reserve between the Natural Parks of Los Alcornocales and El Estrecho.

In Andalusia, the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean consists of the Natural Parks of Sierra de Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves, El Estrecho and Los Alcornocales; the Natural Sites of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja, Sierra Crestellina, Desfiladero de los Gaitanes and Playa de Los Lances; and the Natural Monuments of Duna de Bolonia, Pinsapo de las Escaleretas and Cañón de las Buitreras.

In Morocco, the Reserve consists of the National Park of Talassemtane and Sites of Biological and Ecological Interest of Jbel Bouhachem, Ben Karrich, Jbel Moussa, Koudiet Taifour, Côte Ghomara, Cirque de Jebha and Lagune de Smir.

UNESCO expects the meeting to encourage local actors to help identify ecosystem-based solutions through the creation of green and blue infrastructures in the planning and management of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

According to the definition of the European programme INTERREG, “Green and blue infrastructures are a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas (coastal, marine and maritime for the blue infrastructures) with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services.”

Green and blue infrastructures are intended to:

  • Improve the functioning of the ecosystem and the promotion of ecosystem services;
  • Promote the welfare and health of local communities;
  • Support the development of a green economy and the sustainable management of land and water. (INTERREG 2014)

For more information, please contact: aquacross.ip(at)unesco.org

Categories: News

UNESCO celebrates the power of mother languages to build peace and sustainability

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:01
imld_2018_news-c-rawpixel-shutterstock.jpg Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com 19 February 2018

Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.

On International Mother Language Day 2018, celebrated every year on 21 February, UNESCO reiterates its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.

This year UNESCO also commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its bold statement that ‘no discrimination can be made on the basis of language’ and celebrates its translation into more than 500 languages. This is also supported in the 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education which prohibits any discriminatory practices in education, notably discrimination based on language

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in her message for the day said: “A language is far more than a means of communication; it is the very condition of our humanity. Our values, our beliefs and our identity are embedded within it. It is through language that we transmit our experiences, our traditions and our knowledge. The diversity of languages reflects the incontestable wealth of our imaginations and ways of life.”

UNESCO has been celebrating International Mother Language Day for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.

Importance of mother tongue in education  

Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.

Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.

UNESCO uses the day to focus on linguistic diversity and multilingualism as an integral part of sustainable development, and in particular to realize targets 4.6 and 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education.

The SDGs depend on linguistic diversity and multilingualism as a vital contribution to Global Citizenship Education as they promote intercultural connections and better ways of living together.

The event will be marked at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris by a language experts’ debate on the theme "Our languages, our assets” in collaboration with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. There will also be a presentation of the Global Education Monitoring Report on Language of instruction and literacy in multilingual contexts. Download the programme

The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000. In Bangladesh the 21 February is the anniversary of the day when Bangladeshis fought for recognition for the Bangla language.

Categories: News

Is sports broadcasting ‘dropping the ball’ on gender equality?

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 20:00
sports_-iordani_shutterstock.jpg © iordani/shutterstock 16 February 2018
Categories: News

UNESCO and EUAM cooperate to train law enforcement officers in Ukraine on freedom of expression and safety of journalists

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 17:31
news_160218_ukraine.jpg © UNESCO 16 February 2018UNESCO organized for the first time with the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Ukraine a training for law enforcement officers on freedom of expression and safety of journalists in Kiev from 13 to 15 February 2018, in collaboration with several Ukrainian ministries and organizations from the civil society.

The project entitled “Promoting Human Rights and the Rule of Law through Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists in Ukraine” aimed at fostering a dialogue and establishing professional relations between the law enforcement officers and the media sector during a transitional period of reform for state institutions in Ukraine.

The 3 day workshop was organized in Ukrinform, the National Press Agency of Ukraine, in Kiev, and was attended by 23 police officers and officials of the Ministry of internal Affairs (of which half were women) and eight journalists for the last day. The police officers came from Kiev and other cities of the country and represented various departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police: Academy of Police, Human Rights Department, Communication Department and Department of Cooperation with the Public and Complaints of Citizens.

« This is the first time I do this kind of training », explained Ms Oksana Zayets, 27 years old, from the Department of Human Rights of the National Police of Ukraine. “The practical aspects was a strong component of this workshop. I had the opportunity to practice skills I will able to apply to many situations in relation with journalists. As police officers, we deal with journalists all the time and it is essential that we are well train to deal with them ».

Mr Sergiy Kyslytsya, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, who initiated the project in Ukraine, declared at the workshop’s opening ceremony: “Human rights, rights of journalists and their safety besides being very politicized are highly technical issues, which are impossible to tackle at the emotional level. Therefore, high-quality education is needed to provide respective knowledge to journalists and law enforcers on safety of journalists. That is why this training by UNESCO is extremely important.”

Ms Emine Dzaparova, Vice Minister of Information Policy also highlighted the importance of strengthening such efforts: “Protecting professional journalism is one of the priorities of my Ministry. This training is aimed at strengthening the cooperation between law enforcement agencies and journalists. Without a mutual understanding of the fundamental values needed to build democratic societies, there is no way forward. Practically, this training is part of wider efforts to establish a new social agreement between law enforcement officers and journalists as we share a common goal, which is to build an independent state.”

This project took place in the framework of the UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, endorsed in April 2012 by the UN Chief Executives Board, the highest level coordination mechanism of the UN system. The UN Plan of Action is further recognized by the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163 adopted at its 68th Session on 18 December 2013. The UN Plan is a unique mechanism to systematically bring together all stakeholders, including the UN system, Member States, international and regional organizations, academia, and the media industry itself to solve the challenges tied to protecting the safety of journalists and combating impunity at the global, regional, and national levels.

This project has been jointly organized and implemented by UNESCO and EUAM Ukraine, and made possible with the support of the Republic of Lithuania. Other partners for this project included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Information Policy, the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO, the Ukrainian National Police, Ukrinform (National News Agency of Ukraine), the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, and the Institute of Mass Information.

The project was also implemented in the framework of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The Programme provides support for media projects and seeks to secure a healthy environment free, independent and pluralistic media.

Links with training materials in English and in Ukrainian.

Categories: News

World Urban Forum – UNESCO demonstrates multi-pronged approach to resilient cities

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:13
focus_malaysia_kl_shutterstock_613645655.jpg Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia© Shutterstock.com 16 February 2018

By 2050, the world will be two-thirds urban, placing cities at the frontline of global challenges and opportunities.  Migration is a major factor of urbanisation, contributing significantly to economic development and cultural diversity.  As people and assets concentrate in cities, these become increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, disasters and conflicts. Yet if planned and managed well, cities will become an engine for sustainable development.

For cities to be inclusive, safe and resilient, governments, mayors and local stakeholders need urban policies that integrate the soft power of culture, education, science and social integration, as suggested in the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference in 2016. UNESCO’s participation at the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 7-13 February 2018, demonstrated this with five events engaging international and local voices on how cities can forge a sustainable future.

Cities in post-conflict and post-disaster situations face numerous challenges and were the focus of the networking event on “Culture, Reconstruction, Recovery” led by UNESCO and the World Bank. “Culture should be placed at the core of reconstruction and recovery processes by embedding cultural and natural heritage as well as intangible heritage and creativity into integrated strategies that rely on both people-centred and place-based approaches,” said Sameh Wahba, World Bank Global Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience.  Experts stressed that urban regeneration strategies need to use culture as a key resource, asset, and tool, and build on the “3-Ps” approach (people, places, policies) set out in the UNESCO Global Report, Culture Urban Future.  

The training event on “Creativity for Sustainable Cities: Leveraging Culture for Social Inclusion, Economic Development, and enhanced resilience” co-organized by UNESCO and UN Habitat highlighted the importance of cultural heritage, living heritage, and culture and creative industries in the shaping, implementation and assessment of culture-engaged urban development policies.  “Culture is a key element to humanizing cities” said Christine Musisi, Director for International Relations in UN-Habitat.  Virginio Merola, Mayor of Bologna (Italy), underscored that the major responsibility of mayors and local authorities is to enhance the “urban commons” and use culture to build the conditions for people from diverse social, cultural and generational backgrounds to live together peacefully. The importance of measuring the actual contribution of culture to urban development processes was underlined, to build not only on its economic value but also on its impact on education, people’s well-being, resilience and social inclusion.

UNESCO’s event on “Building Urban Resilience” focused on how cities cope with the provision of water related services and natural hazards.  Water services, for example, can be acutely affected by climate change.  There are many replicable best practices and solutions for water management and policies, and disaster risk reduction.  Dr Nicola Tollin, part of the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability at the Technical University of Catalonia, President of RECNET and Executive Director of the International Programme on Urban Resilience, RESURBE, demonstrated the need to bridge local and international climate action at the urban level, with projects that use nature-based solutions for water management and generate environmental, economic, social and climate co-benefits. The VISUS methodology, a science-based assessment methodology for school safety was also presented, along with the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme’s examples of knowledge sharing and exchange on water within the framework of the Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate (MAWaC), which are all useful tools and resources for enhancing the resilience of cities.

As the number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly in recent years, reaching 258 million in 2017 (UNDESA, 2017), and internal migration, though more difficult to determine the number of people moving, is vast, a networking event on  “Integrating Migrants in Cities: Challenges and Opportunities” examined the importance of a holistic, intersectoral, and collaborative approach to integrating migrants in cities. UNESCO, in partnership with UNDP, Un-Habitat and the IOM, presented data from current research on migration trends and policy responses that can assist at national and local level to deal with the large scale movement of people, both internally and internationally.  Among the findings that foster learning to live together sustainably in cities was the need for long term urban planning that integrates political, economic, cultural and social aspects of city life.

Health and well-being of communities in urban spaces were discussed in UNESCO and ADB’s “Physical inactivity and Rising Non-Communicable Diseases”side event.  Experts advocated for the creation of open and safe public spaces for sport to drive socioeconomic development in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in tackling non-communicable diseases, a global issue on the rise all around the world. The Kazan Action Plan, adopted by the Ministerial Council on Physical Education and Sport in 2017, sets out a global road map linking sport, the SDGs and other important development frameworks. The panellists show-cased several local initiatives whereby cities that enhanced sport saw improvements in community well-being and belonging, especially for youth.

For more information on UNESCO’s involvement in the 9th World Urban Forum, and its action for sustainable cities, visit here.

Categories: News

New skills for the management of the Niokolo Koba Park (in French)

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 12:12
niokolokobaparksenegal1.jpg © UNESCO

L’UNESCO continue à accompagner le Parc National du Niokolo Koba (PNNK), site du patrimoine mondial depuis 1981, dans l’amélioration de sa gestion et le perfectionnement des approches de conservation. Ainsi, trois agents du parc participent, du 12 février au 6 Avril 2018, à une formation approfondie en suivi écologique. Cette formation diplômante qui se tient à Ouagadougou, est organisée par le Programme Aires Protégées d’Afrique & Conservation (PAPACO), le Programme régional pour l’Afrique du Centre et de l’Ouest (PACO), l’UICN et l’Université d’Alexandrie, avec l’appui financier de la MAVA.

En 2016 déjà, les agents du PNKK ont bénéficié d’une formation initiée par le bureau de l’UNESCO, en suivi écologique et dans l’utilisation des outils SMART et CYBERTRACKER. Ce système de suivi écologique est basé sur la collecte d’informations en point fixe, des comptages en véhicule, et l’utilisation de nombreux pièges photographiques. Au bout d’un an, lors d’une nouvelle formation portée par l’UNESCO en 2017, le traitement et interprétation des données ont montré des résultats préliminaires positifs qui ont permis de mettre en évidence la présence croissante de la grande faune et d’espèces emblématiques du PNNK telles que l’élan de Derby, le chimpanzé, le lycaon ou le lion.

Cette année, l’UNESCO réitère son soutien au parc, en rendant possible le déplacement des agents sélectionnés à cette nouvelle formation diplômante. C’est une occasion de consolider davantage les capacités acquises pour une protection plus durable du parc. Cette formation contribuera également à mettre en œuvre les recommandations du Comité du patrimoine mondial, en vue de retirer le PNKK de la liste du patrimoine mondial en péril.

Liens

Documents ressources sur le Parc National de Niokolo Koba

Vidéo sur le Parc National de Niokolo Koba

Actualités

Mise à jour du plan de gestion du Parc national de Niokolo Koba (Assistance Internationale)

http://www.visiterlafrique.com/destinations/afrique-de-louest/senegal/parc-national-du-niokolo-koba-inscrit-sur-la-liste-du-patrimoine-mondial-unesco/

Categories: News

UNESCO and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research: 20 years of collaboration in support of basic sciences for sustainable development

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 18:06
focus_shutterstock_552027100.jpg © Shutterstock.com 15 February 2018

UNESCO and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) celebrated 20 years of successful collaboration with a debate on current challenges in the basic sciences. The meeting was also an opportunity to explore areas for future partnership.

UNESCO and JINR first signed an agreement in 1997, and have since been valued partners, collaborating in a variety of ways to strengthen capacity building in research. Joint activities include training programmes and grant mechanisms for researchers in the basic science. The two institutions have also joined forces in the framework of thematic International Years, spearheaded by UNESCO, which served to raise awareness of the importance of science as a driver of sustainable development, and to increase international scientific cooperation and knowledge sharing in key scientific fields, in order to the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals.

In celebration of this long-lasting partnership’s anniversary, UNESCO and JINR organized a roundtable on the Challenges in the Basic Sciences on 14 February 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The event was held in the same spirit of collaboration and belief that knowledge must be shared across borders and cultures, that science should never be divided in terms of geography, ethnicity or religion.

Eminent scientists participated in the discussion, including Dr Grigory Trubnikov, Chairman of the Committee of Plenipotenitiaries of JINR Member States and Deputy Minister, RF Ministry for Science and Education; Professor Yuri Oganissian, Leader of JINR’s Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions and after whom element 118 – oganesson – is named; Professor Mikhail Itkis, Vice Director of JINR and Professor Natalia Tarasova, former President of IUPAC. The event was led by Douglas Nakashima, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building and moderated by Martiale Zebaze Kana, Chief of UNESCO’s Section for Innovation and Capacity Building in Science and Engineering. 

Much of the debate was focused on the current challenges to the basic sciences in supporting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements*, which will be celebrated in 2019, was discussed as a means to highlight the central role played by chemistry in major discoveries that underpin scientific progress, and provide solutions to current sustainable development challenges. This was the first of many stimulating events that will be organized by UNESCO in celebration of the Year.

* The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPTE 2019) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/72/228, draft A/72/422/Add.2) and the UNESCO General Conference (39C/ decision 60).

Categories: News

UNESCO and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research: 20 years of collaboration in support of basic sciences for sustainable development

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 18:00
15 February 2018

UNESCO and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) celebrated 20 years of successful collaboration with a debate on current challenges in the basic sciences. The meeting was also an opportunity to explore areas for future partnership.

UNESCO and JINR first signed an agreement in 1997, and have since been valued partners, collaborating in a variety of ways to strengthen capacity building in research. Joint activities include training programmes and grant mechanisms for researchers in the basic science. The two institutions have also joined forces in the framework of thematic International Years, spearheaded by UNESCO, which served to raise awareness of the importance of science as a driver of sustainable development, and to increase international scientific cooperation and knowledge sharing in key scientific fields, in order to the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals.

In celebration of this long-lasting partnership’s anniversary, UNESCO and JINR organized a roundtable on the Challenges in the Basic Sciences on 14 February 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The event was held in the same spirit of collaboration and belief that knowledge must be shared across borders and cultures, that science should never be divided in terms of geography, ethnicity or religion.

Eminent scientists participated in the discussion, including Dr Grigory Trubnikov, Chairman of the Committee of Plenipotenitiaries of JINR Member States and Deputy Minister, RF Ministry for Science and Education; Professor Yuri Oganissian, Leader of JINR’s Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions and after whom element 118 – oganesson – is named; Professor Mikhail Itkis, Vice Director of JINR and Professor Natalia Tarasova, former President of IUPAC. The event was led by Douglas Nakashima, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building and moderated by Martiale Zebaze Kana, Chief of UNESCO’s Section for Innovation and Capacity Building in Science and Engineering. 

Much of the debate was focused on the current challenges to the basic sciences in supporting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements*, which will be celebrated in 2019, was discussed as a means to highlight the central role played by chemistry in major discoveries that underpin scientific progress, and provide solutions to current sustainable development challenges. This was the first of many stimulating events that will be organized by UNESCO in celebration of the Year.

* The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPTE 2019) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/72/228, draft A/72/422/Add.2) and the UNESCO General Conference (39C/ decision 60).

Categories: News

Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Senegal (in French)

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:57
assurancequalitesenegal.jpg © UNESCO

Afin de renforcer les systèmes de l’enseignement supérieur africains, l’UNESCO a lancé le projet « Renforcer l’assurance qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique ». La cérémonie officielle de lancement du projet au Sénégal s’est tenue le 14 février 2018 en prélude à l’atelier de formation des Experts Evaluateurs Externes de l’ANAQ-SUP.

En Afrique, les principaux défis pour le développement de l’enseignement supérieur concernent le financement et l'expertise technique nécessaire pour conduire des activités d'assurance qualité pour l'évaluation, l'accréditation et la reconnaissance des programmes et institutions d'enseignement supérieur. Pour surmonter ces problèmes critiques, l’UNESCO et le gouvernement municipal de Shenzhen, en République Populaire de Chine, ont lancé le projet « Renforcer l’assurance qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique ».

Le projet, lancé en 2017, sera mis en œuvre jusqu’en 2020 dans 10 pays africains: Côte d’Ivoire, Égypte, Gambie, Malawi, Mali, Namibie, Niger, Sénégal, Togo et Zambie. Il a pour objectif général de renforcer les capacités dans le développement des mécanismes d’assurance qualité aux niveaux institutionnel, national et régional dans les pays africains. Ce projet concourt aussi aux efforts de l’UNESCO visant à faciliter l’internationalisation de l’enseignement supérieur et la mise en œuvre de la Convention d’Addis-Abeba sur la reconnaissance des études et des certificats, des diplômes, des grades et autres titres de l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique. La réunion de lancement du projet s’est tenue à Paris en mars 2017 pour préparer une première feuille de route pour la mise en œuvre du projet, et la deuxième réunion du projet à Yaoundé en mai 2017 a examiné les plans d’action des dix pays bénéficiaires.

Au Sénégal, la cérémonie officielle de lancement du projet, qui se tenait en prélude à l’ouverture de l’atelier de formation des Experts Evaluateurs Externes de l’ANAQ-Sup, a vu la participation du représentant du ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation du Sénégal, de l’Ambassadeur de la République Populaire de Chine et du Directeur p.i du Bureau régional de l’UNESCO Dakar.

L’Ambassadeur de la République Populaire de Chine, qui a précisé que son pays continuerait à soutenir le développement de l’enseignement supérieur sénégalais a souligné que : « La Chine attache depuis toujours une grande importance aux échanges et coopérations avec le Sénégal dans le domaine de l’enseignement supérieur […] c’est la première fois que la Chine collabore avec l’UNESCO pour exécuter un projet au Sénégal, et c’est aussi la première fois pour un gouvernement municipal chinois de financer un projet au Sénégal. Cela a frayé des nouvelles voies à la coopération sino-sénégalaise déjà fructueuse. »

Le Directeur p.i du Bureau régional de l’UNESCO Dakar a pour sa part rappelé l’importance de soutenir à travers ce projet l’ANAQ-Sup: « Depuis 2012, le Bureau de l’UNESCO Dakar a soutenu le Sénégal dans la mise en place de sa structure nationale d’Assurance qualité, première du genre en Afrique subsaharienne francophone. Le projet « Renforcement de l’assurance qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique » contribuera au renforcement de ses capacités, en élargissant notamment sa base d’experts évaluateurs, afin d’appuyer l’Agence dans l’atteinte de ses objectifs. »

L’UNESCO Dakar à travers ce projet, soutient les pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest dans la mise en œuvre des activités d’assurance qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur : au Mali et au Niger, le Bureau a pour mission d’appuyer à la création d'agences nationales d'assurance qualité et il soutiendra le renforcement des capacités institutionnelles des agences d'AQ récemment créées en Gambie et au Sénégal. Il suivra également la mise en œuvre effective du projet dans les quatre pays bénéficiaires.

Renforcer l'assurance qualité dans l'enseignement supérieur en Afrique https://fr.unesco.org/themes/enseignement-superieur/assurance-qualite-afrique

https://fr.unesco.org/news/lancement-du-projet-unesco-fonds-depot-shenzhen-au-togo

Convention d’Addis-Abeba http://portal.unesco.org/fr/ev.php-URL_ID=49282&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Enseignement supérieur bureau de l’UNESCO Dakar : http://www.unesco.org/new/fr/dakar/education/higher-education/

http://www.unesco.org/new/fr/dakar/education/higher-education/

Categories: News

Why comprehensive sexuality education is important

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:43
why_comprehensive_sexuality_education_is_important-c-zvonimir_atletic-shutterstock-news.jpg Zvonimir Atletic/Shutterstock.com 15 February 2018

Did you know that only 34 % of young people around the world can demonstrate accurate knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission? And that two out of three girls in some countries have no idea of what is happening to them when they begin menstruating? These are some of the reasons why there is an urgent need for quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). 

Earlier this month, UNESCO published a fully updated International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, which advocates for quality CSE to promote health and well-being, respect for human rights and gender equality, and empowers children and young people to lead healthy, safe and productive lives.

What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education?

Comprehensive sexuality education is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. It aims to equip children and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them to realize their health, well-being and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others; and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.

Why do young people need comprehensive sexuality education?

Too many young people receive confusing and conflicting information about relationships and sex, as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. This has led to an increasing demand from young people for reliable information, which prepares them for a safe, productive and fulfilling life. When delivered well, CSE responds to this demand, empowering young people to make informed decisions about relationships and sexuality and navigate a world where gender-based violence, gender inequality, early and unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) still pose serious risks to their health and well-being. Equally, a lack of high-quality, age- and developmentally-appropriate sexuality and relationship education may leave children and young people vulnerable to harmful sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation.

CSE plays a crucial role in addressing the health and well-being of children and young people. Applying a learner-centered approach, CSE not only provides children and young people with age-appropriate and phased education on human rights, gender equality, relationships, reproduction, sexual behaviours risks and prevention of ill health, but also provides an opportunity to present sexuality with a positive approach, emphasizing values such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, responsibility and reciprocity.

What does the evidence say about CSE?

There is significant evidence on the impact of sexuality education.  It emphasizes that:

  • Sexuality education has positive effects, including increasing young people’s knowledge and improving their attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health and behaviors.
  • Sexuality education – in or out of schools does not increase sexual activity, sexual risk-taking behaviour or STI/HIV infection rates.
  • Programmes that promote abstinence as the only option have been found to be ineffective in delaying sexual initiation, reducing the frequency of sex or reducing the number of sexual partners. Programmes that combine a focus on delaying sexual activity with other content are effective.  
  • ‘Gender-focused’ programmes are substantially more effective than ‘gender-blind’ programmes at achieving health outcomes such as reducing rates of unintended pregnancy or STIs..
  • Sexuality education has the most impact when school-based programmes are complemented with the involvement of parents and teachers, training institutes and youth-friendly services.

Why have technical Guidance on sexuality education?

Countries are increasingly acknowledging the importance of equipping young people with knowledge and skills to make responsible choices for their lives. CSE supports young people’s empowerment by improving their analytical, communication and other life skills for health and well-being in relation to sexuality, human rights, values, healthy and respectful relationships, cultural and social norms, gender equality, non-discrimination, sexual behaviour, violence and gender-based violence, consent, sexual abuse and harmful practices.

What is new in the revised Guidance?

The original international technical Guidance published in 2009 positioned sexuality education primarily as part of the HIV response. However, while HIV prevention remains important, evidence and practice demonstrate that sexuality education has a much broader relevance to other issues, not only for young people’s sexual and reproductive health but also for their overall wellbeing and personal development.

The revised Guidance presents sexuality with a positive approach, recognizing that CSE goes beyond educating about reproduction, risks and disease. It reaffirms the position of sexuality education within a framework of human rights and gender equality. It and reflects the contribution of sexuality education to the realization of several internationally agreed commitments in relation to sexual and reproductive health, as well as the achievement of the goals in the 2030 Agenda in relation to health and well-being, quality and inclusive education, gender equality and women and girls empowerment.

Categories: News

Response times key to reducing tsunami deaths

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:46
article_tsunamisymposium.jpg © UNESCO

Source: UNISDR // More needs to be done to reduce response times to tsunami alerts and to improve wave height measurement if progress is to be made on reducing mortality from tsunamis, an international gathering of experts declared this week.

Speaking at the Symposium on Advances in Tsunami Warning to Enhance Community Responses, François Schindelé, from the French National Tsunami Center (CENALT) said: “Since the creation of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning in 2005, considerable progress has been made in terms of tsunami detection and monitoring technologies, awareness and education. But much more needs to be done to reduce the time response and the accuracy of messages delivered to the civil protection agencies and emergency responders. We also need to better predict the height of tsunami waves, their run up and how far inland they would flood to save more lives in the future.”

The symposium was hosted by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to discuss the latest developments in tsunami early warning research and technologies to better protect millions of people at risk of tsunamis.

Since the year 2000, more than 11 million people have been affected by tsunamis and more than 250,000 persons lost their lives.

Over 100 seismologists, researchers, representatives of civilian protection authorities, operational centres, national monitoring and prevention services assessed the successes and limitations of current warning systems in past tsunamis, the role of traditional media and social media in alerting the public and what information is needed for effective community response.

Participants highlighted the need for science to work more closely with emergency responders and policy makers, and how education and public awareness are essential to better protect coastal communities, noting that many communities will be at even greater risk of tsunami and floods with sea-level rise.

Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, opened the symposium and referenced the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted three years ago by UN member States.

“We still have a long way to go before achieving Target G of the Sendai Framework, which aims at substantially increasing the availability of multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk reduction policies by 2030, but we are moving ahead and making considerable progresses,” said Mr. Ryabinin.

He highlighted the importance of rethinking early warning systems in the lead up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

“We often congratulate ourselves on saving lives which is deeply important, but saving infrastructure and reducing economic losses is much more complicated. Here is where coastal zone management can help, allowing us to effectively determine risk zones and come up with preventive development plans,” said Mr. Ryabinin.

Compared to 2004, when there was only one Early warning System in place in the Pacific (Hawaii), the planet is safer. The Global Early Warning System now comprises four major Early Warning Systems in the Pacific Ocean (1965), Indian Ocean (2005), the Caribbean Sea and adjacent regions (2006), and the Mediterranean and Northeastern Atlantic (2012), covering all regions of the world.

These systems have been key to reducing loss of life from tsunamis in recent years.

“No matter if you have the best advanced technologies, people need to trust the system and understand locally what to do to save their lives,” said Laura Kong, Director of the UNESCO-IOC International Tsunami Information Center, based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Participants recognized the need for even more timely and accurate tsunami warnings than currently available and for adequate procedures to enable more effective and inclusive community and local responses to tsunami threats. Scientists also agreed that more funds and research should be invested in areas that are not yet so developed.

“At the moment, we are well prepared to alert on tsunami triggered by an earthquake magnitude 8 or more, but we do require more research and science for tsunamis triggered by earthquake magnitudes between 6 to 8, which are more frequent and can have great negative impacts on local communities,” added François Schindelé.

The tsunami early warning community expressed hopes that the UN Decade of Ocean Science could act as a global hub for rallying national commitments and related investments to fill such technical gaps and improve decision-making.

“When it comes to tsunami warnings,” added Rick Bailey, former Chair of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, “we’re talking about a lot of decisions to take with very little information.”

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is a 10-year global initiative proclaimed by the UN General Assembly for the years 2021-2030. It seeks to ensure scientific knowledge and technology can assist countries in achieving international agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Management and more broadly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

World Tsunami Awareness Day, organized by UNISDR, will be celebrated for the third year on November 5.

For more information, please contact:

Thorkild Aarup (t.aarup(at)unesco.org)

Categories: News

UNESCO launches flagship initiative to revive the spirit of Mosul

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:29
14 February 2018

-- On the occasion of the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq, held in Kuwait City from 12 to 14 February, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay today announced the launch of a flagship initiative to revive the spirit of Mosul. The objective, to coordinate international efforts in this direction.

A starting point for a broad strategic plan to promote the spirit of peaceful coexistence and the values of an inclusive society, this initiative aims to participate in Iraq's social and economic renaissance and contribute to sustainable development and reconciliation between communities through the safeguarding and enhancement of cultural heritage.

The initiative foresees a joint effort to rebuild the heritage and revitalize the educational and cultural institutions of Mosul, in close cooperation with the Government and people of Iraq, especially involving young people.

"To the children who have learned war, we must teach them again peace, through the subjects taught at school and the monuments that stand in cities," said the Director General.

At this conference, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, gave his full support to Ms. Azoulay to ensure that UNESCO was at the forefront of coordinating international efforts for the rebirth of Mosul.

"Education, culture and heritage will also be key elements for successful reconstruction. UNESCO’s initiative to coordinate international efforts for the reconstruction of the Old City of Mosul deserves our full support," said Mr. Guterres.

In the margins of the conference, the Director-General also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, who expressed his desire to work closely with the Organization on this ambitious project.

"Reconstruction will succeed and Iraq will regain its influence only if the human dimension is given priority; education and culture are the key elements. They are forces of unity and reconciliation.

"It is through education and culture that Iraqis, men and women alike, will be able to regain control of their destiny and become actors in the renewal of their country," said the Director General.

****

Contact:

UNESCO Media Service , Laetitia Kaci, l.kaci@unesco.org, +33 145681772

Categories: News

UNESCO rolls out first African MOOC on freedom of expression and safety of journalists

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:22
news_140218_mooc.jpg © UNESCO 14 February 2018UNESCO and the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria recently rolled out the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists in Africa. The course, which opened on 13 November 2017 and ran for five weeks, gave judicial officials, journalists, academics, and civil society members the opportunity to learn about and discuss these issues. The MOOC was built upon the success of a similar course launched in Latin America, where more than 5000 judges and legal professionals have been trained over three years.

The MOOC was a success in attracting a rich and diverse audience, with participants from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities. Participants from 42 African countries enrolled in the course, with Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe the most represented countries. Participants from 45 other nationalities also enrolled in the MOOC. 900 people participated in the MOOC, of which around 620 completed all five modules and received certificates delivered by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria and UNESCO.

The content of the course was tailored to the African context and the needs of the specific target audience: judges and other members of the judiciary in Africa. 28% of participants of the MOOC were judges, lawyers and other legal professions; 5% were government officials, including law enforcement officers; 7% were journalists and media workers; 13% were activists and NGO workers; 11% were from academia; and 15% were students.

The MOOC was delivered in a format that combined video presentations and explanatory notes, supplemented by reading materials on the topics discussed per module and per theme. There were also discussion forums spread over the five modules of the course.  Conversations on the forum were very vibrant and served as a useful tool to gauge and improve the level of understanding of the course materials provided to participants. Participants were also able to identify and share relevant real-life examples from their respective countries of how freedom of expression influences the enjoyment of other rights.

For Catherine Wanjugu Mburu, a Magistrate from Kenya, “the course was very enriching in providing a holistic approach to freedom of expression by not only looking at one's country level and experience but regionally and internationally”.

Another participant to the course, also said “this is a very good course designed for different professionals with user-friendly resources and informative presentations and articles. As a lecturer, the course contents have enriched my understanding of the right to freedom of expression”.

Another participant from Tanzania added “the mode of delivery and learning of the course is cheap, user friendly and convenient and should be encouraged throughout Africa to enable many more to have this valuable knowledge. The course has inspired me a lot and influenced me to become a Human Rights expert in Africa and the world at large.”

This project was implemented in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which aims to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers.  It followed the seminar commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists 2016, which took place in Arusha, Tanzania, in partnership with the African Court and Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Court and Commission proved to be fundamental partners in this project, with Justice Ben Kioko, Vice President of the Court, and Ms Pansy Tlakula, former Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, acting as trainers in the MOOC. The project received the support of Denmark and the Open Society Foundations, with a technical contribution from Norway.

In 2018, UNESCO plans to deploy a similar project in French, targeting judges and other actors of the judiciary in French-speaking African countries.

Categories: News

Building urban resilience through integrated water management and disaster risk reduction

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:20
focus_malaysia_kl_shutterstock_613645655.jpg © Shutterstock.com 14 February 2018

More than half of the world’s people live in cities, and it is expected that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. As people and assets concentrate in cities, these become increasingly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, disasters and conflicts. Migration is a major factor of urbanisation, with one-third of the world’s 66 million displaced people living in cities. If planned and managed well, cities will become the main tool for sustainable development, the setting of its greatest challenges and opportunities. In order to share successful and replicable experiences, UNESCO organized an event focusing on “Building Urban Resilience” during the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The discussion was articulated around concrete examples of initiatives and management practices that strengthened cities’ capacity to provide basic services, particularly managing water to ensure access to freshwater, sanitation and drainage, and the resilience of their built environment from natural hazards. By bringing together mayors, academics, researchers, city-level practitioners, international experts and representatives of civil society, the aim was to examine the feasibility of replicating and scaling up these good practices and to disseminate them widely.  

The linkages between the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the Paris Agreement on climate, the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were highlighted by Dr Nicola Tollin, UNESCO Chair of Sustainability at the Technical University of Catalonia, President of RECNET and Executive Director of the International Programme on Urban Resilience, RESURBE. He demonstrated the need to bridge local and international climate action at the urban level, and presented participatory projects that use nature-based solutions for water management and generate environmental, economic, social and climate co-benefits.

The challenges of water management and provision in megacities were explained by Mr Arjun Thapan and Ms Mai Flor of WATERLINKS. Megacities contribute more than 20% of the GDP in developing Asian countries. They are major users of water, and sustaining safe, affordable and sustainable services to their communities, while ensuring that all sectors, such as the industrial and agricultural sectors, maintain their share to continue operations is particularly challenging. Ms Flor shared concrete examples of integrating climate change impacts in the operations of water utilities in megacities, including the capacity development of their human resources. Utilities constitute the pillar upon which all water uses rely on for their stability and continuity.


Students and engineers learn to assess the safety of schools using the VISUS Methodology, Pilot Project in Indonesia

A science-based assessment methodology for school safety was presented by Mr Ardito Kodijat, Natural Science Programme Officer of the UNESCO Regional Bureau of Science in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Visual Inspection for Defining Upgrading Strategy (VISUS) methodology was successfully implemented through pilot projects in six countries, and was used to help Antigua and Barbuda plan for recovery following hurricane Irma in 2017. VISUS results provide easy to understand, graphic based results, that provide local authorities with an overview of the safety of schools accompanied by a cost element, in order to facilitate informed decision-making. The VISUS methodology aims to help governments identify priorities and define the budgets needed to ensure the safety of their school infrastructure. It identifies needs for rehabilitation, reinforcement or retrofitting of buildings, or for the constructions of new safe infrastructure. Strengthening school safety contributes to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda.

Through their discussion, participants stressed the need for a stronger system of multilevel governance in order to move urban resilience forward. This entails the horizontal integration of thematic international policies (Paris Agreement, New Urban Agenda, Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development goals) at national level, and finally through vertical integration in order to full unlock the potential of urban resilience as a systemic and integrative concept able to generate co-benefit (e.g. sustainability and development and/or mitigation and adaptation). Tools and replicable best practices exist to serve sustainability but scaling up is often confronted with limited finances. 

The event was organized by UNESCO’s Water Family, led by its Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability and WATERLINKS as well as the Disaster Risk Reduction Unit with the support of the UNESCO Office in Jakarta.

 

Categories: News

Culture is at the core of city recovery say UNESCO and World Bank at World Urban Forum

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 15:05
medellin.jpg Medellin© Kristel_Segeren/Shutterstock 14 February 2018Today across the globe, sixty-six million people are displaced, with one-third of them living in cities. These numbers are expected to grow significantly because of the increased frequency of natural disasters and continued conflicts.  With such challenges, cities need to mainstream culture as an enabler and driver of their post-conflict and post-disaster efforts.    These issues were at the center of the UNESCO-World Bank joint event “Culture, Reconstruction and Recovery” held on 10 February during the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).     “Culture, through heritage and creativity, embodies the identities and sense of belonging of communities and can serve as a key resource of city reconstruction and recovery, while promoting community ownership, social inclusion and economic recovery,” said Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Deputy Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, together with Ahmed Eiweida, World Bank Global Lead for Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism.    Mayors, city-level practitioners, and international experts participating in the event identified principles for a culture-based city reconstruction and recovery framework.  The debate will inform the White Paper “Culture, Reconstruction, Recovery:  Sustainable development policies to address the impact of conflicts, disasters and crises in cities”, that UNESCO and the World Bank are jointly elaborating, and which was introduced at the event.  “Culture should be placed at the core of reconstruction and recovery processes by embedding cultural and natural heritage as well as intangible heritage and creativity into integrated strategies that rely on both people-centred and place-based approaches,” said Sameh Wahba, World Bank Global Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience.  He stressed that cities need to incorporate culture as a key resource, asset, and tool, and build on the “3-Ps” approach (people, places, policies) set out in the UNESCO Global Report, Culture Urban Future, to respond successfully to the challenges they face.   As an example of practical ways in which to do this, Jennifer Semakula-Musisi, Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority, outlined post-conflict recovery in the context of Uganda, where the population is culturally-diverse and 1.4 million refugees from the sub-region are hosted.  “In Kampala, through the organization of the Kampala Festival and the building of key symbolic monuments, culture has become a rallying point; it is an essential tool to promote shared understanding, social inclusion, reconciliation, and engagement of all citizens and notably the youth,” she said.    Santa Fe, Argentina is another example of disaster recovery and urban transformation following the devastating floods of 2017.  The city is regenerating itself, using culture as a key reference for the collective memory of citizens who not only need to heal from the trauma but also adopt forward-looking development strategies where new heritage can be created, and new institutions established.  “Culture is a fundamental asset for the recovery of people, particularly marginalized groups that are most vulnerable in the aftermath of disasters,” said Mayor José Manuel Corral.   Other examples of culture providing solutions to urban shocks and distress include Beirut, Phnom Penh, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, where urban regeneration strategies strengthen the sense of ownership and belonging, communities benefit from quality public spaces and cultural services, and cultural heritage and creativity foster economic, social and environmental recovery.   “The White Paper a is key step forward as it reflects an institutional shift with a clear objective to integrate culture into people-centred and place-based strategies” said Eric Huybrechts, Architect and Urban Planner, Head of International Affairs of the Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme d'Île-de-France, France.    With the elaboration of the UNESCO-World Bank White Paper, cities in post-disaster and post-conflict scenarios will have a framework to help them integrate the protection of cultural heritage and the promotion of creativity in their recovery, reconstruction and development strategies, helping to make them more inclusive, resilient and competitive in the future.   
Categories: News

Director-General addresses 6th World Government Summit in Dubai

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 12:21
dg-aa-world-govt-summit.gif © World Government Summit 14 February 2018

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, underscored the need for dialogue and collective problem solving as she addressed an international audience of leaders at the 6th World Government Summit in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

It is time to reflect on action we wish to take to shape our future governments, how we can renew and reinforce universal principles of human dignity and humanist values, how we can work in greater harmony with our planet”, said Ms Azoulay.

In her address, the Director-General highlighted challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, including climate change and the advent of revolutionary technological developments such as artificial intelligence. She insisted on the need to pool our collective intelligence and work together to find sustainable solutions.

Education, science, culture and communication are the threads that bind us together,” concluded the Director-General. “Only through our collective intelligence can we hope to solve the unprecedented challenges we face. But collective intelligence is not enough, we must put it into action, together.” 

In this context, she commended the political commitment of the United Arab Emirates as global leaders in prioritizing the development of knowledge, innovation and science.

During her visit, the Director-General met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Noora Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge development.

Ms Azoulay also visited Abu Dhabi where she had a bilateral meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Categories: News

Sustainable Yemen programme recycles waste as school materials

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 10:17
sustainable_yemen_programme-c-yemeni_national_commission_for_unesco-sub-unit_in_hodeidah_city.jpg © Yemeni National Commission for UNESCO/sub-unit in Hodeidah City 13 February 2018

An innovative project recycling and transforming waste into educational tools and art forms is one of many sustainable development schemes coordinated by the local sub-unit of the Yemeni National Commission for UNESCO.

The sub-unit, based in the province of Hodeidah with work extending to neighbouring areas, acts to coordinate and implement the multiple activities of projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It brings together educational, civil and private sector organizations to mobilize communities towards achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving their own environment.

Since 2012, the initiative’s successes include training 60 teachers on the UNESCO course “Education and Learning for a Sustainable Future” and training 320 youth on project management and marketing. It has also established a youth foundation and community college and organized training of trainers.

Project Manager Faisal Ali Ayed said: “The Hodeidah work is particularly important because it is the first project in Yemen that has succeeded in using ESD in a context of large population density and a high percentage of youth facing the multiple challenges of poverty and unemployment.”

Other innovations include using teachers for e-learning, setting up of electronic libraries and collecting funds for poor students to provide breakfast, school meals, school uniform and school bags. Alongside these are awareness campaigns offering information and advice around healthy balanced food, early marriage and HIV/AIDS.

Sustainable development clubs have also been established in some schools to promote community activities related to all dimensions of sustainable development (environmental, social and economic).​

Mr Ayed explained why the work had been so successful. “The project has a really dedicated team and collaborating partners. For that reason, the project has achieved real transformation in practices in schools and community and at the same time has received huge media attention so the impact is spread.”

For the future, there are plans to expand the implementation of ESD projects, increase the number of the beneficiaries of educational institutions, in particular youth and women, spread the work to the neighbouring provinces of Hajjah and Rimah where six major projects will be implemented to train school principals, teacher trainers, educators, women and young people on ESD.

An important aspect of the work is enabling young people and women to enter or re-enter the labour market. So far, 920 youth and women have received life and professional skills training and help on integration into the labour market.

“The project has contributed to empowering women to participate in community development as well as changing society's vision of the role of women and enabling the acceptance of different roles for women in society,” said Mr Ayed.

Categories: News

How will you ‘Love the Ocean’? Take one action for your ocean this Valentine’s Day!

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 10:12

Show us your commitment to your ocean (and your health) – this Valentine’s day the Sea Change team are asking everyone to pledge one action to #LovetheOcean and encourage others to do the same by sharing your love across social media.

It’s easy to say we love the ocean, but for many of us, our everyday actions tell a different story. Seas of plastic, declining fish stocks and ocean acidification are just some examples of the destruction caused to the ocean by our everyday activities, which also have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing. Our relationship with the ocean has become toxic and one-sided. After all, the ocean loves us in real ways – like giving us half the oxygen we breathe, climate regulation, food, medicines and a variety of recreational opportunities.

The ‘Love the Ocean’ campaign aims to rebalance our relationship with the ocean and show our appreciation by pledging to take real action each day, sharing our pledges and actions online, and tagging them with #LovetheOcean.

‘Love the Ocean’ coincides with the final conference of the EU Horizon 2020 funded Sea Change project on 15 February 2018 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, concluding three years of empowering and educating citizens to take action for our ocean. The conference will focus on the project’s achievements and plan for the coming years, maintaining the momentum of ocean literacy by linking with initiatives worldwide in the run up to the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Jon Parr, coordinator of the Sea Change project, is looking forward to the conference:

Sea Change has been looking to make a difference, to make a Sea Change, in our attitude in Europe, to our seas and ocean. We are gathering in Paris on the 15th February to celebrate what has been achieved and share our love for the ocean. We also want to look to the future, continuing that Sea Change. A lot has happened since Sea Change began and I feel confident that the recognition of the importance of our everyday lives on the ocean is growing and growing. We can all make positive changes and show our Love for the Ocean through #LovetheOcean”.

We are asking for the public to post a photo or short video using the #LovetheOcean hashtag, showing what change they pledge to make to their daily lives. No change is too great or too small – you could make a pledge to take the bus to work, or simply to stop using disposable plastic drinking straws. Every positive action makes a difference to the health of our ocean! A selection of your posts will be viewed at the conference in Paris and will provide valuable insights to our team. You can also use our Facebook cover photo to share your support for the ocean across social media.

The Sea Change project has sought to foster positive behaviour change by improving the ‘ocean literacy’ of citizens, whereby greater understanding will empower individuals to change their behaviour, creating an overall ‘sea change’ in how society views its relationship with the ocean. This will lead to healthy seas, healthy communities and ultimately – a healthy planet.

We are promoting our ‘Love the Ocean’ campaign via Thunderclap now. Please click here for more information.

Join other Sea Changers today: make your pledge using the #LovetheOcean hashtag and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit our campaign page at www.lovetheocean.eu and download our Press Pack right here!

If you’re seeking further inspiration on how you can make your sea change, you can find lots of practical ideas in our video series on Vimeo or on the Sea Change project website.

For more information, please contact:

Francesca Santoro (f.santoro(at)unesco.org), Tel: +39 041 2601539

For more information on the Sea Change project, please visit: www.seachangeproject.eu

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