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UNESCO at COP21: mobilized to change minds through education, science, culture and communication



Paris, 27 November—UNESCO’s work to limit and adapt to climate change will be highlighted during the forthcoming United Nations’ Conference on Climate Change (COP21, 30 November to 11 December).

UNESCO’s work in this field will be highlighted in its Pavilion at Le Bourget, the main venue of COP21. The pavilion will host a multimedia presentation and various events to showcase how the Organization helps societies transform themselves through scientific knowledge sharing on climate issues as well as work on water security, and the ocean, education for, and awareness of, sustainable development, and culture.

“Changing minds, not the climate,” is the motto of UNESCO at COP21, and a prerequisite for the success of the Conference. Ms Bokova argues that “combatting climate change is a sound investment in a safer, more stable world. COP21 must therefore, be a turning point, which sends a loud and clear signal to citizens, markets and the private sector that the transformation of our societies is inevitable, beneficial, and already underway.”

Other notable events organized by and with UNESCO for COP21 include:

1-4 December: International Conference on Water and Megacities, at UNESCO Headquarters, will bring together experts and representatives from 12 megacities. They will exchange views and research findings on how to adapt to climate change so as to secure sound water management in the world’s largest conurbations. The conference is organized with the French water research body ARCEAU Ile-de-France.

3-4 December: Oceans Day (Le Bourget), will set out to advance the ocean and climate change agenda at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) and beyond. The event is organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and a large number of research institutions from all over the world.

4 December, Ministerial Side Event on Education (1.15 pm to 2.45 pm) organized by the French Ministry of Education with the participation of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will feature declarations by the Director-General and education ministers from around the world.

7 December: Key Findings of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report at UNESCO Headquarters: During a day-long event (8.30 am to 5.30 pm), UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will highlight the key findings of the latest IPCC Assessment Report (AR5), within the framework of COP21 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

7 December: Earth to Paris, with UN Foundation, Petit Palais: The Director-General of UNESCO alongside the Mayor of Paris and the heads of UNICEF, UNDP and leading environmental activists will open the social media event. It will bring together civil society groups, businesses, scientists, innovators, and citizens to share climate solutions and signal the active role that every one of us must play to address climate change. http://www.earthtoparis.org/event