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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization


Natural Sciences

Europe & North America


  • © SMAEMV
  • Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO Headquarters are located in Paris.

France's cooperation with the Natural Sciences Sector covers many fields. The International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) in Nice is operating under the auspices of UNESCO.

The French National Committee for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is also participating in a global campaign for disaster reduction education. This campaign, entitled Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School, is a joint initiative by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and UNESCO.

The country has been providing case studies on water and irrigation, industry, agriculture and hydroelectricity, transboundary water management and urban water to the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) since WWAP's inception in 2000.  

There are 10 active Biosphere Reserves in France, some of which are located overseas in Guadeloupe and in the Pacific. The Vosges du Nord/Pfälzerwald Transboundary Biosphere Reserve is shared with Germany.



- Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy programme (HELP) projects:

- International Flood Initiative (IFI)

- International Sediment Initiative (ISI) case study, under preparation 

- World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) national case study More

- Northern European Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data (FRIEND) More

- Alpine and Mediterranean Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data (AMHY FRIEND)

- UNITWIN Mediterranean Network UNESCO-UNU-City of Cannes Chairs on water resources, sustainable development and peace , established in 1999 at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis More


People, Biodiversity and Ecology

- Biosphere Reserves (WNBRs)

- UNESCO Chair in applied membrane sciences for environment, established in 2004 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier, Institut Européen des Membranes, Montpellier More



- Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/PTWS)

- Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System programme (IOTWS


Earth Sciences

- National Geoparks 

- Triassic Time and Trans-Panthalassan Correlations (IGCP, Project 467)

- Late Variscan terrestrial biotas and palaeoenvironments (IGCP, Project 469)

- GIS metallogeny of Central Asia (IGCP, Project 473)

- Deltas in the Monsoon Asia-Pacific region (DeltaMAP) (IGCP, Project 475

- Sustainable Use of Platinum Group Elements (IGCP, Project 479)

- Structural and Tectonic Correlation across the Central Asia Orogenic Collage: Implications for Continental Growth and Intracontinental Deformation (IGCP, Project 480)

- Dating Caspian Sea Level Change (CASPAGE) (IGCP, Project 481)

- Geodynamics of the East African Rift System / Geophysical Characteristics and Evolution of the South-western Branch of the East African Rift System (IGCP, Project 482/489

- The role of Holocene environmental catastrophes in human history (IGCP, Project 490)

- Middle Palaeozoic vertebrate biogeography, palaeogeography and climate (IGCP, Project 491)

- Quaternary Land-Ocean Interactions (IGCP, Project 495)

- The Rheic Ocean: Its origin, evolution, and correlatives  (IGCP, Project 497)

- Devonian land-sea interaction: evolution of ecosystems and climate (IGCP, Project 499)

- Global Comparison of Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulphide Districts (IGCP, Project 502)

- Ordovician palaeogeography and palaeoclimate (IGCP, Project 503

- Marine and Non-marine Jurassic: Global correlation and major geological events (IGCP, Project 506)

- Palaeoproterozoic Supercontinents and Global Evolution (IGCP, Project 509)

- Global correlation of A-type granites and related rocks, their mineralization, and significance in lithospheric evolution 

(IGCP, Project 510)

- Submarine Mass Movements and their Consequences (IGCP, Project 511)

- Neoproterozoic Ice Ages (IGCP, Project 512)

- Karst Aquifers and Water Resources (IGCP, Project 513)

- Coastal vulnerability related to sea level change (IGCP, Project 515)

- Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor during the last 30,000 years: Sea level change and human adaptation (IGCP, Project 521)

- Arc-Continent Collision (IGCP, Project 524)


Basic Sciences

International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA)

Sciences Policy and Sustainable Development

- Avicenna Virtual Campus (AVICENNA)

- Establishing Science and Technology Parks More


Natural Disaster Reduction

- Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School More

- Reducing Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (RELEMR) programme

Sustainable Development

- Mobile UNESCO Chair in development and regional development of territories, established in 1994 at the University of Toulouse III More

- UNESCO Chair R I I F A D E L / International Network in engineering of training applied to local Development/Human Resources - Executive Training, established in 1998 at the University of Toulouse 1 More

- UNESCO Chair in Food and Environment Biotechnology for sustainable development (BIODEV), established in 2002 at the University of Provence (Aix-Marseille 1) More

- UNESCO Chair in training of sustainable development professionals, established in 2001 at the Michel de Montaigne University– Bordeaux 3 More

- UNESCO Chair in innovation for sustainable development, established in 2004 at the Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Marseille (ESIM), Marseille More

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