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Climate Knowledge, Science and Culture


UNESCO promotes the continuous strengthening of the interdisciplinary climate change knowledge base of high relevance to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including generation and use of sound and unbiased data, information and early warning through climate change research (climate science), assessments and monitoring.

This is being integrated with UNESCO capacities in natural and social sciences, culture, education, and communication and information to improve the resilience of Member States to climate change through national and local climate mitigation, adaptation and risk management policies based on science, local and indigenous knowledge, and ecological and sociocultural systems.

Through its International Hydrological Programme (IHP)International Geoscience Programme (IGCP)Man and the Biosphere (MAB) ProgrammeIntergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme (LINKS)Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST), and the Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO provides valuable data, information and tools on key areas of concern and related opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, notably on water resources, earth sciences, renewable energy, biodiversity and the ocean. Examples include actions to foster enhanced use of information and communication technologies and improved monitoring and modelling to predict and deal with floods and droughts, and the production of the United Nations World Water Development Report.

Energy, like water, is at the heart of the climate change mitigation and sustainable development agenda. UNESCO promotes the increased use of renewable sources of energy that offer win-win solutions by increasing energy access while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We do this through contributing to capacity-building for enhanced knowledge of sustainable energy technologies and by promoting and disseminating good application practices in different environments and socio-economic contexts.

In the area of biodiversity and climate change, the MAB Programme is spearheading interdisciplinary work on ecosystem services, and the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, such as forests, of great importance for the global climate.

UNESCO helps improve the engagement and role of youth, women and indigenous peoples, as well as understanding of social dimensions, including gender equality issues related to climate change policies and actions. Through its work on culture, UNESCO recognizes and promotes the importance of cultural knowledge and diversity, with cultural heritage and diversity as crucial drivers for the societal transformation and resilience needed in order to respond to climate change and promote sustainable development.