You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 03:17:04 Dec 21, 2021, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide

COVID-19 - Open science and reinforced scientific cooperation

UNESCO’s response in the field of Natural Sciences is structured around three major pillars:


It is imperative now than ever to strengthen/build international, inter-continental and national scientific cooperation between scientists, decision/policy makers, private practitioners, industries and health professional and civil society for a multi-dimensional approach to tackling the Coronavirus. This calls for open access to scientific knowledge and know-how, data sharing and evidence- based policy and decision making.

Access to clean and safe water and sanitation is critical and is indispensable to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and fighting COVID-19. UNESCO provides scientific and technical advice and builds capacity for evidence based and inclusive water policies and for sustainable management of water resources towards ensuring access to clean and safe water and sanitation for all.

Science and research have to drive change and prepare for the post-crisis. UNESCO’s designated sites (Biosphere reserves, global Geoparks) are powerful tools to remedy at least part of the misunderstanding between humankind and nature through the integrated approach of valorizing nature via conservation, restoration, transmission and sustainable development.


UNESCO is putting in place the elements to strengthen people's resilience, through scientific solutions and increased scientific cooperation.

News and Stories

STI- related policy responses to the COVID-19

Robust STI systems and efficient inclusive STI policies are of crucial importance in times of global crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. UNESCO, as the UN agency with the mandate in science, is responding to this global health crises by advocating for open science,international scientific collaborations, sustainable investments in STI, and policy support to STI.


Women scientists share knowledge and initiatives to address COVID-19

A webinar organized for the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Alumnae Network provided an opportunity to share knowledge and explore potential collaboration among leading women experts in virology, epidemiology, and relevant disciplines awarded through the For Women in Science Programme.

Full story

Risk Communication for Social Awareness on COVID-19 - UNESCO JAKARTA

The video featured three COVID-19 recovered patients, Sita Tyasutami (Covid-19 Patient no. 01), Ratri Anindyajati (Covid-19 Patient no. 03) and Rico J Sihombing (COVID-19 Patient). The message in the video focuses on the three categories of people’s exposure to COVID-19

Full video here

UNESCO joins the “World Leaders’ Call for Action on COVID-19

Heads of State, Government, and leaders from United Nations agencies, International Financial Institutions, civil society, private sector and research and learning are mobilizing around a call for the prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene in the response to COVID-19.

Read the Call for Action

UNESCO Global Geoparks continue supporting communities during COVID-19 pandemic

UNESCO Global Geoparks have launched various initiatives in the context of the COVID19 pandemic in order to support local communities.

Read the full story

UN Call for Technology Solutions for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts

In support to the UN Secretary-General’s initiative in assisting Member States at the COVID-19 crisis, the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs requests your inputs in response to this Call for Technology Solutions for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate impacts.

More information

The UNESCO Section for Innovation and Capacity Building in Science and Engineering compiles online STEM education resources available for inclusive distance learning in response to COVID-19

Teaching STEM education from home has never been more accessible than it is today. These free online resources provide coding challenges for all ages, mathematical problems and solutions, and a variety of experiments, instructions, descriptions, guides, magazines, as well as interactive opportunities with scientists via Skype.

Find out more and access the resources

UNESCO Director-General's Op-Ed in the Financial Times on long-term investment in scientific research and the call for Open Science

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in an Op-Ed to the Financial Times calls for long-term investment in scientific research and Open Science. "Science funding must remain after the crisis," she writes. "Research communities are not born overnight; to remain, investment must be secure."

Full article on the Financial Times website (subscription required).

Green economies, a bulwark against COVID 19 for Lake Chad communities

COVID 19 is causing a shockwave around the world and is now the number one concern of the international community. It is fundamental and legitimate to focus on the present of the pandemic. But we must not forget the root causes. It is also essential to think now about the post-crisis, the "reconstruction" phase, which should be about not only health, economic and social issues but also the environment.

Read the full article


TWAS endorses the global call from UNESCO and from its close partner organization, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), recognizing the essential need for the global research community to act collectively and for open science to control the spread of the virus.

Full statement

UNESCO mobilizes 122 countries to promote open science and reinforced cooperation in the face of COVID-19

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay calls on governments to reinforce scientific cooperation and integrate open science in their research programmes to prevent and mitigate global crises.

Read the Press Release

Meriem Bouamrane : This pandemic, the consequence of our mistreated biodiversity?

What will we do tomorrow when we know that each of our actions can have a major impact on humanity?
Let's question ourselves with Meriem Bouamrane, a specialist of the MAB programme (Man and the Biosphere) and UNESCO's biodiversity focal point. She gives us a few clues and explains how we are going to have to rebuild our society differently. Urgently.

Full video

The UNESCO Nairobi Science Sector Compiles a variety of educational resources to assist students in Africa continent especially from vulnerable and poor communities.

UNESCO estimates that 1.37 billion students are home as a result of COVID-19 school closures with the figures likely to increase if the pandemic continues to spread. For continuity of learning, under the overall coordination of Director of UNESCO Nairobi the Science Sector has compiled a variety of educational resources to assist students in Africa continent especially from vulnerable and poor communities.

Read the article

Contribution of Engineering and Technology in gathering information on COVID-19

The International Knowledge Centre of Engineering, Science and Technology (IKCEST), under the auspices of UNESCO, is a UNESCO Category II Centre created in 2013, that concentrates on computing and big data. To gather and correlate the different information about the coronavirus, IKCEST created a dedicated platform. This video explains the platform and its use.

Full video

Great apes and covid-19, an additional threat to already endangered species?

Due to the destruction of their natural habitat and increasing contacts with human activities, Great apes, of which seven species are already threatened by extinction, are potentially vulnerable to this new virus.

Read the full article

How Soap Kills COVID-19 on Hands

How 20 seconds of washing yours hands with soap will save lives — the chemistry ex-plained:

Read the full article

Press Articles

Coronavirus catalyses global action on open research

Science ministers and representatives from 122 countries have expressed “unanimous support” for a global pact on open research at a high-level meeting of the UN’s science agency, Research Professional News has learned.

Read the full article

Quotes and reactions

We all depend on science to survive

Marcos Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, Brazil

Collaboration is really critical for knowledge and data sharing as well as in advancing COVID-19 research. At a time when trade and transport barriers are impeding the movement of critical materials, it is important to underline that science be allowed to lead the global response to this pandemic.

Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization

A strong policy of sharing information among scientists and with the public was critical in the fight against COVID-19. Massive scale of testing was essential and the government supported scientists and industries to produce and launch testing kits as quickly as possible as well as the R&D for identifying the effective candidate materials for drug repositioning. In the research for the vaccine and therapies, sharing research data and output, and collaboration between scientists are crucial.

Byungseon Jeong, 1st Vice Minister, Minister of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea