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UNESCO adopts guidelines to protect artists and diversify cultural content on the internet

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 16:45
photo_digital_culture_exhibit_688px.jpg "Digital meets creativity" exhibition at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (September 2016)© UNESCO 15 June 2017

Representatives from 144 countries, plus the European Union, have approved a set of guidelines on contemporary culture in the digital environment to help countries ensure that artists and producers benefit fully and fairly from the information technologies’ potential at the stages of creation, production and distribution.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova welcomed this development saying, “This is a major breakthrough to adapt the 2005 UNESCO Convention to the needs of our time.These guidelines are a way of ensuring that the digital environment can fulfil all its promises as a motor for an inclusive and creative society.”

The text on the Implementation of the Convention in the Digital Environment was endorsed on 15 June by the Parties to UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions during their biennial meeting at UNESCO Headquarters.

The guidelines also address the need to ensure an inclusive offer of content to the public that will not discriminate against cultural goods on the basis of provenance, language or social factors. They also reaffirm the need to respect human rights in the digital environment, notably freedom of expression, artistic freedom and gender equality.

Digital revolution “fundamentally altered the cultural industries”

The guidelines are the fruit of five years of research and debate with experts, governments and civil society on the challenges and potential created by the expansion of social networks and user-generated content, the proliferation of multimedia devices and the emergence of powerful web-based companies. These factors mean the digital environment requires new business models for e-commerce and streaming, for example, and reinforced policies to protect copyright.

As noted in UNESCO’s report “Re | Shaping Cultural Policies, the digital revolution has fundamentally altered the cultural industries. At the same time, not everyone has the necessary infrastructure (devices and internet connectivity) and artists do not always have the relevant technical know-how. The guidelines therefore also feature advice to governments wishing to harness the potential of the digital environment in developing their cultural and creative industries.

Supporting the next generation of artists

The need to protect internet freedom while ensuring that content-producers are fairly remunerated has been gaining increased attention, particularly thanks to civil society.

On 12 June, several civil society representatives called on the international community to strengthen legislation worldwide. This happened during an event co-organized by UNESCO and the International Confederation of Societies of Artists and Composers (CISAC), which represents four million artists worldwide.

Norweigan filmmaker and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Deeyah Khan described the financial difficulties many artists face, “in no other profession would you be expected to work for free,” she said.

French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and President of CISAC further argued that “we urgently need a new business model to ensure fair pay for artists or we simply won't have the next Victor Hugo, Coldplay or Stanley Kubrick”.

Categories: News

Public empowerment and company self-regulation are key to “fake news”

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 16:08
news_150617_fake_news.jpg © UNESCO 15 June 2017Fabricated facts, counterfeit news and automated dissemination of disinformation can have serious consequences, a seminar of lawyers heard on Monday, 12 June, in Paris.

To address these problems, there is a need to further empower audiences and to step up self-regulation by both by Internet companies and the media, said UNESCO’s Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger.

He was speaking on a panel at the third Annual European Media Lawyers Conference, which included media lawyers Mark Stephens (UK), Yves Dupeux (France), Jim Newton (Los Angeles Times, USA), Pia Sarma (The Times, UK), Johannes Weberling (Association of Publishing House Counsels, Germany) and Eric Chol (Courrier International, France).

Berger said that “fake news” went beyond cases of unscrupulous money-makers or pranksters engaged in circulating lies, adding that UNESCO would be concerned about the potential to disrupt elections or catalyse conflict.

The phrase pointed to the “weaponisation” of news, he stated. “Those who use the label seek to convey that there is deliberate disinformation, rather than merely misinformation,” Berger pointed out.   

He explained that “fake news” in this sense designates politically-impactful information delivered in the language of news, presented as if it were based on professional journalistic practices such as verified facts based on reliable sources.  

“The contest around who perpetrates such fakery then reinforces how disinformation in this particular form creates confusion about the nature of truth. It puts into question the authenticity of mainstream journalism, much of which indeed does need to improve its professionalism,” said Berger.

“The flood of disinformation goes hand in hand with direct attempts to incite distrust and discredit the traditional news industry as well as bully its reporters,” he noted.

In this context, said the Director, UNESCO supports both governments and the news media playing increased roles in fostering news literacy, especially in schools.

Berger cautioned against regulating social media platforms and search engines to turn them into the arbiters of genuine news. Improved self-regulatory systems were preferable to the risks of state power deciding what expressions should be defined as false.

Media self-regulation was also the best way to ensure that mainstream media news met professional standards as much as possible.

A participant at the conference proposed that while not censoring apparent disinformation, Internet companies could do better to signal and surface which online news content came from reputable media organisations. 

Another participant said that serious news media should strive to be the “lighthouse” in social media, illuminating what was rubbish as distinct from what was fact-based information and had a credible name behind it.

The conference was organised by the Media Law Resource Centre representing 120 corporate members and including more than 200 law firms worldwide that specialise in media representation.

Categories: News

Making land fertile again

Europaid - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 15:22
Categories: News

UNESCO and Global Partnership for Education support countries to push Education 2030 agenda

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 14:15

A newly established joint programme between UNESCO and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) aims to support countries in maximizing Education Management and Information Systems (EMIS) to implement SDG 4 – Education 2030.

The programme includes activities designed to generate knowledge; identify good country practices and experiences in the area of EMIS development, implementation and use; and highlight emerging needs at country level.

The development of national education systems in developing countries over the past decades has been accompanied by an increased need for information and data. This data underpins the development and implementation of robust national sector policies and plans, appropriate levels of sector management, and monitoring and evaluation.

Education Management and Information Systems (EMIS) are designed for the collection, integration, processing, maintenance and dissemination of data and information to support decision-making, policy-analysis and formulation, planning, monitoring and management at all levels of an education system.

The information gathered provides education policy-makers, decision-makers and managers at all levels with a comprehensive, integrated set of data and information to support them in completion of their responsibilities. EMIS are also used to monitor that education systems are on track to meet international development targets such as SDG4 and national development goals related to education.

The resulting research and lessons learned from the joint programme will be explored at a conference jointly organized by UNESCO and the GPE at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters in early 2018.

Categories: News

World Heritage Committee to Meet in Krakow, Poland, from 2 to 12 July

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 12:35
15 June 2017

The World Heritage Committee will assess the nomination of 35 sites for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 41st session, which will be chaired by Jacek Purchla, founder and director of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow, the Polish city that will host the session from 2 to 12 July.

This year’s nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List number seven natural sites, one mixed (i.e. both natural and cultural) and 27 cultural sites.

The Committee will also review the state of conservation of 99 World Heritage sites and of 55 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger during the session, which will be webcast (

Five World Heritage sites will be examined with a view to place them on the World Heritage List in Danger:

The state of conservation of Côte d’Ivoire’s Comoé National Park will be examined with a view to removing it from the List in Danger.

Sites nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List this year:

Natural sites:

  • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe [extension to “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Ancient Beech Forests of Germany,” Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine], Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine
  • Los Alerces National Park, Argentina
  • W – Arly – Pendjari Complex [extension to “W National Park of Niger,” Niger], Benin, Burkina Faso
  • Qinghai Hoh Xil, China
  • Mole National Park, Ghana
  • Bhitarkanika Conservation Area, Inde
  • Landscapes of Dauria, Mongolia, Russian Federation

Cultural sites:

  • Historical Centre of Mbanza Kongo, Angola
  • Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace, Azerbaijan
  • Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site, Brazil
  • Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site Representing the Cultural Landscape of Ancient Ishanapura, Cambodia
  • Kulangsu: a historic international settlement, Chine
  • Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th Centuries, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro
  • Kujataa—a subarctic farming landscape in Greenland, Denmark
  • Asmara: Africa’s Modernist City, Eritrea
  • Taputapuātea (France)
  • Strasbourg: from Grande-île to Neustadt, a European urban scene [extension to “Strasbourg –Grande île”], France
  • Gelati Monastery [significant boundary reduction of “Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery”, Georgia
  • Caves with the oldest Ice Age art, Germany
  • The Bauhaus and its sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau [extension to “Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau”], Germany
  • Luther Sites in Central Germany [extension to “Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg”], Germany
  • Naumburg Cathedral and the High Medieval Cultural Landscape of the Rivers Saale and Unstrut, Germany
  • Historic City of Ahmadabad, India
  • Historic City of Yazd, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region, Japan
  • As-Salt Eclectic Architecture (1865-1925), Origins and Evolution of an Architectural Language in the Levant, Jordan
  • Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town, Palestine
  • Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System, Poland
  • The Assumption Cathedral of the town island of Sviyazhsk, Russian Federation
  • Khomani Cultural Landscape, South Africa
  • Talayotic Minorca, Spain
  • Aphrodisias, Turkey
  • Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour, United Arab Emirates
  • The English Lake District, United Kingdom

Mixed sites:

  • Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: originary habitat of Mesoamerica, Mexico

A Forum of young heritage professionals dedicated to the theme of “Memory: Lost and Recovered Heritage”, will be held in Warsaw and Krakow. It will open ahead of the Committee meeting on 25 June and close on 4 July bringing together representatives from 32 countries, including the 21 that are on the World Heritage Committee. Participants will exchange views on the challenges of heritage conservation.





Journalists wishing to cover the Committee’s work should request an access code from before registering online at


Media contacts:

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz,UNESCO Media Section,, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 02. From 1 July in Krakow: +33 (0) 6 80 24 07 29

Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Media Section,, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64. From 1 July in Krakow : +33 (0) 6 80 24 13 56

Follow the committee on Twitter: #WorldHeritage

Follow us:

Twitter: @UNESCO
Facebook: @UNESCO


All of the Committee’s Working documents:


State of Conservation reports:

State of Conservation reports concering sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

More about the state of conservation of World Heritage sites:


Evaluations of nominated cultural and mixed properties: and


Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties: and


Photo gallery:


Categories: News

Action against desertification (A Component)

Europaid - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 12:12
Categories: News

The Human Face of Migration, UNESCO and UN University Conference

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 17:49
14 June 2017

UNESCO and United Nations University (UNU), will host a conference about migrants and refugees at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 15 June (3-6pm), contributing to the follow up on the 2016 UN General Assembly’s New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants.

Humanitarian workers, artists, academics, representatives of civil society and policymakers will take part in "The Human Face of Migration: Historical Perspectives, Testimonies and Policy Considerations", conference, which will be opened by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Rector of the UNU David Malone.

Notable participants will include UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna V. Vardinoyannis (Greece), photographer and film director Yann Arthus-Bertrand (France), along with the coordinator of health interventions for migrants in Lampedusa, Pietro Bartolo (Italy).

Giving pride of place to grass root testimonies and historical reflection, the conference is to shed light on current thinking in the development of migration policies respectful of human dignity and human rights. It fits within the development of the Global Compact for Migration mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The conference is linked to the initiative Welcoming Cities for Refugees and Migrants of UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR) and the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme of UNESCO.

The UN is expected to agree next year on a framework containing specific and actionable commitments to improve the lives of migrants and refugees. Work in this area is led by the Global Migration Group (GMG), a 22-member interagency platform promoting greater cooperation and coherence, where UNU and UNESCO collaborate closely.


For the programme of the Conference click here

Media accreditation: Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Media Section, +33(0)145681741


Categories: News

23 new sites added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:30
14 June 2017

The International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme meeting in Paris has added 23 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere, including four that straddle national boundaries. These additions were made during the MAB Council’s meeting in Paris from 12 to 15 June.

The Council also approved extensions to 11 reserves and the renaming of another, as well as the request by Bulgaria and the United States of America to withdraw some of their reserves from the World Network.

The Bulgarian sites that have been withdrawn are: Doupkata; Kamtchia; Koupena.

Sites that have been withdrawn by the US sites are: Aleutian Islands; Beaver Creek; California Coast Ranges; Carolinian South Atlantic; Central Plains; Coram; Desert; Fraser; H.J. Andrews; Hubbard Brook; Konza Prairie Research Natural Area; Land Between the Lake; Niwot Ridge; Noatak; Stanislas-Tuolumne; Three Sisters; Virgin Islands.

Biosphere Reserves are learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. New sites are designated every year by the MAB Council which is composed of representatives of 34 elected UNESCO Member.

The following Biosphere Reserves joined the network this year:

Mono Biosphere Reserve (Benin)—Located in the southwest of the country, this 9,462 ha site comprises ecosystems that include mangroves, wetlands, savannah and forests. It is home to notable biodiversity flagship species such as the dugong, or sea cows, hippos and two monkey species. Nearly 180,000 inhabitants live within the reserve, mostly from livestock and small scale farming of palm oil and coconuts, as well as fishing.

Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Benin/Togo)—Located in the southern parts of Benin and Togo, the 346,285 ha. site stretches over the alluvial plain, delta and coast of the Mono River. It brings together Benin’s and Togo’s national biosphere reserves of the same name and features a mosaic of landscapes and ecosystems, mangroves, savannahs, lagoons, and flood plains as well as forests, some of which are sacred.  The biosphere reserve is home to some two million people, whose main activity is small-scale farming (palm oil and coconuts), livestock grazing, forestry and fishing.

Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica)—This site is located on the central Pacific coast, 190 km from the capital, San José. This reserve has high biodiversity value, hosting 20% of the total flora of the country, 54% of its mammals and 59% of its birds. It has approximately 50,000 inhabitants, whose main activities are agriculture and livestock rearing. Crop production is significant in high altitude areas, including plantations of apple, pomegranate and avocado. During recent years, ecotourism has increased and has become a source of socio-economic growth in the region.

Moen Biosphere Reserve (Denmark)—This reserve consists of a series of islands and islets in the southern Baltic Sea, over approximately 45,118 ha. Its landscapes include woodlands, grasslands, meadows, wetlands, coastal areas, ponds and steep hills. This biosphere reserve includes a number of small villages, scattered farms and residential areas with a total population of some 45,806 inhabitants. The main activities are trade, agriculture, fishing and tourism.

La Selle - Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Dominican Republic  / Haiti)—This biosphere reserve includes the reserves of La Selle in Haiti, designated in 2012, and Jaragua-Bahoruco in the Dominican Republic, designated in 2002. These two reserves represent ecological corridors divided by a political and administrative frontier. Bringing them together should allow better management of the environment.

Bosques de Paz Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Ecuador/Peru)—Located in the southwest of Ecuador and in northwest of Peru, this site covers a total area of 1,616,988 ha. It includes territories of the western foothills of the Andes, with altitudes reaching up to 3,000 metres, which have generated a biodiversity with a high degree of endemism. The biosphere reserve includes the seasonally dry forests of Ecuador and Peru, which form the heart of the Endemic Region of Tumbes, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots of the world. This region has 59 endemic species, of which 14 are threatened. Most of its 617,000 inhabitants make a living from livestock and tourism.

Majang Forest Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia)—Located in the west of the country, this biosphere reserve includes Afromontane forests in one of the most fragmented and threatened regions in the world. The landscape also includes several wetlands and marshes. At altitudes above 1,000 metres, vegetation chiefly consists of ferns and bamboo, while palm trees cover the lower areas. The biodiversity rich region is home to 550 higher plant species, 33 species of mammal and 130 species of birds alongside a human population of about 52,000.

Black Forest Biosphere Reserve (Germany)—Located in the south of the country, this biosphere reserve contains low mountain ranges, forests shaped by silviculture, lowland and mountain hay meadows and lowland moors. The total surface area of the site is 63,325 ha, 70% of which is forested. 38,000 inhabitants live in the area, which has preserved its traditions and maintain a significant craft industry. Sustainable tourism is widely encouraged.

San Marcos de Colón Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) – This site, which covers a surface area of 57,810 ha, is located some 12 km from the Nicaraguan border, at an altitude of 500 to 1700 metres. It is characterized by significant biodiversity and the presence of several endemic species of fauna. Eighteen villages are located on the site whose population numbers 26,350 inhabitants. Their principal activities include horticulture, fruit and coffee production, the growth of ornamental plants, cattle rearing and dairy production. The region is also known for its saddlery products (belts, harnesses, boots etc).

Tepilora, Rio Posada and Montalbo Biosphere Reserve (Italy)—Located in Sardinia, this biosphere reserve has a total surface area of over 140,000 ha, and presents mountainous areas to the west and a flat strip to the east, rivers and coastal areas. Around 50,000 people live on this site, which includes the Montalbo massif.

Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve (Japan)—This site, which is part of the Sobo-Katamuki-Okue mountain range, is characterized by precipitous mountains. Forests cover 85% of the 243,672 ha of the site, which is a hotspot of biodiversity in the region. The area has fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, whose livelihood comes from farming and exploiting forest resources, including wood production, shitake mushroom cultivation, and charcoal production.

Minakami Biosphere Reserve (Japan)—The site includes the central divide of the rivers of the island of Honshu formed by a 2,000 metre high backbone. Significant environmental differences between the eastern and western slopes, between mountainous and lowland areas create a distinct biological and cultural diversity. More than 21,000 people live in the reserve, which covers a total of 91,368 ha. Their main activities are agriculture and tourism.

Altyn Emel Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan)—This biosphere reserve covers the same areas as the Altyn Emel state national nature park, one of the country’s protected areas, which is very important for the conservation of the region’s biological diversity. It includes a large number of endemic plants. The site comprises deserts, riparian forests and floodplains of the Ili River, deciduous and spruce forests as well as salt marshes. The resident population of about 4,000 lives mainly from agriculture and cattle rearing as well as ecotourism and recreational tourism.

Karatau Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan)—Located in the central part of the Karatau ridgeway, a branch of Northwestern Tien Shan, one of the world’s largest mountain ranges, the reserve covers a total surface area of 151,800 ha and is inhabited by 83,000 people. It is an extremely important natural complex for the conservation of West Tien Shan biodiversity. Karatau occupies first place among Central Asian regions in terms of its wealth of endemic species. The region’s economy rests primarily on cattle rearing, agriculture, ecotourism and recreational tourism.

Indawgyi Biosphere Reserve (Myanmar)—Indawgyi Lake is the largest body of freshwater in Myanmar. With a total surface area of 133,715 ha, the site consists of a large open lake with floating vegetation areas, a swamp forest and seasonally flooded grasslands. The hills surrounding the lake are covered by subtropical moist broadleaf forests that harbour a number of threatened forest birds and mammals, including primates. The local population derives most of its income from farmlands bordering the lake.

Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve (Niger)—Located in the centre of the country, the site extends over an area of 1,413,625 ha. It comprises a mosaic of savannahs, depressions, pits and sand dunes. Its fauna includes mammals such as dorcas gazelle, pale fox, and golden jackal. The human population of the reserve belongs to two main ethnic groups, Touaregs and Peulhs, totalling close to 20,000 inhabitants, whose main activity is nomadic pastoralism.

Itaipu Biosphere Reserve (Paraguay)—Located in the east of the country, the reserve covers a surface area of over a million hectares. It comprises an area of semi-deciduous sub-tropical forest also known as the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. It is one of the most important ecosystems for the conservation of biological diversity on a global scale, due to its large number of endemic species, wealth of species and original cover. It is home to large predators such as harpies, jaguars, pumas and large herbivores such as tapirs. It has a permanent population of over 450,000 inhabitants.

Castro Verde Biosphere Reserve (Portugal)—Located in southern Portugal, in the hinterland of the Baixo Alentejo region, the biosphere reserve covers an area of almost 57,000 ha. It encompasses the most important cereal steppe area in Portugal, one of the most threatened rural landscapes in the Mediterranean region. It has a high degree of endemism in its flora. There is a bird community of some 200 species, including steppe birds such as the great bustard and endemic species such as the Iberian Imperial eagle, one of the most endangered birds of prey in the world. Some 7,200 inhabitants make a living from the extensive production of cereals and livestock rearing in the reserve.

Khakassky Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation)—Located at the heart of the Eurasian continent and known for its rich biodiversity, more than 80 % of this biosphere reserve is covered by mountain-taiga. With a surface area of almost 2 million hectares, it is home to 5,500 permanent inhabitants. Sustainable forest management and agriculture, beekeeping and tourism are the main economic activities practised in the site.

Kizlyar Bay Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation)—Kizlyar Bay is one of the largest bays in the Caspian Sea and one of the largest migratory routes for birds in Eurasia. It represents a diversity of marine, coastal and desert-steppe ecosystems, including populations of threatened animals, such as the Caspian seal, many species of birds and sturgeons. With a surface area of 354,100 ha, it has a permanent population of 1,600 inhabitants who depend on fishing, land use (grazing and haymaking), hunting and tourism.

Metsola Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation)—Located at the border with Finland, the site comprises the Kostomukshsky reserve and contains one of the oldest intact north-taiga forests in Northwest Russia. Some 30,000 permanent inhabitants live in this biosphere reserve, with a surface area of 345,700 ha. The north-taiga forests are essential for the reproduction of many bird species. The local population lives from forestry, agriculture, fishing, hunting and gathering non-timber forest products.

Great Altay Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation / Republic of Kazakhstan)—The reserve is composed of the Katunskiy biosphere reserve (Russian Federation, designated in 2000) and the Katon-Karagay biosphere reserve (Kazakhstan, designated in 2014). With a surface area of over 1.5 million ha, the area is used for livestock rearing, grazing, red deer farming, fodder production and apiculture. Tourism, hunting, fishing, and the collection of non-timber forest products are also widespread.

Backo Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve (Serbia)—Located in the northwestern part of Serbia, this site, with a surface area of 176,635 ha, extends over the alluvial zones of the central Danube plain. It is composed of remnants of historic floodplains and human-made landscapes influenced by agriculture and human settlements. The floodplain includes alluvial forests, marshes, reed beds, freshwater habitats, alluvial wetlands, as well as flood-protected forests. The main activities of the 147,400 inhabitants are agriculture, forestry and industry.

Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (South Africa)—With a total area of 698,363 ha and a population of over 450,000, this site is part of the Cape Floristic Region biodiversity hotspot region. The Knysna estuary is of great importance for the conservation of this biodiversity. The eastern part of the biosphere reserve is characterised by the presence of wetlands in which farming practices and urban development could have a negative impact. Faunal diversity includes large mammals such as elephants, rhino and buffalo.

Jebel Al Dair Biosphere Reserve (Sudan)—This reserve is constituted of the Al Dair massif, composed of dry savannah woodlands, forested ecosystems and a network of streams. It is one of the last remaining areas with rich biodiversity in the semi-arid North Kordofan. The site numbers 112 plant species, most with medicinal and aromatic uses. There are also 220 bird species and 22 mammal and reptile species.

Mono Biosphere Reserve (Togo)—The site covering an area of 203,789 ha in the southeast of the country encompasses several coastal ecosystems – mangroves, wetlands, forests and flood plains, as well as farmlands used for small-scale production of palm oil and coconuts. There is also fishing and livestock rearing. The presence of sacred forests and isolated sacred trees is testimony to the vitality of the traditional cultural practices of the biosphere reserve’s 1,835,000 inhabitants.


Fitzgerald Biosphere Reserve—extension and renaming of the former Fitzgerald River National Park Biosphere Reserve (Australia) – Located in the state of Western Australia, this biosphere reserve was originally designated in 1978. With its extension, the reserve will now cover a total surface area of 1,530,000 ha. The main ecosystems represented are forests, river basins, small mountain ranges, wetlands and estuaries.

Central Balkan Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria)—Located in the centre of the country, this new reserve encompasses four existing biosphere reserves: Steneto, Tsaritchina, Djendema and Boatin, all designated in 1977. The new reserve includes the Central Balkan national park and contains rare and endangered wildlife species. It contains the most important old beech forest massif in the country (71% of the national park). The main activities include transhumance, grazing and hiking tourism. The total area of the reserve is 369,000 ha with a population of 129,600 inhabitants.

Uzunbudzhak Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria)—About 3,700 people live on this site, which has a surface area of 78,425 ha, and was designated a biosphere reserve in 1977. The landscape is among the most representative of Europe, with temperate forests with evergreen laurel undergrowth. It includes the Strandja National Park, which is very rich in biodiversity, and karst caves.

Chervenata Stena Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria)—Designated in 1977, the biosphere reserve will now cover a surface area of 65,409 ha with the extension. Located in the south Bulgarian mountains, it contains mid-mountainous forest landscapes as well as high mountain meadows. The main activities of reserve’s 60,000 inhabitants include organic agriculture, stockbreeding and eco-tourism.

Srébarna Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria)—Originally designated in 1977, the biosphere reserve is located in the northeast of the country and covers a surface area of 52,000 ha with a population of 61,365. It has high biodiversity. The existing biosphere reserve has been extended to include the municipality of Silistra, which hosts numerous cultural events and traditional festivals.

Meggido Biosphere Reserve (Israel)Renaming of Ramot Menashe Biosphere Reserve.

Manu Biosphere Reserve (Peru)—Designated in 1977, the biosphere reserve is located between the regions of Cusco and Madre de Dios. It has a large diversity of ecosystems, ranging from high grasslands to tropical rainforests and cloud forests. It contains almost all the ecosystems, flora and fauna of the Peruvian Amazon. With this extension, the area of the reserve is increased from 1,881,200 ha to 2,438,956 ha.

Masurian Lakes Biosphere Reserve [Extension and renaming of the former biosphere reserve of Lake Luknajno] (Poland)—The biosphere reserve, originally designated in 1976, is located in northern Poland. With an original surface area of 1,400 ha, it now covers 58,693 ha and is home to a population of nearly 8,300 people.

Marismas del Odiel Biosphere Reserve (Spain)—Designated in 1983, the biosphere reserve is located in the Gulf of Cadiz, in the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The surface area of the site has been increased from 7,158 ha to 18,875 ha and is home to a population of 33,700. The biosphere reserve occupies the mouth of the Odiel River, in the province of Huelva, as well as a coastal fringe.

Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve (Tanzania)—Designated in 1981, the biosphere reserve is located in the East African Rift Valley. It has a surface area of 346,741 ha and a population of over 257,000 inhabitants. It includes the Lake Manyara National Park and Burunge Wildlife Conservation Area and has a history of Maasai pastoralist presence dating to the 18th century. It is home to many animal species such as the spotted hyena, hippopotamus and the common genet, as well as several threatened species.

Serengeti-Ngorongoro Biosphere Reserve (Tanzania)—The biosphere reserve covers a surface area of 4,397,314 ha and was originally designated in 1981. It includes the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the north of Tanzania. It supports about 1.5 million wildebeest, 900,000 Thompson gazelle and 300,000 zebra. Topis, giraffes, black rhino, antelopes and primates are also well represented. The large herbivores support five main predator species including lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs. The reserve is also home to the indigenous Maasai people. It has a fast-growing tourist industry.

East Usambara Biosphere Reserve (Tanzania)—The site, designated in 2000, is representative of forest ecosystems, and includes fragments of tropical forests and forms part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots. The mountains constitute an important water source for neighbouring communities and the city of Tanga. With a surface area of 83,994 ha and a population of 184,253, this biosphere reserve is home to endemic species such as the Usambara eagle owl, the Usambara weaver and the African violet.

The two Brazilian biosphere reserves of São Paulo Green Belt and Mata Atlântica, which were until now joined under the name of Mata Atlântica, are hitherto to be considered as two distinct biosphere reserves.


The Man and the Biosphere Programme was created by UNESCO in the early 1970s as an intergovernmental scientific endeavour to improve relations between people around the world and their natural environment.


Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Media Section, +33(0)145681764


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Instruments de politiques en matière de Sciences, Technologie et Innovation (STI) : L’UNESCO renforce les capacités des cadres nationaux pour sa mise en œuvre (in French)

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:20
atelierpolitiquesstimali1.jpg © UNESCO

Bamako, 9 juin 2017 – Dans l’objectif de contribuer au renforcement de capacités des cadres et à améliorer la gouvernance en matière de STI pour une meilleure maîtrise des outils d’analyse et de suivi des politiques STI, le bureau de l’UNESCO à Bamako en collaboration avec le Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique a organisé du 6 au 8 juin, l’atelier sur l’état de lieux des instruments de politique scientifique et leur utilisation.

La cérémonie d’ouverture était présidée par Pr. Amadou Ouane, Conseiller Technique au Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche scientifique, en présence de M. Pierre Saye, représentant du Chef du Bureau de l‘UNESCO à Bamako. On notait également la présence du facilitateur, des décideurs politiques, des responsables gouvernementaux, des gestionnaires du système STI, des chercheurs universitaires et entrepreneurs, des statisticiens et représentants de la société civile nationale.

Il ne fait plus de doute aujourd’hui, que la science, la technologie et l’innovation (les STI) sont au cœur du Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 (les fameux ODD de l’agenda 2030), du Programme d’action d'Addis-Abeba, du Cadre d’action de Sendai, et de l’Accord de Paris sur les changements climatiques. « Pour l’UNESCO, la base de toute stratégie efficace pour le développement durable est le renforcement de capacités en STI, à la fois humaines, institutionnelles, technologiques, financières et juridiques, et ceci aux niveaux national, sous régional, régional », a souligné M. Pierre Saye, dans son discours à l’ouverture des travaux.

Pr. Ouane, a rappelé pour sa part que le Gouvernement à travers son Ministère a élaboré et adopté la Politique Nationale en STI assortie de son décret d’application et de son plan d’actions pour sa mise en œuvre avec l’appui technique et financier l’UNESCO. « Cependant, conscient que la mise en place d’une politique STI sans instaurer un cadre juridique et octroyer des moyens et d’instruments de politiques opérationnels, vouerait celle-ci à l’échec. Il est donc opportun d’identifier, analyser et développer des instruments cohérents et bien pensés pour mettre en œuvre la nouvelle politique STI du Mali et la traduire en réalité, ce qui justifie la tenue dudit atelier », a-t-il déclaré.

Durant trois jours de travaux, le facilitateur, Expert Politique d’Innovation à l’Observatoire Africain de la Science, Technologies et Innovation (OASTI), a développé la méthodologie « GO-SPIN », utilisée par l’UNESCO, pour appuyer les Etats membres à rejoindre le Programme de l’Observatoire Mondial des instruments de politique STI (GO-SPIN), qui est utilisé pour produire une analyse standard des systèmes nationaux de STI. En plus de fournir ses informations, GO-SPIN est un outil de renforcement des capacités, d’aide à la gouvernance des STI, et de recherche dans le domaine des politiques et des instruments de politiques. La PNSTI fut l’objet de présentation par le MESRS et les indicateurs STI du Mali par l’Institut National de la Statistique (INSAT). Cinq groupes de travail ont travaillé pour remplir le questionnaire GO-SPIN.

L’UNESCO, dans son discours de clôture, a remercié les participants pour le bon déroulement des travaux, le facilitateur pour la qualité de la formation dispensée et Madame le MESRS et ses collaborateurs pour leur engagement à la réussite de l’atelier. L’UNESCO a réitéré son engagement profond à accompagner les Etats membres dans le processus de renforcement des capacités afin de leur permettre d’atteindre les objectifs de développement durable par une utilisation efficiente des STI.

Pour sa part, le Représentant de Madame le Ministre a remercié l’UNESCO pour son accompagnement toujours au bon moment, les participants pour leur assiduité et leur participation active dans les travaux de groupe. Il a terminé ses mots sur une note d’espoir qui est la mise en œuvre effective par le MESRS de toutes les recommandations issues de l’atelier.

Les travaux de l’atelier ont pris fin par l’élaboration de la feuille de route pour les prochaines étapes de renforcement de capacités pour la finalisation et la validation du questionnaire et la formulation des recommandations.

Categories: News

WSIS Forum 2017 opened this week in Geneva

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 14:46
news_140617_wsis.jpg © UNESCO 14 June 2017The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2017, the largest gathering of ICT stakeholders started this week in Geneva, under the theme “Information and Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development Goals”. More than 2000 participants from 150 countries are participating in the Forum. The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Mr Houlin Zhao welcomed the participants. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT from Rwanda, acted as the Chairperson of the Forum.

Co-organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP, UNCTAD as well as a range of other partners, this year’s Forum aims at strengthening the alignment between the WSIS Action Lines and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event will serve as a key platform for discussions on the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Forum, Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information of UNESCO, stressed UNESCO’s commitment to help Member States attain WSIS+10 goals and achieve SDGs by 2030. ICTs can play a crucial role in addressing development challenges, particularly SDG 16, which promotes peaceful and inclusive knowledge societies, access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Mr La Rue also highlighted SDG 5 (Gender equality) as an important component of all SDGs and maintained that all forms of inequality (including poverty and divides) need to be addressed through universal access to information.

The WSIS Forum provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

As a main organizing partner of WSIS in partnership with ITU, UNESCO will be hosting two high-level sessions (on Defining Internet Universality Indicators and Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism Online), as well as five action line meetings during the Forum, which will end on 16 June 2017.

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Resilience and development

Europaid - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:48
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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Europaid - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:48
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Recognising journalism as a world heritage under threat

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:59
news_140617_durban.jpg Guy Berger, UNESCO’s Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development© UNESCO 14 June 2017

Society could be facing the destruction of a very particular world heritage - namely, journalism. This is what UNESCO’s Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development told media leaders in his remarks delivered in Durban last week

“With declining economics of media, the world has seen the loss of journalists to redundancies. Add in the other challenges today, and we risk a loss of journalism altogether,” Guy Berger told the Congress of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

The UNESCO Director pointed to a growing flood of disinformation posing as news, causing confusion, and eroding society’s expectation that professional journalism can be trusted.

In place of credible journalism, all “truths” could come to be seen as equally plausible. Individuals would have to fall back on only believing the claims of a strong leader, the views of friends, and the bias of pre-existing assumptions.

“Without journalism standing out in the mix, it will not be possible to find the public path to the sustainable development – a path that is based upon evidence, facts and informed analysis.

“To lose journalism will mean that we find ourselves lost,” stated Berger.

Exacerbating the role of disinformation in intentionally seeking to mislead people and sow doubt in journalism, mainstream media itself is being deliberately discredited as if it were responsible for the “fake news” in circulation. Adding to these pressures, there is also an enormous escalation of online threats that seek to intimidate media practitioners.   

Combined with economic stresses, said Berger, the pressures were putting journalism into long-term jeopardy.

 “We have an urgent imperative to protect journalism, and to rekindle and reinspire public expectations of what journalism can do for us. There is need to signal that no other communications service can fill the gap.

“As important as ensuring protection and reinforcing public expectations, journalism needs to live up to its distinctive promise,” said Berger.

During the Congress, the UNESCO Director also gave the concluding address at a workshop for editors about journalists’ safety. Using the acronym “SAFER”, Berger highlighted five roles that the media could play in terms of shielding their employees:  

“S” – Systems and protection protocols should be put in place, or strengthened, in newsrooms, so as to prepare news personnel in advance of attacks.

“A” – Advocacy and litigation by media could help to ensure state protection of media practitioners under threat and the prosecution of attackers.

“F” – Friendship-building through relationships with NGOs and academia could enable newsrooms to tap into external expertise in safety training and research.

“E” – Empowerment of individual journalists requires editors to arrange safety training and ensure that it covers physical, psychological and digital defence.

“R” – Reportage of safety and impunity issues is needed to document attacks and alert the public about the risks to their right to know.

These five roles, said Berger, were evident in media submissions to the upcoming consultation meeting on strengthening implementation of the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. Fulfilling the roles would be a major contribution, he added.

The UNESCO Director also moderated a roundtable on press freedom, as well as introduced a panel for the Africa launch of the new UNESCO publication on the protection of the confidentiality of journalistic sources in the digital age.

Categories: News