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Environmental Science

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How do we deal with an increasing demand for water and the unequal distribution of this precious resource?
How do we better prepare for tsunamis and other natural hazards?
How can we safeguard both a healthy environment and a robust economy today and tomorrow?
How can an understanding of mineral deposit processes assist with a more sustainable use of the Earth’s natural resources?

Science plays an important role in our response to global issues such as climate change, the hydrological cycle, biodiversity loss, natural hazards and human-induced disasters, population growth, land-use change, migration and urbanisation. UNESCO’s science programmes adopt an interdisciplinary approach to address the challenges that we face in the 21st century.

UNESCO has a number of large environmental science programmes, including in the marine, freshwater, ecological, and earth sciences. These programmes concentrate on research, management and services, capacity building, education and training. They are supported by extensive networks and sites at global, regional and national levels. In addition, UNESCO also contributes to UN-wide coordination mechanisms such as UN-Water and UN-Oceans.

The UK participates in these major programmes through the involvement of UK-based scientists, policy-makers, practitioners, research and learned institutions, national committees and natural sites.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) promotes a holistic approach to UNESCO’s major intergovernmental and international science programmes, both in the UK and globally. In 2007, it established the Working Group for Increased Cooperation and Coordination Among UNESCO Intergovernmental/International Scientific Programmes in the UK.

Learn more about our work in environmental science by selecting from the below list of topics.

Pages in this section

Thumb: Oceans
Promoting international cooperation in ocean scientific research and in the development of ocean services worldwide
Thumb: Freshwater
Research, collaboration and education to protect freshwater, vital for human health, prosperity and security
Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme
Thumb: Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme
Working to make sustainable development a locally relevant, living reality
Earth Sciences
Thumb: Earth Sciences
Improving our understanding of the Earth System and the use of geological knowledge for development
Thumb: Geoparks
Working to conserve and promote nationally protected sites of outstanding geological importance and encourage public enjoyment and understanding

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Regional and accessibility