Creating knowledge and understanding through science equips us to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges and to achieving sustainable development and greener societies. As no one country can achieve sustainable development alone, international scientific cooperation contributes, not only to scientific knowledge but also to building peace.
UNESCO works to assist countries to invest in science, technology and innovation (STI), to develop national science policies, to reform their science systems and to build capacity to monitor and evaluate performance through STI indicators and statistics taking into account the broad range of country-specific contexts.
Science policies are not enough. Science and engineering education at all levels and research capacity need to be built to allow countries to develop their own solutions to their specific problems and to play their part in the international scientific and technological arena.
Linking science to society, public understanding of science and the participation of citizens in science are essential to creating societies where people have the necessary knowledge to make professional, personal and political choices, and to participate in the stimulating world of discovery. Indigenous knowledge systems developed with long and close interaction with nature, complement knowledge systems based on modern science.
Science and technology empower societies and citizens but also involve ethical choices. UNESCO works with its member States to foster informed decisions about the use of science and technology, in particular in the field of bioethics.
Water is fundamental for life and ensuring water security for communities worldwide is essential to peace and sustainable development. The scientific understanding of the water cycle, the distribution and characteristics of surface and groundwater, of urban water all contribute to the wise management of freshwater for a healthy environment and to respond to human needs.
Scientific knowledge of the Earth’s history and mineral resources, knowledge of ecosystems and biodiversity, and the interaction of humans with ecosystems are important to help us understand how to manage our planet for a peaceful and sustainable future.
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