Together with its World Network on Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme functions as a Global Observatory for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. As such, it adds value to the fight against climate change by promoting integrated monitoring, multidisciplinary approaches and participatory activities supporting climate change management and for field learning on climate change impacts and related solutions.
Its work engages with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addresses challenges linked to scientific, environmental, societal and development issues in diverse ecosystems, ranging from mountain regions to tropical forests, drylands, urban environments and marine, coastal and island areas.
MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems. MAB contributes to the fight against climate change and its negative impacts by promoting integrated, multidisciplinary, participatory approaches and networking within and among biosphere reserves on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION & CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is a comprehensive social challenge. Social transformations drive environmental change, which in turns reshapes societies over time. Understanding and responding to climate change thus requires strong input from the social and human sciences. Through its intergovernmental science programme on the Management of Social Transformations (MOST), UNESCO works to foster sustainability science, to make the knowledge it provides available to governments, and to support policies in favour of positive, transformative adaptation.
Positive and transformative climate change adaptation requires inclusive and participatory policies at national level, as well as in regions, cities and provinces. MOST works with its stakeholders, building on the social and human science knowledge base, and agreed political agendas, to support policy development and assessment.
CLIMATE CHANGE, KNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE & 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.
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.
CLIMATE CHANGE, EDUCATION & AWARENESS
Education and awareness-raising enable informed decision-making, play an essential role in increasing adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, and empower women and men to adopt sustainable lifestyles. Climate change education is part of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme. In 2014 UNESCO launched the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, the official follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD, with climate change as a critical thematic focus. Through the UN Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness, UNESCO supports and guides countries to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC Article 6 on education.
As part of its work on Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO supports countries to integrate climate change into their education systems, and facilitates dialogue and exchange of experiences on climate change education through organizing international expert meetings. It mobilizes schools to implement climate change education through a whole-school approach whereby sustainability principles are also integrated into the management of school facilities and the governance structures of learning institutions.