Throughout this unprecedented heath and sanitary crisis, UNESCO has endeavoured to bring science closer to society and to bolster the critically needed international scientific collaborations. From the science perspective, UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 is structured around three major pillars: promoting international scientific cooperation, ensuring access to water and supporting ecological reconstruction. UNESCO (2020)
To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to strengthen international and national scientific cooperation, as well as the dialogue between scientists, policymakers, private practitioners, industries and health professionals, civil society and public at large. This calls for open access to scientific knowledge and know-how, data sharing and evidence-based policy and decision making and an urgent transition to Open Science globally.
Access to clean and safe water and sanitation is critical and is indispensable to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to fight the pandemic. UNESCO provides scientific and technical advice and builds capacity for evidence-based and inclusive water policies and for the sustainable management of water resources towards ensuring access to clean and safe water and sanitation for all.
The pressure on biodiversity and its natural habitats favour the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. More than ever, there is a need to rethink the links between people and nature. UNESCO’s designated sites, such as Biosphere Reserves and Global UNESCO Geoparks, are powerful tools for bringing people closer to nature by testing and applying integrated approaches to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and sustainable development.
Source: UNESCO. (Producer). (2018). Science for Peace: A message from UNESCO Special envoy HRH Princess Sumaya bint el Hassan. [Online video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/embed/FVobUTb7eaE.
Source: UN DESA. (Producer). (2018). Frontier technologies for a sustainable future. [Online video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzFTbhmiMyk