UNESCO's role in Natural Sciences

The UNESCO Sector of Natural Sciences works under the following thematic areas: Fresh water, People, Biodiversity and Ecology, Oceans, Earth Sciences, Basic Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Coasts & Small Islands, Science policy & Sustainable Development, Natural Disaster Reduction and Renewable Sources of Energy.

The overarching objective of UNESCO is mobilizing scientific knowledge and policy for sustainable development with the following three strategic programme objectives:

  • Leveraging scientific knowledge for the benefit of the environment and the management of natural resources;
  • Fostering policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation;
  • Contributing to disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Kenya hosts the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Technology in Africa (ROSTA). The Office in Nairobi assists 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the development and implementation of UNESCO's Science Programmes. Reforms conducted within the 2011 – 2013 biennium will see the Bureau transformed into a UNESCO Multi-Sectoral Regional Office for Eastern Africa.

In addition the Bureau hosts 3 projects: The African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI), Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resources Management (TIGER) and Programme of Education for Emergencies and Reconstruction (PEER).