The UNESCO’s vast network of Chairs and Networks specialized in the Natural Sciences held their first meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 05 to 07 July 2017 in order to unite their efforts towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conference “Mobilizing UNESCO Chairs in the Natural Sciences for Policy Action Towards the 2030 Agenda” marked the first official meeting of the UNESCO Chairs and Networks in the Natural Sciences. The UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect was represented by its Chairholder Dr. Dimitrios Emmanouloudis, the Vice-Chairholder Dr. George Zaimes and the Donations and Grants Consultant Mrs Io Chatzivaryti. Moreover, the delegation of the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect was authorized to represent the UNESCO Chair on Natural Hazards in the Geosphere, the Hydrosphere and the Atmosphere by its Holder and 2007 Peace Prize Nobelist Dr. Christos S. Zerefos.
Briefly, the 2030 Agenda represents a significant step forward in the recognition of the contribution of science, technology and innovation (STI) to sustainable development and as a driving force, not only for economic growth and prosperity, but also for environmental sustainability, development and social inclusion. The 2030 Agenda offers immense opportunities to reconnect science to society and to build a new basis for research and development as a key precondition for both science and society to flourish. In this context, the 172 UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks that are specialized in science have an important role to play, as bridge builders between the scientific community, decision makers and society. Together they are aiming to define the “Geneva Milestone”, an outcome document to improve cooperation between Chairs, UNESCO and the United Nations System in order to strengthen the contribution of science, technology and innovation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The conference was organized by UNESCO with the support of Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Université de Genève, CERN and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The opening ceremony took place at the Université de Genève.
During the conference, the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect had the opportunity to present their vision for embodying Nestos River in the Man and the Biosphere Programme (ΜΑΒ/UNESCO) to all the participants, including the Directors of MAB/UNESCO, as well as other Chairs that are already involved in this Programme. It should be noted that the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect will hold a workshop (19-20 October 2017) in Nestos municipality for finalizing the submission preparation and entry application of the Nestos River to the MAB/UNESCO. Several MAB Holders will participate in this workshop and assist with all the procedures.
The Chair UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect is hosted at the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH) - Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management, which is the legal entity. It consists of the academic and research staff of EMATTECH and associate collaborators who work on a volunteer basis to fulfill its objectives and it aspires to bring together distinguished researchers of international range to share their know-how and to work pro bono on innovative solutions of riparian, deltaic and ecotourism management.
UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect: http://unescochair.teiemt.gr/
UNESCO Conference website: http://en.unesco.org/sc-chairs-conference
Geneva Milestone: https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/geneva_milestone_final.pdf
Sustainable Development Agenda 2030: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/