Scientific knowledge and the understanding of the world around us allow the humankind to find solutions to current economic, social, and environmental problems and ensure sustainable development in combination with concern for the environment.
Towards this goal, UNESCO pays special attention to building a knowledge society through the introduction of information and communication technologies in scientific education and culture. All this is aimed at achieving the goals of sustainable development.
UNESCO helps the developing countries to strengthen their capacities, in particular in the fields of fundamental and applied sciences, natural sciences, and technologies. In partnership with various funding agencies, UNESCO provides technical advice and assistance to governments in preparing and implementing effective policies for the development of science and technology.
UNESCO's international scientific programs are supported by extensive networks and have many years of experience in mobilizing the best available fundamental and applied scientific knowledge in their respective fields.
Environmental programs benefit from specific experiences gained at the sites inscribed on UNESCO's international lists: UNESCO biosphere reserves, natural sites of UNESCO World Heritage List, and UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Water is one of the most important priorities of UNESCO. The international hydrological program provides scientific data, professional technical training, and strategic advice in order to use such valuable resource as water efficiently, fairly, and without harm to the environment. In addition to this program, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) holds a special mandate in the field of ocean science and coordinates research of various UN agencies and institutions as well as continuously monitors ocean in order to improve the quality of meteorological forecasts, predict El Nino, and promptly notify the population of tsunamis or hurricanes.
In the field of the humanities and social sciences, UNESCO's role is to promote knowledge, norms, and intellectual cooperation, thereby contributing to social transformation based on respect for the ideals of justice, freedom, and human dignity.
The leading thematic areas of UNESCO's work in this area are the ethics of science and technology with a focus on bioethics; the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy and the strengthening of humanitarian security; and the fight against racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.
UNESCO biosphere reserve Bashkir Urals in the Republic of Bashkortostan was established in the summer of 2012; Yangan-Tau and Toratau geoparks were created as well. In 2020, Yangan-Tau became the first UNESCO Global Geopark in the Russian Federation and CIS countries.