International UNESCO Earth Network
On December 1st 2020, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO launched a Multi-Partner Trust Fund “UNESCO Network of international environmental experts- the UNESCO Earth Network” with a global resource mobilization target of USD 20 million over an initial period of 4 Years.
The Fund became effective with the signature of a funding agreement between Italy, the first donor and founding partner, and UNESCO, with a contribution of USD 3.9 million over three years.
The Fund offers an international cooperation platform in the area of biodiversity, oceans and climate change between experts and UNESCO Member States, opening the door to transformative actions within territories to regenerate human/nature relationships and restore ecosystems, conserve ecosystem harmony and amplify the power of youth, which are the three pillars of UNESCO’s strategic actions for biodiversity.
Thanks to Italy’s catalytic and very generous funding, other public and private donors are invited to share the commitment of UNESCO and the Italian Government to these values and goals by supporting the implementation of UNESCO’s biodiversity strategy.
Through the “UNESCO Network of international environmental experts’ training will be provided in the restoration and conservation of ecosystems in biosphere reserves, geoparks and natural heritage sites. The program also aims to regenerate the relationship between humans and nature through the promotion of good practices, knowledge and know-how that respect biodiversity, as well as the elements of intangible heritage related to local and indigenous knowledge and practices.
The main objectives of the program are centered on:
- support to capacity for ecosystem management, restoration and resilience in UNESCO-designated sites (or sites in the process of being designated), through training and exchange of experiences and good practices;
- mitigation and adaptation of ecosystems to the effects of climate change;
- support to youth and local communities for transformative change in values and practices.
This program will create a unique network of experts, including young people, to support UNESCO designated sites and demonstrate that living in harmony with nature is already possible.
The creation of a Multi-Partner Trust Fund ‘UNESCO Earth Network’ is in line with UNESCO’s Strategy for Biodiversity and will contribute to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework as well as to the two UN Decades of Ecosystem Restoration and Ocean Science.
The Multi-Partner Trust Fund ‘UNESCO Earth Network’ is guided by a steering committee with representatives of UNESCO and the donors and by a scientific committee of 9 international experts to give respectively strategic and scientific guidance.