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16 May 2016 - UNESCO supports 3rd Comprehensive Conference on Disaster Management and Health, Safety and Environment in Tehran

The 3rdComprehensive Conference on “Disaster Management and Health, Safety and Environment with the approach of Disaster Risk Reduction, Resiliency and Sustainable Development” started on 16 May 2016.
The two-day gathering brought together disaster managers, scientists, urban planners and academics to discuss topics such as risk management of climate hazards; information management in disasters; risk assessment and disaster risk reduction; and health management in disasters.
During the opening ceremony, Dr. Mehdi Zare, Scientific Chair of the Conference and Faculty member at International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) presented an overview of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Sendai Framework and explained the different definitions linked to disaster management and disaster risk reduction.
After that, Mr. Sattar Mahmoudi, Deputy Minister of Energy, delivered a speech about the importance of disaster risk reduction, in which he talked about the efforts that are being made in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of theUNESCOTehran Cluster Office delivered a keynote speech on UNESCO’s work in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.“I would like to tell you today that there is no such thing as a natural disaster”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.“There are only natural hazards and a disaster’s severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. The scale of that impact depends on the choices we, humans, make for our lives and our environment. Each decision and action makes us either more vulnerable to disasters or more resilient to them. Therefore, disaster risk reduction is all about choices.”
The UNESCO representative said that reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events were all examples of disaster risk reduction and areas in which UNESCO supports its Member States.
She talked about UNESCO’s work in support of the four priorities of the Sendai Framework through the Organization’s programmes in Education, Culture, Sciences and Communication & Information, and mentioned a number of activities undertaken in the region by UNESCO’s Tehran Cluster Office.
The speeches were followed by a panel discussion on the maneuver of Tehran floodwater. The second day of the conference will include a series of workshops focusing on practical issues around risk assessment and DRR, as well as health management in emergencies.

14 May 2016 - Iran celebrates designation of Hamoun as a UNESCO biosphere reserve

In March 2016, the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme added 20 sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves during its meeting in Lima, Peru. Among those sites wasHamoun, located in the southeast of Iran.
On 14 May 2016, Iran celebrated the designation ofHamounas a UNESCO biosphere reserve with a festive ceremony in Zabol University. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Ebtekar, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Iranian Department of Environment (DOE); Ms. Hashemi, Governor General of Sistan and Baluchistan Province; Dr. Mahmoudi, Director General of DOE in Sistan and Baluchistan Province; Ms. Kuisch-Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office; Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Iran; representatives from the embassies of Afghanistan and Germany in Tehran; as well as local communities, NGOs and civil society representatives.
During her keynote speech, Ms. Kuisch–Laroche talked about UNESCO’s MAB Programme and the importance of the designation of Hamoun as a biosphere reserve:“Through UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, we are able to demonstrate and promote site-specific examples of how humans can live with nature in a sustainable way. Biosphere reserves demonstrate ways to safeguard natural ecosystems and biodiversity through science, education and participatory approaches.”
The UNESCO representative highlighted the important links between biodiversity and climate change and said that sustainability required profound changes in the way we live, produce and consume:“This is what biosphere reserves are all about. It’s about communities, government authorities and the private sector all coming together and agreeing on a new way forward. We are delighted that this process has now started in Hamoun biosphere reserve.”
After the opening ceremony in Zabol University, the delegation traveled to Hamoun to see the lake and unveil the UNESCO plaque at the site.

14 May 2016 - Iran’s Hamouns designated a UNESCO biosphere

20160515 UNDP2There is water again in the parched Hamouns wetlands as a result of seasonal flows of meltwater from Afghanistan

Tehran, 15 May 2016- A group of Iran’s pediatric medicine specialists including pediatricians, pediatric emergency experts and anesthesiologists are going through a five day training course on Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) held in Tehran and facilitated by instructors from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This training is part of the joint work plan of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and UNICEF on improving child survival.

Over the course of this five day training which runs from 15 to 20th May 2016 in Tehran, participants will benefit from the most recent theoretic and hands-on knowledge and skills on PALS and will be certified as PALS providers to cascade the training to other health professionals across the country.

20160515 UNDP3Civil society was present at the event – concerned about sand and dust stormsIn his opening remarks of PALS training course, the Head of Children’s Health Department of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Dr. Hamed Barakati, appreciated UNICEF’s support for the different national programmes on child health in Iran over the past years and said: ”I hope the current PALS training will help us further upgrade the health status of children in the country and bring up a healthier generation for the future.”

UNICEF Deputy Representative in Iran, Christine Weigand, speaking at the opening ceremony referred to Iran’s achievements in reducing child mortality rates over the past years and said:” Today, figures indicate that injuries caused by accidents and unintentional incidents have become the second leading cause of death and disability of children in the country. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to further improve the knowledge and skills of paediatricians, emergency medicine experts, and all other relevant experts in life saving and resuscitation of children following injuries. “Ms. Weigand conveyed UNICEF’s special thanks to the Johns Hopkins University for offering the course free of charge.

20160515 UNDP4As part of a joint UNICEF- Ministry of Health program, a number of professors from Johns Hopkins Medical University travelled to Iran to train Iranian Paediatric Medicine specialists on Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)World-recognized PALS instructors, Dr. Mark Rogers, Dr. Nicole Shilkofsky, Dr. Jennifer Schutte, Dr. Caitlin O’Brien and Dr. Donald Shaffner, from Johns Hopkins Medical University are facilitating this first internationally supported PALS training for experts of pediatric medicine in Iran. A follow up training to complete the process of PALS certification is planned to take place in late 2016.


12 May 2016 - UNESCO supports 12th Sheikh Bahai Technopreneurship Festival and renews agreement for Isfahan Regional Centre on Science Parks and Technology Business Incubators

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The 12thSheikh Bahai Technopreneurship Festival kicked off in Isfahan on 12 May 2016. The Festival, which has been held annually since 2005, is a unique annual event to foster and praise the culture of technopreneurship; motivate and develop technology-based economies; improve creativity and innovation; and enhance cooperation between technoprenuers and investors.
UNESCOhas been supporting the Festival since the very beginning and this year the event also coincided with the 20thanniversary of Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) and the renewal of the agreement between UNESCO and the Isfahan Regional Centre on Science Parks and Technology Business Incubators under the Auspices of UNESCO (IRIS).
During the opening ceremony, which was attended by the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Dr. Farhadi; the Deputy Minister of SRT, Dr. Ahmadi; and the Mayor of Isfahan; Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, said:“Over the past 20 years, ISTT has grown to become an important hub for scientific and technological exchange. In 2010, and in recognition of the excellent contributions of ISTT, UNESCO supported ISTT to scale up the scope of its activities to the entire ECO region. This was done by the establishment of the Isfahan Regional Centre for Science Parks and Technology Business Incubators Development (IRIS). Last year, the first five years of performance of IRIS were reviewed and assessed by UNESCO and this resulted in the renewal of the agreement of the Center for another five years.”
After her speech, she signed the new agreement together with Dr. Vahid Ahmadi, Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology, and Chairman of the Governing Board of IRIS.
After the opening ceremony, Dr. Farhadi opened the exhibition, which showcased the achievements of technopreneurs to potential investors.

9 May 2016 - First National Conference on Urban Rivers Restoration takes place in Iran

TheRegional Center on Urban Water Management under the Auspices of UNESCO (RCUWM)organized the First National Conference on Urban Rivers Restoration on 9 May 2016.
The Conference brought together some 600 participants representing a wide variety of stakeholders, including Tehran Municipality, the Ministry of Energy, Iran Water Resources Management Company, NGOs, the private sector, and several foreign guests from Japan, Korea and Germany.
The participants exchanged best practices and lessons learned, and discussed the technical, legal, institutional and socio-economic dimensions of urban river restoration.
Dr. Chavoshian, Director of RCUWM, opened the conference by delivering a report of the Conference secretariat, followed by several keynote speakers.
Dr. Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, talked about some of the challenges that the city faces and the difficulties around urban river restoration. He stressed the importance of urban rivers for the peace of mind of the city’s inhabitants:“Whether we like it or not, life in mega cities is stressful. Green spaces and rivers are important for relaxation and recreation of the urban citizens.”
H.E. Mr. Meidani, Deputy Minister of Energy for Water and Wastewater Affairs talked about the different stakeholders involved in the management of water resources and stressed that the Ministry of Energy was ready to support any efforts to restore urban rivers.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of theUNESCOTehran Cluster Office said:“Urbanisation has come at a great cost to rivers – they have been heavily degraded to enable development, carry waste, supply drinking water and facilitate transport and industry. These stresses make rivers less resilient to the effects of climate change. This is why initiatives such as today’s gathering on the restoration of urban rivers are so important.”
The UNESCO Representative went on to talk about UNESCO’s work in sustainable water resources management and highlighted its importance in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda:
“Reaching the ambitious objectives of the 2030 Agenda demands that we address universal access to drinking water and sanitation along with issues of quality and supply, in tandem with improved water management to protect ecosystems and build resiliency. Restoring our urban rivers will play an important part in this process.”
The UNESCO Representative highlighted in particular Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 11, which relate to water and sanitation and sustainable cities and communities.
After her speech, she unveiled the urban river symbol for public awareness together with the other keynote speakers.

The opening ceremony was followed by the inauguration of a side exhibition in which several consultants, contractors, municipalities, and RCUWM demonstrated their activities and achievements in urban river restoration.

In the afternoon, there were three panel discussions on “the existing situation of urban rivers and stakeholder involvement”, “best practices and lessons learned in urban river restoration”, and “technical, legal, institutional and socio-economic dimensions of urban river restoration”.

The following day, on May 10th, a group of some 50 participants visited the Farahzad river site to discuss the local urban river restoration experiences.

8 May 2016 – Photo Story: Tange Sayad and Sabzkuh are registered as UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.

There are 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries.Since 1960, Iran has been a pioneer member of Man and Biosphere committee (MAB) and has already 10 registered Biosphere reserves which covers important protected areas such as Touran, Arjan & Parishan, Urumiyeh and Miankaleh. All of these sites cover important biodiversity, wetlands and forests altogether.

During the 27th MAB ICC meeting in Paris in June 2015, Sabz Kuh and Tang-e Sayyad and Hamoun Biosphere Reserves were formally registered as 11th and 12th Biosphere reserves in Iran
Below you can see our pictorial report from this event which took place on May 7, 2016:


20160510 UNDP10The local community greeted the guests by performing local music and dance


20160510 UNDP11The ceremony took place in Tange Sayad area


20160510 UNDP12Mr. Murali visited the MENARID project booths


20160510 UNDP13Mr. Houshang Jazi, MENARID National Project Manager talking about the project pilot sites in the province

20160510 UNDP14Mr. Murali talking about the importance of the biosphere reserves and thanked the government of Iran for paying a special attention to environment related issues

20160510 UNDP15Madam Ebtekar presented the plaque to the Governor General


20160510 UNDP16After the ceremony Mr. Murali visited one of MENARID’s pilot sites in Dorahan village. The MENARID project strengthens institutions by contributing to the removal of constraints to integrated natural resources management (INRM), through three main outcomes: 1.Identify the main drivers of ecosystem use and change and their impacts on both ecosystem services and local livelihoods. 2. Enable improved INRM practices. 3. Enable improved community-driven approaches and techniques for INRM and ecosystem management

20160510 UNDP17UNDP staff were greeted by the local girls at the mosque

20160510 UNDP18After the session in the mosque, Mr. Murali visited the women’s workshop. Women in Dorahan village are doing their best to support their families and MENARID project is helping them to achieve their goals


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