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17 August 2016 - UNESCO participates in Provincial Meeting on Education, Research and Sustainable Development in Hamedan

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The Iranian Department of Environment organized a two-day provincial meeting from 16-17 August on Education, Research and Sustainable Development, in the historic city of Hamedan.

The meeting brought together provincial government officials from Hamedan, DoE staff from Tehran and provinces across Iran, and local NGOs to take stock of existing policies and plans; achievements made to date; challenges around implementing the SDGs, needs in terms of training, research, statistics, education and awareness-raising.

During the opening ceremony, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, delivered a speech about the importance of Education for Sustainable Development.

“Sustainable development cannot be achieved by technological solutions, policies and regulations, or financial instruments alone. We need to change the way in which we think and act. Sustainability requires changes in how we produce and consume. Fundamentally, it requires new ways of seeing the world, new ways of thinking about our responsibilities to each other and the planet, new ways of acting and behaving as global citizens. This requires quality education and learning for sustainable development at all levels and in all social contexts”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.

During the meeting, the participants reviewed the achievements made to date and discussed the challenges they were facing in implementing the SDGs. Data collection and data management were identified as major challenges by all participants. They also mentioned there was an important need for increased capacity building and awareness raising around the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda at the local and provincial levels.

The UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office reiterated its full support to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly in the areas of Education, statistics and Communication & Information.

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8 June 2016 - Iran marks World Oceans Day 2016

Every year, World Oceans Day is celebrated on 8 June to mobilize society and raise awareness about the ocean, its biodiversity and its resources.
 
 
This year, Iran celebrated World Ocean’s Day on the 5th of June with an event organized jointly by the Iranian National Committee for Oceanography and the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science, in Tehran.
 
 
After the opening remarks by Dr. Hajizadeh, Director of the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science, Mr. Ali Osat Hashemi, Governor of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, delivered a speech and spoke of the importance of the oceans and the seas to Iran’s resistance economy. “Sustainable economic development in Iran is not possible without a healthy ocean”, he said.
 
 
Dr. Nasiri, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission forUNESCOtalked about the greatness and interconnectivity of the universe to highlight our collective responsibility to protect our planet and its oceans.
 
 
Special guest speaker, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office first read out the message of Ms. Irina Bovova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Oceans Day:“Despite the increasing impacts of human activities on the marine environment, the ocean remains an important driver in eradicating the greatest global challenge facing the world today: extreme poverty. The ocean is an integral part of our planet, and an absolutely essential component of human lives, livelihoods and the environment that sustains us. From fisheries and tourism to transportation and climate regulation, the ocean is key to implementing the new global agenda.”
 
 
After that, Ms. Kuisch Laroche delivered a keynote speech in which she underlined the importance of a healthy ocean to all life on earth and the urgent need to act now in order to preserve the planet’s single largest ecosystem.“We believe that ocean degradation can be reversed and the current cycle of decline can be transformed into a cycle of recovery. Yet the task of saving the global ocean is one that no government, company, UN agency or individual can achieve alone. Stopping the abusive and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and restoring ocean health, requires a coalition for change with a clear mission.”
 
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche referred to the COP 21 agreement in Paris and the 2030 Sustainable Developent Agenda in which ocean health features very prominently.
 
 
She also mentioned that UNESCO had recently approved the establishment of a Regional Education and Research Center on Oceanography for West Asia under the auspices of UNESCO, in Iran. She expressed the hope that this Center would play a leading role in raising awareness and strengthening research in the region.
 
World Oceans Day is marked around the world with a variety of events. To learn more or to register your event, please see:
 
 
#WorldOceansDay
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6 Jun 2016 - UNESCO celebrated World Environment Day in Tehran

On the 6thof June, UNESCO celebrated World Environment Day with the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the Department of Environment.
 
 
The event took place in Niavaran Cultural and Historical Complex under the theme of “Environment, Youth and Social Participation”, and brought together a wide range of participants, including high-ranking Government officials, NGOs, artists, sport federations, academics, and youth.
 
 
“Today’s meeting is trying to take an interdisciplinary look at the issue of the environment and calls upon different social groups to engage in environmental protection, conservation and development”,said Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office.
 
 
The global theme of the 2016 World Environment Day is “Zero Tolerance for the Illegal Wildlife Trade”.
 
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche spoke about the importance of protecting wildlife as an essential component of sustainable development.“Here in the Islamic Republic of Iran, important efforts have been made to protect the Asiatic Cheetah, a critically endangered cheetah subspecies, surviving today only in Iran. The commitment of the Department of Environment to save these majestic animals from extinction is an example of the kind of determination and political will, which is required to conserve our wildlife. However, it will take more than just legislation to preserve our wildlife and biodiversity. In order to be successful, we need greater awareness-raising amongst the general public, and we need NGOs, UN agencies, civil society, youth, the private sector and local authorities to all work together towards this goal.”
 
H.E. Dr. Ebtekar, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of Environment spoke of the successful collaboration between the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in this regard. She mentioned that the national football team had decided to put a picture of the Asiatic Cheetah on their shirts, which had helped to raise awareness and had started an important social movement to protect Iranian wildlife.
 
 
H.E. Dr. Goudarzi, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports also talked about the significant role that sports clubs and athletes could play in raising awareness for important causes, such as the environment.
 
 
Dr. Mirzadeh, President of the Islamic Azad University, talked about the establishment of the UNESCO Chair in Clean and Renewable Energies in 2014. He expressed the hope to foster closer cooperation between the University and UNESCO in the field of environment. To this end, an MOU was signed between Islamic Azad University and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, during the ceremony.
 
 
Other speakers included Dr. Tabesh, Head of the Environment Group of the Islamic Parliament of Iran, and Dr. Mousavi, Executive Deputy of the Passive Defense Research Centre.
 
 
World Environment Day is celebrated each year around the globe on the 5thof June. For more information or to register your event, please see:http://www.wed2016.com/
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2 Jun 2016 - UNESCO supports Parvaz International Film Festival

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On 2 June 2016, Parvaz International Film Festival in cooperation with theUNESCO, screened a selection of films from last year’s Festival, dedicated to raising public awareness of disability issues and dispelling negative stereotypes, myths and prejudices regarding people with disabilities.

The movie screening took place in Niavaran Palace in the presence of Iranian film directors, actors, NGOs, UN agencies, and people with disabilities.

In her opening speech, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, said:“About 15 per cent of the world population lives with some form of disability. Often the greatest barriers that people with disabilities face are attitudes based on stigma and discrimination and misplaced ideas about disability.”She went on to say:“UNESCO’s aim is to promote social inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities through all of our programmes in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. And this is why we have been supporting the Parvaz Film Festival since the beginning.”

The short films that were screened showed the challenges that people with disabilities and their family members face in day-to-day life, but also highlighted some extraordinary achievements of people with disabilities.

At the end of the movie screening, Ms. Kuisch Laroche and Ms. Amiri of Parvaz International Film Festival unveiled a special stamp of the Festival.

The 2016 Parvaz Film Festival will take place from 6-8 December in Tehran and interested film makers can already submit their entries. For more information, please see:http://www.parvazfilmfestival.com/

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30 May 2016 - UNESCO and UN-HABITAT hold induction capacity building workshop on seismic hazard and risk analysis

On 30 May,UNESCOand UNHABITAT kicked off a 3-day capacity building workshop, as part of a joint sub-regional project on Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis, covering Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
 
 
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) have been major partners of the project from the beginning.
 
 
The capacity building workshop is taking place at the ECO secretariat in Tehran and brings together four participants from Pakistan, four from Turkmenistan, four from Afghanistan, plus several Afghan students in Geo-Physics who are pursuing their studies in Tehran, as well as a number of Iranian participants and an expert from Turkey.
 
 
During the opening session, Mr. Siamak Moghadam, Chief of UN-Habitat in Iran, talked about the importance and unique character of the project, which aims at using the most recent methods and technologies for seismic hazard analysis, which will result in evaluating and re-assessing the seismicity of the four countries.
 
 
An updated assessment will be carried out on the seismic hazardous parts of two selected cities in each of the four countries and a seismic risk map will be developed for those cities, in order to enable city planners and policy makers to make sound and well-informed decisions.
 
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office stressed that disaster risk reduction is all about choices:“The ultimate goal of this sub-regional project is to provide your countries with the knowledge, expertise and tools that will enable all of us to make wiser choices.”
 
The UNESCO Representative mentioned that the project fit well within UNESCO’s mid-term strategy, which states that “UNESCO will promote international collaboration on the assessment and monitoring of global changes and natural hazards, including droughts and floods and geo-hazards, as well as tsunamis; the generation and sharing of scientific knowledge leading to the understanding of natural hazards; and by the reduction of disaster risks.”
 
 
She highlighted the fact that the nature of this particular project was unique, as it was a joint effort between two UN agencies, supported by ECO and IIEES, bringing together four neighboring countries in the region.
 
 
“Today’s workshop is the first step towards implementation, which fulfills our promise that this project will capitalize on training and national capacity-building to create a well-trained and confident team of national experts who will be able to carry out the tasks of the project,”said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
 
 
Mr. Seyed Jalaledin Alavi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), underlined the strong support of ECO to the project, which covers four ECO countries, and he expressed the hope that in the future it could be expanded to also cover the remaining countries of the ECO region.
 
 
Dr. Mehdi Zare of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) spoke about the high seismic risk in the four countries and the urgent need to focus on disaster risk reduction, resiliency and sustainable development.
 
 
After the opening session, Dr. Mehmet Akdogan of UN-HABITAT introduced the different sessions of the workshop, which will focus on urban inventory (elements at risk) and database development; probabilistic seismic hazard analysis; developing seismic zoning maps and uniform hazard spectra; and earthquake risk assessment.
 
 
At the end of the training, the participants will also pay visits to IIEES and the Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Centre in Tehran.
 
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29 May 2016 - UNESCO and Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company hand-over family health booklet to the Literacy Movement Organization

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UNESCO and the Literacy Movement Organisation (LMO) have been working together on the development of a family health booklet for literacy learners over the past few months. The project was generously supported by Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Co. - a Bel subsidiary in Iran.
 
 
The booklet offers practical lessons on proper nutrition and water consumption and is the fruit of hard work and a very inclusive consultation process that included many national and international experts.
 
 
During the official ceremony in which the first printed copies of the booklet were handed over to LMO and a number of literacy learners, a video was screened to describe the extensive consultation process that has led to the final content and design of the booklet.
 
 
In his opening remarks, Dr. Bagherzade, Deputy Minister of Education and Head of LMO, thanked the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Bel for the cooperation and support in this important project.“The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has time and again underlined the importance of book reading and the necessity of its intertwinement with everyday life”, said Dr. Bagherzade.“The Family Health Book, produced jointly by UNESCO, Bel Company, as well as national advisors and authors will be the main reference for a book reading competition in the current calendar year. It will also enter the cycle of family book reading.”
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, underlined the importance of literacy in her speech.“Literacy not only changes lives, it saves them. Literacy a basic human right and a force for dignity. It is also the foundation for cohesive families and societies and sustainable development. Literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find gainful employment and obtain higher salaries. It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare,”said the UNESCO representative.“At UNESCO we believe that literacy programmes must also include, beyond reading and, broader skills regarding nutrition, health and sustainable lifestyles, the conservation of biodiversity, poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction, as well as civic participation.”
 
Mr. François-Xavier Moreau, Managing Director of Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company talked about his company’s commitment to sustainable development:“Bel is an international family group and among the world leaders in branded cheese manufacturers. As most family groups, we praise long-term and lasting growth. Revenue and profit generation are not our only concern and a long time ago, the Group created a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. This initiative called “Smiles for the Future” best reconciles our dual commitment in economic development and social equity”, said Mr. Moreau.“Offering practical lessons on proper nutrition and good practices in water consumption is very important to us. No one should be left aside, and this initiative fits perfectly with the values of the Bel Group and reflects our commitment to support the communities in the countries where we operate.”
 
After their speeches, the booklet was unveiled and handed over to female literacy learners.
 
About the booklet:
 
The Healthy Family Booklet on nutrition and water consumption is beautifully illustrated and designed to engage both young and adult literacy learners. The booklet is the fruit of the hard work and commitment of a wide variety of stakeholders, and was made possible through the generous support of the Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company.
 
 
About the partners:
 
UNESCO has been at the forefront of global literacy efforts since its foundation. UNESCO’s policy today is to support the promotion of literacy and literate environments as an integral part of lifelong earning and to keep literacy high on the national and international agendas. Through its worldwide literacy programmes, advocacy work and knowledge base, the Organisation works with countries and partners to realize the vision of a literate world for all.
 
 
TheLiteracy Movement Organizationis a committed advocacy in promoting literacy and non-formal education. Established after the Islamic Revolution to deal with the high rates of illiteracy at the time, the Organization provides introductory and complementary literacy classes. According to a report published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the number of illiterate adults fell by more than one million in Iran between 2000 and 2010. This is due in no small part to the efforts of the Literacy Movement Organization.
 
 
Bel, an international family business, is the world’s third largest branded cheese company. Bel’s mission is to “share smiles with families through the pleasure of dairy goodness”. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program called “Smiles for the Future”, Bel has taken the responsibility to offer products high in nutritional value and to encourage consumers to adopt healthy eating habits through educational initiatives. Under the same program, Bel is committed to reduce water consumption and energy footprint. Cooperation with UNESCO and LMO in Iran in order to educate literacy learners on the basics of nutrition and water-saving is an action taken by Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Co. – Bel subsidiary in Iran- in line with this objective.
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