Natural Sciences

In the Natural science programme, UNESCO recognizes the role of science and technological advancement dealing with the challenges on the present and the future especially for management of our environment and coexistence with nature.  UNESCO therefore considers that the scientific and technological progresses must be placed in a context of ethical reflection rooted in the cultural, legal, philosophical and religious heritage of the various human communities. Thus, emphasis is put on climate change, water and related ecosystems and setting standards and legal instruments especially through work on International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Man and the Biosphere (MAB) etc. 

To this end UNESCO identified the following strategic objectives and MLA for the science programme:

  • Strengthening science, technology and innovation systems and policies nationally, regionally and globally: MLAs: strengthening STI policies, governance and the science-policy-society interface;
  • Promoting international scientific cooperation on critical challenges to sustainable development MLAs:  promoting knowledge and capacity for protecting and sustainably managing the ocean and coasts; fostering international science collaboration for earthsystems and disaster risk reduction; strengthening the role of ecologicalscience and biosphere reserves; strengthening fresh water security

The key areas in natural sciences include biodiversity and ecology, fresh water, basic science, people earth science, small islands and coasts, renewable sources of energy, science policy and sustainable development, engineering sciences and natural disaster reduction.

Goal: To support the strengthening of the national capacity to develop and implement Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation (STEI) policies and to manage natural resources and ecosystems for sustainable development.

Strategic Objectives

  1. To strengthen the Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation (STEI) systems and policies
  2. To Support institutional capacity building in STEI 
  3. Promote the geological sciences and disaster risk-reduction
  4. To promote and strengthen ecological science and biosphere reserves
  5. To strengthen freshwater security  
  6. To promote accessibility of clean, renewable, affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy.

The Natural Science programme had the following strategic objectives:

a) Promoting the principles and ethical norms to guide scientific and technological development and social transformation in Uganda,

b)  Improving human security by better management of the environment and social change

c) Enhancing scientific, technical and human capacities to participate in the emerging knowledge societies.

The following were the major achievements made;

  • Promoted science and technology education particularly among girls
  • Developed Guidelines for Promoting Science and Technology Education  
  • Organized a Science Technology award for Girls (2006/7)
  •  monitored progress on mainstreaming of Science and Technology Education for Girls in Uganda (Gulu and Jinja) in 2008
  • Supported the National Council for Science & Technology to develop the National Science and Technology Policy in 2008/9
  • Raised awareness about the role of sacred sites, cultural landscape and intangible heritage in ecosystem management and sustainable use of biodiversity through conducting a cultural analysis study in the biosphere reserves to promote intercultural dialogue in the Management of Biosphere Reserves (2010/11).
  • Published a documentary DVD on the impact of Climate Change in Uganda (2010/11).
  • Conducted a study that documented Geo-Hazards Vulnerability and Risk profiles in Hotspots in various parts of Uganda and recommended disaster preparedness and risk reduction and early warning measures for use by the stakeholders (2012/13). Make recommendations on disaster preparedness and risk reduction and early warning measures for use by the stakeholders were made (2012/13).
  • Trained over teachers from selected Schools and colleges in the Northern, North-Eastern and North Western Districts of Uganda in energy policy planning.
  • Supported activities in conservation of biodiversity
  • Conducted a baseline study and promoted ecosystem approach to planning in Local Governments along Kyoga-Albert Nile Belt to promote integration of conservation in the planning (2014/15)
  • Developed an inventory on livelihoods and trained over 8 resident communities in 10Districts surrounding the Mt. Elgon and Queen Elizabeth Biosphere Reserves on ecosystem approaches and alternative green enterprises for peaceful co-existence in the biosphere reserves (2015).
  • Conducted TOT for community representatives on the selected enterprises, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, technical staff of the Local Governments oriented on ecosystem approaches, adaptive management and green economy and Biosphere Reserve Management staff members were trained on the concept of biosphere reserves, ecosystem approaches and adaptive management for peaceful co-existence with the communities. 
  • Promoted sustainable utilization and conservation of endangered medicinal plants in Mount Elgon Biosphere and Metu Forest Reserve through active ingredient-guided plant-parts substitution (2016/17-Ongoing).
  •  Mapping and nomination of Natural sites for designation by UNESCO (2016/17) started and is ongoing
  • Promoted Alternative Vocational Skills for Poverty Eradication among Youth (2006/7).
  • Promoted Indigenous Scientific Knowledge for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development (2008/9).
  • Supported and renewed the membership of the Natural Sciences Programme Committee, revamped the National Committees for Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and the International Hydrological Committee Programme (IHP) and established a new National International Geosciences Programme (IGCP): (2012/13-2014/15).
  • Supported Mushroom growing as source of food and income for vulnerable women farmergroups in Hoima District under ISESCO (2014/15).
  • Trained teachers and tutors from selected Universities, Colleges, Institutions and National Curriculum Development Centre on Earth Science to promote awareness of the earth sciences and economic benefits from geo-tourism (2015/16).
  • Trained teachers from selected Schools across the Country as champions for popularizing mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology (2016/17).

UNESCO Days

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Date : 20 Sep 2017
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