UNESCO event “Fostering Collaboration between UNESCO in the Field and Networks towards the 2030 Agenda”, organized by UNESCO Regional Sciences Bureau for Asia and the Pacific with the generous support of the Japan Funds in Trust, the Indonesian Funds in Trust and the Malaysia Funds in Trust, gathered more than 80 stakeholders including UNESCO representatives from Headquarters, Field Offices, National Commissions and Category 2 Centres, in Bali (Indonesia) from 21 to 24 July 2016. The event included the 3rd Strategic Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Biosphere Reserves Network.

The objectives of this strategic coordination event were to: Discuss and elaborate strategies for fostering dialogue, cooperation, networking and sharing of knowledge as well as resources among the UNESCO field offices and its network to support the delivering of the Agenda 2030 and its SDGs through the UNESCO mandate on Natural Sciences.Discuss on a joint strategy and approach for the implementation of the Lima Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves in the Asia-Pacific region.Support interdisciplinary and interregional initiatives and develop joint proposals for Sciences projects.

The participants gathered for 4 days of 7 sessions on scientific priorities for global action towards the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, such as the 3rd Asia Pacific Biosphere Reserves Network (APBRN) Strategic Meeting of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the International Hydrological Program (IHP), Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Networking and Coordination Meetings. 

The workshop was officially opened by a video message from Ms Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director General for Sciences UNESCO, followed by welcoming remarks from Mr Shahbaz Khan, Director UNESCO Jakarta, Mr. Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, and a video message from Mr Koichi MORIMOTO, Secretary General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO.

During the 4 days, a range of stakeholders including, National Commissions, government representatives form Member states, Category 2 Centers in Sciences, other key partners well as UNESCO representatives from Headquarters and the Field Offices, presented their projects and brainstormed on how to better coordinate their actions. 

The output of the workshop was the strengthening of the partnership for science towards the 2030 Agenda among UNESCO, donors and stakeholders, as well as several recommendations with regard to the 4 following topics:

  • Collaboration between UNESCO programs (IHP, MAB, IGCP, WH)
  • Silk Road initiative for Sustainable development
  • Gaps in Knowledge in Water Related Matters
  • Understanding UNESCO mechanisms and making it efficient

A set of policy and operational proposals and recommendations were prepared after group discussions among the participants, for:

  • Science to Policy actions
  • Water Sciences activities
  • Ecological and Earth Sciences activities
  • Interdisciplinary and Interregional cooperation 

The field trip provided participants with the opportunity to discover the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province, the Subak Traditional System of Irrigation and Water Management, Batukaru Hindu Balinese Temple and Jatiluwih Rice Fields.