Regional Bureau for Sciences in Asia and the Pacific

Promoting Science for Peace and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific through South-South Cooperation

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Natural Sciences

UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Sciences in Asia and the Pacific supports UNESCO’s global mandate in the sciences, with particular emphasis on implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals in the region.

As the world’s most populous and largest region, Asia and the Pacific faces a broad range of challenges to its long-term sustainability. These challenges include the vital role of the ocean for the health and well-being of humanity; increasing populations and economic development; rising demand for the earth’s finite freshwater resources, in particular in urban areas - where by 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live - the unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss; issues related to climate change; the right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits; and the particular needs of Small Islands Developing State (SIDS).

The peoples of Asia and the Pacific are actively mobilizing responses to these challenges – devising and implementing new and innovative approaches to our understanding of nature and our management of its resources.

UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Sciences in Asia and the Pacific supports these processes by encouraging and seeking to enhance the contributions of the sciences towards long-term sustainability and green societies across the region. This is done through the articulation and implementation of science-based programmes and projects at all levels – interventions that highlight the role of the sciences in understanding and improving sustainability, reinforced by the added value of international cooperation and exchange.

As the Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO office Jakarta has developed a Regional Science Support Strategy for 2014-2021, with the following vision and mission:

Vision: Fostering Science for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • Sustainable solutions - whether at the global, regional or country level - will require creativity, new advances in scientific knowledge, discoveries and innovations. Innovation geared towards sustainable development has the potential to lift economic growth, create green jobs, and boost social development while at the same time contributing to environment protection and conservation. By fostering dialogue, cooperation, networking, capacity building and knowledge-sharing with the scientific community, decision makers, and civil society in the Asia-Pacific region as well as at country level, the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific will contribute to the ultimate Vision where Member States will be able to ‘meet society’s needs via science based solutions’.<//span>


  • To work with Member States on key issues and problems in Asia-Pacific region, in order to engage science in the service of human needs and improve both environment and quality of life of the region’s peoples.
  • To mobilize science, technology, innovation and policy, for enabling Member States in the region on addressing new and emerging challenges that could facilitate to set a course for a sustainable future.


Natural Sciences programmes:

  • Science Policy and Capacity Building

As the Regional Bureau for Science in Asia and the Pacific, the Science Policy and Capacity-Building Unit of UNESCO Jakarta held a Regional Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovations (SETI) Consultation Forum in September 2020, and invited SETI experts to formulate the strategy to advance SETI implementations in the region. The forum resulted in a Core Support Strategy for SETI Priorities and Implementation Means that reflects on reaching regional consensus on key collaboration areas and support mechanisms on the role of SETI for delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In line with the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2029 (41 C/4) and the light of the unprecedented global pandemic situation, UNESCO Jakarta mobilises the potential and contribution of the 14 UNESCO field offices (FOs) in Asia and the Pacific, its networks, global agreements such as the Sendai Framework for DRR, SAMOA pathway for SIDS, Paris Agreement on climate change, and UN reform. The Regional Science Bureau focuses on creating synergies and result-based interventions according to the regional nine strategic directions identified in the core strategy:

  1. Raising multi-level awareness of the importance of science and SETI.
  2. Promoting technopreneurship and SETI by supporting human resource development and assisting policy formulation.
  3. Assisting collaboration between private-public multi-stakeholders and encouraging technology transfer by promoting science technoparks, incubators or similar, and grassroots innovation.
  4. Promoting and encouraging access to science for all with Open Science movement, scientific and ethical aspects of AI and inclusiveness of science, tackling the regional digital divide particularly for youth, girls, and women.
  5. Promoting science communication and citizen science.
  6. Promoting science for governance.
  7. Promoting local and indigenous knowledge systems (LINKS) for a science-based solution to changing environments.
  8. Supporting engineering institutions qualification in the region.
  9. Supporting South-South cooperation.

More about Science Policy and Capacity Building


  • Water and Environmental Sciences

UNESCO Office Jakarta’s Water and Environmental Sciences programme links UNESCO’s intergovernmental programmes and initiatives under the  International Hydrological Programme (IHP),  Man and the Bio- sphere programme,  International Geosciences and Geoparks programme (IGGP) as well as a number of cross-cutting thematic initiatives in support of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals across Asia and the Pacific.


  • Disaster Risk Reduction

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Tsunami Information Unit (DRRTIU) of UNESCO Office Jakarta works un- der the Natural Science Sector: Earth Science and Geo-hazard Risk Reduction, and under the Intergovern- mental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO within its Tsunami Unit.


See also



Education is the key to development opportunities. As the heart of UNESCO’s missions to build peace among people, Education Unit of UNESCO Office Jakarta aim to foster Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Timor-Leste to develop quality of education system to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4; to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The challenges of conquering poverty, combatting climate change and achieving truly sustainable development depends on skilled and educated people, and it took every nations to support those challenges.

Areas of action

  •     Education for All
  •     Education for Sustainable Development
  •     Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  •     Gender and Comprehensive Sexuality Education

See also Education Programme

Social Human Sciences

Overall framework

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets an ambitious and transformational vision for global development. Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated targets are comprehensive in scope and balance the three dimensions of development: the economic, social, and environmental.


    UNESCO promotes the use of Social and Human Sciences (SHS) to achieve SDGs by enhancing the understanding of complex contemporary challenges, in particular social inclusion and reduction of inequalities.

    Mission: What do we do?

    The SHS Unit at UNESCO Jakarta Office contributes to the attainment of the SDGs by fostering equitable and inclusive social development based on universal ethical and human rights principles in Asia and the Pacific.

    Approach: How do we do it?

    The SHS Unit works closely with the governments and the civil society to:

    • Build capacities for inclusive and evidence-based policymaking that responds to pressing socio-economic and environmental challenges and reflects universal ethical and human right frameworks; and
    • Promote advocacy and awareness-raising to foster a culture of human rights, gender equality, and peace.

    Thematic areas of work

    • Building Inclusive Societies: to enable people to create and use knowledge towards inclusive social development;
    • Sustainability Science: to apply transdisciplinary approaches to resolve complex socio-environmental challenges; and
    • Bioethics: to turn universal ethical and human rights principles into policy and action.

    See also


    Culture Unit within UNESCO Office, Jakarta works toward the protection of immovable cultural heritages, the safeguarding of living cultural heritages, and the promotion of intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and diversity in its five cluster countries, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste.  

    Areas of action

    To achieve these main line goals, Culture Unit within UNESCO Office Jakarta works within the following areas of action:

    • Cultural Diversity
    • Cultural Tourism
    • Intangible Heritage
    • Movable Heritage & Museums
    • Regional Programme
    • World Heritage

    See also Culture Programme


    Communication & Information

    As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”, UNESCO works to foster freedom of expression, and its corollaries, press freedom and freedom of information. UNESCO sees these rights as crucial foundations of democracy, sustainable development, dialogue, and as preconditions for protecting and promoting all other human rights including gender equality.

    The Organization operationalize this mandate through two overarching themes: Fostering Freedom of Expression and Building Knowledge Societies.

    The Communication and Information Unit based in the Office in Jakarta is responsible for implementing UNESCO’s Communication and Information mandate in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste through concrete actions in awareness-raising, capacity building, and policy advice.

    Advancing press freedom across all types of media includes monitoring, sensitization and advocacy efforts, such as through major awareness-raising campaigns including the annual celebration World Press Freedom Day on 3 May and the awarding of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. UNESCO is also leads the global commemoration of the World Radio Day on 13 February and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November.

    In addition, the Organization also contributes to strengthening professional standards through capacity-building and self-regulation mechanisms (such as codes of ethics, press councils and in-house news ombuds) and promoting the safety of journalists where UNESCO is the global facilitator for the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. UNESCO facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue and mobilises policy advisory services toward legal and regulatory environments conducive to freedom of expression.

    The sharing of knowledge and information, particularly Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to transform economies and societies. UNESCO works to create inclusive knowledge societies and empower local communities by increasing access to information and knowledge in all of UNESCO’s domains while at the same time be critical users, producers, and sharers of information through our Media and Information Literacy programme.

    UNESCO takes actions aimed at safeguarding documentary and audiovisual heritage in particular through the Memory of the World Programme. Its vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved, protected and permanently accessible to all without hindrance.

    UNESCO also promotes ‘Openness’ in content, technology, and processes through awareness raising, policy formulation and capacity building. These solutions include Open Educational Resources. Such resources allow researchers and innovators to more easily share and use data. They also provide students and educators from around the world with unprecedented access to knowledge and information.

    Areas of action


    • Sustainability Science
    • Disaster Risk Reduction for (World) Heritage Sites

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