On December 1, 2020, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, launched a multi-partner trust fund “UNESCO Network of International Environmental Experts – the UNESCO Earth Network” with an objective of mobilizing global resources of USD 20 million on an initial period of Years.
The Fund entered into force with the signing of a funding agreement between Italy, the first donor and founding partner, and UNESCO, with a contribution of 3.9 million USD over three years.
The Fund offers a platform for international cooperation in the field of biodiversity, oceans and climate change between experts and UNESCO Member States, opening the door to transformative actions within territories to regenerate human relations. / nature and restore ecosystems, preserve the harmony of ecosystems and amplify the power of young people, which are the three pillars of UNESCO’s strategic actions for biodiversity.
Thanks to the catalytic and very generous funding from Italy, other public and private donors are invited to share the commitment of UNESCO and the Italian government to these values and goals by supporting the implementation of the strategy of the UNESCO for biodiversity.
Through the “UNESCO Network of International Environmental Experts, training will be provided in the restoration and conservation of ecosystems in biosphere reserves, geoparks and natural heritage sites. The program also aims to regenerate the relationship between man and nature through the promotion of good practices, knowledge and know-how that respect biodiversity, as well as elements of intangible heritage linked to local and indigenous knowledge and practices.
The main objectives of the program are centered on:
(i) support for ecosystem management, restoration and resilience capacities in sites designated by UNESCO (or in the process of being designated), through training and the exchange of experiences and good practices;
(ii) mitigation and adaptation of ecosystems to the effects of climate change;
(iii) support for young people and local communities for a transformative change in values and practices.
This program will create a unique network of experts, including young people, to support UNESCO designated sites and demonstrate that it is already possible to live in harmony with nature.
The creation of a multi-partner trust fund “ UNESCO Earth Network ” is in line with the UNESCO Strategy for Biodiversity and will contribute to the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Global Biodiversity Framework for post-2020 as well as the two decades of the United Nations Restoration of ecosystems and ocean sciences.
The “UNESCO Earth Network” multi-partner trust fund is guided by a steering committee made up of representatives of UNESCO and donors and by a scientific committee of 9 international experts to provide strategic and scientific orientations respectively.