Last week, Technical Director Tim Carter was privileged to attend the launch of a report at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, which he co-authored with the UK National Commission for UNESCO Canadian Commission for UNESCO | Commission canadienne pour l’UNESCO: “Sites for Sustainable Development: Realizing the Potential of UNESCO Designated Sites to Advance Agenda 2030”.

The report demonstrates how different types of UNESCO sites are uniquely placed to address 21st century sustainable development challenges, and how in working together they can provide a model for change, working towards the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

The trip was an amazing opportunity to present the work to a fully international delegation of United Nations representatives, demonstrating NIAXO’s skills and experience in data management, governance, security, and knowledge sharing. With a focus on collecting and sharing geospatial data and GIS tools, the launch event saw speeches from both the UK and Canadian Ambassadors to UNESCO, as well as the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, who all shared their enthusiasm for the work and its findings.

Tim also attended sessions with various other UNESCO National Commissions to share knowledge on data standards, international data formats, and ideas for the future. A round-table session with senior representatives from the Global Geoparks, Biosphere Reserves, and World Heritage Sites secretariats was exceptionally positive and provided some very interesting insights.

Special thanks go to colleague and co-author at the UK Commission for UNESCO, Matt Rabagliati for all his hard work & support not only with the report but also hosting at UNESCO in Paris, as well as to fellow authors Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Haine and Dr. Alexander Kent. Also, thank you to the representatives from Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) & FCDO Services for their support and promotion of the work, as well as the HaWC-i innovation group for introducing us all. We look forward to continuing to work together to deliver on the recommendations, and share our expertise in the pursuit of this very worthy cause!

Please do take a look at the report: