The abrdn Charitable Foundation (aCF) and UNESCO have today announced a three year partnership to promote environmental sustainability through research and education with the goal of developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

As the first financial services company to enter into a partnership with UNESCO, abrdn, through the aCF, will support UNESCO programmes on environmental sustainability, climate change and water and ocean science. abrdn and UNESCO intend to establish an advisory board comprised of representatives from both organisations. The members of the advisory board will be selected for their expertise and shared vision of a more sustainable world. They will decide on projects and identify areas for broader collaboration.

The partnership will promote the role of biosphere reserves and other UNESCO sites to act as pilot sites for sustainable development and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals including on water (SDG 6), climate (SDG 13), ocean (SDG 14) and land (SDG 15). Support will be provided in particular to the work of UNESCO’s intergovernmental science programmes, notably the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) within UNESCO sites.

Stephen Bird, chief executive officer, abrdn said: “The major challenges we are all facing today around climate change and biodiversity loss need collective solutions and we are excited to embark on this partnership with UNESCO. Our vision for a better future starts with asking more of ourselves and this partnership is an important step for us as we work with UNESCO towards achieving our ambitions around creating sustainable change. UNESCO have been at the forefront of furthering the sustainable development agenda, so we are delighted to be able to collaborate with them to deliver projects aimed at sharing their knowledge with the financial sector.”

Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores, Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the abrdn Charitable Foundation in these areas of great importance to UNESCO.  It is critical for UNESCO to partner with the private sector, particularly the financial sector, to advocate innovative approaches to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The financial sector and notably abrdn can contribute to the transition to a more sustainable and equitable development that UNESCO has been promoting through its science programmes for several decades.



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