Éthique de l'environnement
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Through joint efforts carried out with UNESCO Sectors and relevant international bodies, UNESCO will address a number of thematic areas - such as the development of a programme in the Ethics of the Environment - with a view to playing an advisory and standard-setting role for the benefit of Member States.
Following its involvement in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (South Africa, 2002) and the Third World Water Forum (Japan, 2003), and in view of the International Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), COMEST's joint action with the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) will concentrate on the ethical issues of sustainability, the basic values of environmental ethics and the search for answers in complex environmental situations, in line with their recommendations and results of their previous work. UNESCO will thus strengthen its focus on the Ethics of the Environment with a view to discussing ethical recommendations at the fourth session of COMEST in March 2005.

In applying its new approach in the area of environmental ethics UNESCO can build on previous work. Since its start, COMEST has been active in several areas of moral concern, in particular fresh water and energy. The recent publication on ethical issues in regard to water use is an excellent example of bringing together scientific knowledge and expertise, and social and ethical analysis.

The interest in the ethics of fresh water has also instigated the establishment of RENEW – Research and Ethical Network Embracing Water. This network has regional centre or nodes established at Canberra (the Australian National University), at Bergen (Norway), in Malmo (Malmo University, Sweden) and in Cairo (Egypt).


- Explore which potential actions UNESCO can initiate in the area of environmental ethics
- Make an overview of possible and feasible international actions in this area
- Undertake preliminary studies to examine the possibility of receiving a mandate from the General Conference of UNESCO in 2005 or 2007.

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