Флаг автономного округа-Югры

Vestnik UNESCO. Ugra and UNESCO - partnership to promote sustainable development


Vestnik UNESCO. Ugra and UNESCO - partnership to promote sustainable development

The Russia's UNESCO Commission and Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO have created in our country a solid foundation to successfully implement UNESCO projects and programs. They are focused on introducing international best practices, improving quality of life of Russian people, preserving the cultural heritage, developing education, science, and information exchange systems. Such programs are implemented at Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, for example. In 2007, the department of Russia's UNESCO Commission was opened in the autonomous okrug. Assuming responsibilities to promote UNESCO mission, we took its priorities into account while working out Strategies of Ugra social and economic development until 2020 and for the period up to 2030. For instance, we mean development of human capital assets, forming information community, and preserving cultural heritage of native minorities who have been living in Ugra since the old days.


UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program is being implemented in the autonomous okrug. This project helps to enhance quality of education, to compare approaches to education with practice and experience of other countries, to study international experience in reforming the system of professional training and building up the educational system focused on sustainable development.


In 2008, Ugra State University opened UNESCO department "Dynamics of environment and global climate change." Mukhrino field station of UNESCO department is included into SCANNET, international network of ecological monitoring. The autonomous okrug hosted two major conferences of UNESCO departments on education for sustainable development. From September 17 to 18, 2009 the first international congress of UNESCO departments was held in Khanty-Mansiysk. This event enabled specialists of the autonomous okrug to broaden contacts with leading higher educational establishments of Russia and foreign countries, to discuss with the leading experts social partnership and new pedagogical and information technologies in education.  According to results of the forum, Ugra citizens submitted their proposals for the declaration of UNESCO departments on sustainable development.


Another significant event was the International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development devoted to the 150 anniversary of V.I. Vernadsky. It was held in the autonomous okrug on May 22 - 25, 2013. Suggestions formulated in the forum declaration formed the basis for the outcome document of the World Conference on Sustainable Development that will take place in Japan in 2014. The conference participants in Ugra studied Russian and foreign experience in enhancing the role of education in the social evolution of the society. We attracted attention of foreign and Russian experts to our international ecological campaign "To save and to preserve." Projects of the UNESCO department of Ugra State University, for instance, those aimed at studying dynamics of global climate change.   UNESCO  program "Information for everybody" formed the basis for an international discussion of political, legal, ethical and social issues connected with building up the global information community, as well as developing projects aimed at ensuring general access to information. The autonomous okrug adopted the state program "Information community" for the period up to 2020.  Its main objective is to ensure equal access to information and state e-services for all Ugra citizens regardless of their place of residence and to enhance efficiency of state administration in Ugra.


Russia's UNESCO Commission supported a number of projects which are being implemented in the autonomous okrug. Thus, International IT forum is held in Ugra under the auspices of the Commission. In 2014, BRICS countries participated in this forum. The project "Regional Multimedia Center of Indigenous Communities" was implemented together with UNESCO Office in Moscow with financial support from UNESCO. As a result, two hotspots appeared in Surgut Region where Nenets and Ugra Khanty people traditionally live.


To expand cooperation with UNESCO, in 2014 we plan to hold a presentation of the autonomous okrug potential in UNESCO headquarters in Paris and also to participate in the round table devoted to media and information literacy on condition that language and cultural diversity in cyberspace is preserved.


As for the field of science, I want to mention the International Hydrologic Program that enables to study mechanisms of minimizing danger threatening vulnerable systems of water resources, including in emergency situations.  Currently, comprehensive approaches to managing water resources, studying and preserving natural and cultural heritage in the region of great rivers are especially important.

Ugra participates in the project "Great Rivers" of the International Hydrologic Program. Since 2008, the international conference of UNESCO associated schools has been held in the autonomous okrug. "Ob-Irtysh basin: young people study and preserve natural and cultural heritage in the regions of great rivers."  During six years, over 500 students of associated schools from 20 countries have participated in the forum.

It is important for us that the conference is focused on young people. Its participants are looking for solutions in the framework of interregional and international cooperation. They also exchange experience gained while working in youth ecological organizations devoted to nature protection and cultural activity.


Also the international ecological campaign "To save and to preserve" has been running since 2005 under the auspices of UNESCO. The mission of this project coincides with the objectives of UNESCO program "Man and Biosphere." That is why it was decided to involve UNESCO national commissions of CIS countries into the ecological campaign and also to form an international cross-disciplinary pilot project on sustainable development based on the autonomous okrug.


The project "Network of UNESCO Associated Schools" promotes active creative school life, teaches skills of inter-cultural dialog, world culture, tolerance and respect of human rights. The status of UNESCO associated school helps to develop contacts of Russian educational establishments and their teachers with foreign colleagues. Three educational establishments in the okrug received the status of UNESCO associated schools and Alexandr Berezin, director of our college-boarding school "Art Center for Gifted Children of the North," was elected the coordinator of the network of Altaj-Sibir Region associated schools. We expect that in the near future the college-boarding school will get the status of the Center of Professional and Technical Training.


I am certain that partnership relations between Ugra and UNESCO will continue, among other reasons, due to projects focused on social adjustment of the youth and sustainable development of small peoples.

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