UNESCO/Flanders Funds-In-Trust for the Support of UNESCO's Activities in the Field of Science

Session 10

 

Venue: University of Gent, Belgium
Date: 8 December 2005


Agenda

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15:00-17:30

I. Introduction and general policy discussion

Necessity to integrate Small scales project into ongoing projects as well as the modality of the selection of Small-scale projects:

II. New Project Proposal

IOC: Ocean Forum series on the Marine Environment
Project Officer: Peter Pissiersens
Budget: USD 55,000

IOC/CSI: (a) Biodiversity and distribution of megafaunal assemblages in the abyssal nodule province of the eastern equatorial Pacific: management of the impacts of deep seabed mining (513 RAS 2000)
Duration: 2004-2005: translation into English.
Project officer: Alexe Suzyumov (SC/CSI), UNLUATA Umit (SC/IOC/OS)
Budget: USD 11,000

IOC/CSI: (b) Policy Note on the Biology, Ecology and Vulnerability of the deepsea polymetallic nodule communities related to the IOC-Flanders project “Biodiversity and distribution of megafaunal assemblages in the abyssal nodule province of the eastern equatorial Pacific: management of the impacts of deep seabed mining (513RAS2000)
Project officer: Alexe Suzyumov (SC/CSI), UNLUATA Umit (SC/IOC/OS)
Duration: 2004-2005: Position Paper in collaboration with IUCN:
Budget: USD 11,000

IOC/CSI: Geosphere-Biosphere Coupling Processes in the Ocean: the Training-through-Research approach towards Third World involvement (513RAF2005)
Project officer: Alexe Suzyumov (SC/CSI), UNLUATA Umit (SC/IOC/OS)
Duration: 2004-2007
Budget: 10,000 USD

IOC: Remote sensing/Hyperteach course

Project officer: Justin Amanhanzo

EES: Remote sensing/Hyperteach course

Project Officer: Thomas Schaaf (for SUMMAD, Dr.Boshra Salem)

Dissemination of ODINAFRICA data and information products and strengthening of networks in the Western Indian Ocean
Project Officer: Peter Pissierssens, IOC
Budget: USD 11,000 (including 10% support costs)
Project document available

Offre de connaissances sur la science océanographique aux enseignants et élèves des classes scientifiques du troisième degré
Project Officer: Prof. Adoté BLIVI, Chairman ORDINAFRICA III, l’Université de Lomé
Budget: USD 20,000
Duration: du 16 au 22 october 2005

II.1 Small-scale Projects:

HYD: Support to “Scholarships to allow 6-10 professionals and/or students from the LAC region to participate in the VIII Latin-American School of Soil Physic-Mexico”
Project Officer: Maria Donoso, UNESCO-Montevideo Office (At headquarters: Alberto Tejada-Guibert, SC/HYD)
Budget:  USD 15,000 (including 10% support costs)
Duration: November 2005 (two weeks)

Post-graduate training for 2 scientists at Belgian universities in the context of Project SUMAMAD (513INT2000)
Partner Universities in Belgium: K.U. Leuven, Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, Institute for Land and Water Management (Prof. Dirk Raes)
Ghent University, Department of Soil Management (Prof. Donald Gabriels)
Budget: USD 6,055

Support to international symposium on “Conserving Cultural and Biological Diversity: The Role of Sacred Natural Sites and Cultural Landscapes”(513GLO2004)
Project Officer: Thomas Schaaf
Duration: 1 April-30 June 2005.
Budget: USD 10,643

II.2. Large-scale projects:

HYD: CAZALAC project (513RLA2040 Phase I: USD 425,493): PHASE II
Project Officer: Maria Donoso, UNESCO-Montevideo Office (At headquarters: Alberto Tejada-Guibert, SC/HYD)
Total Budget: USD 2,476,896
Duration: 2006-2009

FRIEND/NILE project (513RAB2042 Phase I: USD 927,700): PHASE II
Project Officer: Radwan Al Weshah, UNESCO-Cairo Office (at Headquarters: Alberto Tejada-Guibert, SC/HYD)
Budget: USD1,400,000                                                                       
Duration: 2006-2009

FET-WATER project (513SAF2040 Phase I: USD 207,900): PHASE II
Project Officer: Alex Makarigakis, UNESCO-Windhoek Office (at Headquarters: Alice Aureli, SC/HYD/HPC)
Budget: USD 2,544,700
Duration:  2006-2010

Remote Sensing Application in the framework of FETWATER SIMDAS and GOOS-AFRICA Programmes
Project officer: Justin Ahanhanzo
Budget: USD 960,000
Duration: 2006-2010

III.1Financial and administrative matters

II.2 Any other business

a. Time and Place for the next meeting of the Steering Committee

b. Any other matters


Participants

Representatives of Flanders

  • Dr. Rudy L.Herman, Senior Researcher, Technology and Innovation Division, Ministry of Flanders.
  • Ms. Karen Groffils, Assistant to the Director General, Ministry of Flanders.

Representatives of UNESCO

  • Mr. Akio Arata, Chief, Section for Bilateral Government Funding Sources
  • Mr. Thomas Schaaf, programme Specialist, Division of Ecological Sciences.
  • Mr. Jose Alberto Tejada-Guibert, Deputy Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme, Division of Water Sciences.
  • Ms. Annukka Lipponen, Assistant Programme Specialist. Division of Water Sciences.
  • Mr. Radja Pregassame, Senior Administrative Assistant, Administration and Finance of Natural Sciences Sector
  • Mr. Hi Chang Ro, Assistant Programme Specialist, Section for Bilateral Government Funding Sources

Working Documents

  • none available

Meeting Minutes

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The tenth meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNESCO/Flanders Trust Fund for the support of UNESCO’s activities in the Field of Science (FUST) took place on 8 December 2005 in Gent. The list of participants and the Agenda, which has prepared by the representative of the Flemish Government, is enclosed as annex.

I. Introduction and general policy discussion

Morning session:

The 10th FUST Meeting reviewed several on-going large-scale and small-scale projects funded by the Flemish Government of Belgium.

-For 2006, an amount of € 1,4 M. will be made available to fund on-going projects as well as some new projects. The representative of the Flemish Government, Dr. Herman hinted that the annual Flemish contribution to FUST may be maintained at the level of € 1.4 M in 2007 and 2008.  In 2007, an evaluation of the FUST cooperation (Phase II) will be conducted.

-Dr. Herman points out that there will be no new projects apart from the ones currently under examination by the Flemish Government (either large scales or small scales) to be considered in 2006 and 2007.

New projects that are planned to start in 2008 should be submitted to the 2007 FUST Meeting.

-"Water and associated ecosystems" will remain a priority theme for Flanders, thus benefiting IOC, IHP and MAB activities. New large-scale projects may be considered for funding in 2008.
-The remaining USD 471,550.87 on the General Fund as at 30 November 2005 and a part of the contributions for 2006, 2007 and 2008 will be in priority allocated for the approved ongoing projects.

- According to the calculation of Dr. Herman, with the annual contributions till 2008, some USD 1,430,000 will still be available for consideration of new projects after an official approval of the four projects currently examined by the Flemish authorities upon the Steering Committee’s recommendation.

-The year 2007 will focus on the evaluation of the second FUST Phase. Pending the positive outcome of the evaluation, new large-scale projects may be considered including the eventual extension of the two projects SUMAMAD and ODINAFRICA II in 2008.

-It was agreed that a clear statement calling for close linkage between FET-REMSENS, ORDINAFRICA and the IOC Project Office for IODE.

-Dr.Herman also welcomes the further broadening of the ODINAFRICA project focus into ICAM and outreach and recommends that this be further continued if and when a new proposal is submitted for the next phase 2008.

-The representative of the Flemish government also appreciated the result of the implementation of the project concerning “Tsunami”.

-Dr. Herman mentioned the possibility to introduce a 1-2 year secondment scheme for Flemish experts. The geographic scope for the new FUST agreement will remain in Africa as a priority region, For Latin America the focus will remain on Chile and for Asia some specific interest may be given towards Vietnam and China.

-During the afternoon session, UNESCO was invited to explore possibilities of forging closer collaboration with the Centre of Eremology in Gent University, possibly as a UNESCO Category II Centre and/or creating a UNESCO-Chair on Desertification studies. Given that Prof. Donald Gabriels, the head of the centre, is already closely involved with MAB and IHP related work, such a move would be desirable.

II. A series of the Outreach projects

Dr Herman then suggested to combine several individual small-scale project proposals under one relatively large "outreach" project as a complement to the existing project "Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD)", which is implemented by Mr. Thomas Schaaf, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences.
The Steering Committee recommended approval of this project for a financial volume of about USD 466,000, which would include 5 components:

Pedagogical kits for drylands and highlands (T. Schaaf - USD 366,000);
Support to the Drylands Conference in Tunisia (T. Schaaf - USD 29,000);
Internet learning tools (M. Donoso, UNESCO-Montevideo Office - USD 13,000);
FRIEND/Nile Children's workshop (Mr R. Al-Weshah, UNESCO-Cairo Office - USD 36,000);
IIC-Children's rights Training course (in collaboration with SHS and ED - USD 20,000).

This project will then be submitted to the Flemish Government for approval together with the four already submitted IHP related proposals

Dr. Herman insisted on the necessity of the inclusion of the Arabic language for the Pedagogical kits (component 1 of Outreach Project).

III. Brief status of already approved Small-scale Projects

-The FUST Steering Committee recommended approval of 2 small scale projects: the project proposed by Mr. P.Pissierssens, IOC, for a “Workshop for the establishment of a pilot project to collect in real-time metadata from SST and temperature profile data, and a DBCP users and technology” (USD 15,000) and the other project proposed by Mr. R. Al-Weshah, UNESCO-Cairo Office to organize a brainstorming meeting on water management in Nile basin Countries (USD 11,500) which is linked to the result of the project FRIEND/Nile

-The cabinet of the Flemish Government was very positive towards the 4 FUST projects proposed from the 'water sector'.  The cabinet just asked some broadening of the actual topics.

Therefore an 'Outreach'-proposal is worked out in collaboration with UNESCO-HQ and will be submitted together with the 4 IHP-related proposals. The final version of this outreach proposal is now for review by the different partners.

The only problem is that the overall 2006 budget for the Flemish government still needs to be approved by the Flemish Parliament (from 19 to 23 December 2005).

As soon as the budget is approved, budget officer of the Flemish Government will allow that 2006 proposals be submitted to the government for a decision.

Dr. Rudy Herman will inform UNESCO as soon as possible on the decision taken by the Flemish Government.

IV. Financial and administrative matters

-Concerning different sources of the funds for the realisation of the projects, Dr. Herman stated that also UNESCO regular budget could be used for project implementation as complementary budget.

-Dr. Herman, representing the donor government’s view, raised the voice of concern over the use of the 10 % support costs by UNESCO, in particular, over the reality that the Sector and the field offices implementing those projects are not receiving appropriate share of such support costs although these resources are meant to be used for the support of the implementation of those projects. Mr. Arata, explained the regulations as well as the current policy regarding the support costs issue including the UN wide consultation process with a view to harmonizing the support costs treatment. The steering committee agreed that the concerns expressed by the Flemish authorities be brought to the higher management of UNESCO.

V. Any other business

- Time and Place for the next meeting of the Steering Committee

March 2006 was suggested for the date of the 11th meeting of the Steering Committee. At this meeting, among other issues, the question of the review of “support costs" to the project implementing divisions and field offices in the framework of the FUST activities will be discussed. Relevant UNESCO colleagues, such as those from the Bureau of the Budget, should attend this meeting to provide inputs.