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  • Letter of Agreement signed between CANSM and UNESCO


    In the morning of June 24, the signing ceremony of the bilateral Letter of Agreement between the Chinese Association of Natural Science Museum (CANSM) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was held at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. The agreement was signed by Dr. Cheng Donghong, President of CANSM, and Dr. Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO's Natural Sciences. Dr. Yoslan Nur, the UNESCO representative, Dr. Zuo Huanchen, President of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, former President of Shanghai Science Education Development Foundation, Mr. Yang Jianrong, member of the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal CPPCC, Executive Deputy Director of the Committee of Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports, former Vice President of Shanghai Association for Science & Technology, Mr. Cao Hongming, Director of the Department of Science Popularization of Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (STCSM), representatives from some foreign consulates in Shanghai and several CANSM members attended the signing ceremony.


    In November 2017, in order to respond positively to the China-proposed “Belt and Road Initiative”, and in line with the requirements of the State to encourage social organizations to actively participate in the work of civil diplomacy, and to focus on the overall goals of the reform and science popularization work of CAST, CANSM hosted the First International Symposium on The Development of Natural Science Museums Under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRISMIS). The symposium brought together leaders or representative of 9 government agencies and organizations, 44 curators and directors of 22 science related museums and institutions from the countries involved in Belt and Road countries, more than 140 Chinese curators and directors from natural history museums, science & technology museums, planetariums, land & resources museums, etc., as well as enterprises  engaged in science popularization. Based on the theme of “Collaborative Sharing and Reciprocation: Towards the Co-construction of a Silk Road for Science Communication”, the participants deeply exchanged their experiences in the construction, management, and operation of science related museums; they also shared their insights and ideas concerning the future development of science related museums and the reciprocation and sharing of science popularization resources, as well as other in-depth cooperation projects. During the symposium, they reached broad consensus in these aspects. As one of the important outcomes of BRISMIS, The Beijing Declaration was formally issued at the conclusion of the symposium. Since then, China Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the Geological Museum of China, Beijing Museum of Natural History, Beijing Planetarium and other science related museums have signed 16 bilateral cooperation agreements and letters of intent for “Sharing and Reciprocation Plan of Science Popularization Resources” with Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Egypt, Kenya, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Greece, Canada, Australia and other countries. At present, these cooperation projects have already been implemented or are being implemented.


    In view of the consensus of the two parties in the realization of the significance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the “One Belt and One Road”, as well as the concepts of co-construction and sharing they carry for science communication, as a whole, also considering their shared recognition of the mission of promoting science communication and developing science related museums, after fully communicated and consulted with each other, CANSM and UNESCO has entered into this Letter of Agreement. It aims to carry out activities and cooperation projects with targeted national and international organizations, so that science related museums can become platforms for the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); assist in the cooperation and communication of science related museums of UNESCO member states, especially in the construction and development of science related museums of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative; support non-formal education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using the exhibition and teaching resources of the involved science related museum to promote cooperation and exchanges among these museums covered by the Belt and Road Initiative; and achieve reciprocation and sharing of science popularization resources and exhibition education resources. In order to achieve the afore-mentioned objective, the two parties shall also support the biennial International Symposium on The Development of Natural Science Museums Under The Belt and Road Initiative (BRISMIS), as well as information sharing and communication beyond BRISMIS; using BRISMIS as an international cooperation platform among science centres and science museums in Belt and Road Initiative countries; support joint development and reciprocal sharing of resources among science centres and science museums in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, with priority being given to popular science resources conducive to achieving the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs); support joint development and reciprocal sharing of resources beneficial to the enhancement of innovative development of informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; organize capacity building programs, e.g. training workshops.


    CANSM has long been committed to promoting the development of science related museums and the signing of the Agreement precisely reflects UNESCO's high degree of recognition of and encouragement for CANSM’s endeavors. As a CAST-affiliated non-government organization of science and technology featuring both academic nature and science popularization, CANSM adheres to “establishing the association with academics, and sustaining it with science popularization”, energetically promotes the reform and development of scientific and technical institutions, serves the scientific and technical workers of the field and the improvement of all people’s scientific literacy, and constantly takes new steps. Under the support of all sectors of the society, Chinese science related museums have developed rapidly over the recent years, thus providing a solid foundation and robust capacities for international cooperation projects. While serving the new demand and new expectations of the Chinese people for scientific and cultural life, it is the responsibility and honor of the vast scientific and technical workers as well as science popularization workers of Chinese science related museums to serve the goals of the “Belt and Road Initiative” with science popularization exhibition education and other resources and methods.


    Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out in his speech at the UN Development Summit in 2015 that “China solemnly promises to implement the post-2015 development agenda as its own responsibility. All parties unite and cooperate to continuously advance the global cause.” Recently, President Xi Jinping pointed out: “The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ has gradually moved from consensus to action, not only as an important support for China’s better development, but also as a strong impetus for the promotion of global common development and the construction of a community of shared future for all mankind.” The signing of the bilateral cooperation agreement with UNESCO is one of the concrete measures of CANSM to execute the planning of the Party Committee of CAST on studying and implementing the spirit of 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. In accordance with the overall requirements of CAST for the reform of its learned societies and the work of science popularization, an important breakthrough to explore the implementation pathway for building a community with a shared future for mankind by the science related museums in China.


    "Once the planning has been made, what is crucial is implementation.", under the leadership and support of CAST, CANSM will unite the vast number of scientific and technological workers, science workers to earnestly implement various provisions of the agreement with the support of the Party and the government and all sectors of society and work closely with UNESCO to carry out services of reciprocation and sharing of popular science resources, so that the mutual benefits and win-win situation between China and more science related museums in the world can be promoted, and contributions made to promoting the sustainable development and the implementation of the " Belt and Road Initiative".

BRISMIS - Belt and Road Initiative Science Museum International Symposium

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