United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Fresh Water

‘Water resources and ecosystems’ is the principal priority in UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector in 2002-2003, reflecting the widely held view that freshwater resources and their integrated management is one of the most critical environment and development issues of the coming decades.

The primary focus for UNESCO’s work on freshwater resources is the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), with a long term objective of developing approaches for sound water management. In its present phase (IHP-VI, 2002-2007), the focus is on ‘Water interactions: systems at risk and social challenges’ and on a people-oriented approach to the management and development of water resources. Priority themes include: Global changes and water resources; Integrated watershed and aquifer dynamics; Land habitat hydrology; Water and society; Water education and training. There are also two cross-cutting themes: Developing understanding of hydrological variability and similarity across different regions (FRIEND, Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data) and an integrated long-term programme with process hydrology undertaken at larger drainage basin scales (HELP, Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy). more

ProjectsUrban Development and Freshwater Resources in Small Historic Coastal Cities
Joint project of MOST, IHP and CSI.
ProjectsWorld Water Assessment@
UN-wide assessment of freshwater resources is underway, which will culminate in the publication of the first World Water Development Report in early 2003.
EventsUNESCO and Water: Events at the Johannesburg Summit 25-08-2002 10:00 pm a.clayson@unesco.org
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September), the Water Dome will provide the focus for a series of activities and displays on the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) -- the United Nations system-wide effort to assess the world’s water resources.
DocumentsThe Ethics of Freshwater Use UNESCO
DocumentsWEHAB: Framework for Action on Water and Sanitation (2002)
One of five thematic papers on the WEHAB initiative proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as a contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).  
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