Director-General receives the IAH Distinguished Associate Award for 2009

Director-General receives the IAH Distinguished Associate Award for 2009
  • © UNESCO/P. Lagès

On 24 August 2009, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, received the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Distinguished Associate Award for 2009 from Mr Wilhelm Struckmeier, President of IAH.

Also present at the award ceremony were Mr Shaminder Puri, Secretary-General of IAH, and Mr Andras Szollosi-Nagy, Secretary of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP).

In his acceptance speech, which will be shown at the General assembly of the IAH on the 10th of September 2009 in Hyderabad, India, Mr Matsuura noted that groundwater resources were “key to finding sustainable solutions to water problems. Groundwater is the world’s most extracted raw material and the most important and safest source of drinking water. Agriculture and particularly irrigation systems in many parts of the world (such as India, Northern Africa, and Western Asia) strongly depend on groundwater resources.”

The Director-General went on to highlight the joint achievements of UNESCO’s IHP and IAH in this area, such as the International Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) Project, which represented a much needed regional and global estimation of transboundary aquifers; the preparation of a set of draft articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers in cooperation with the UN International Law Commission, which led to a UN General Assembly resolution on the subject; and the development of the IHP-World Hydrogeological Map Project (WHYMAP) that produced the first interactive global system overview of the world’s aquifers.

Mr Matsuura stated that “these are all extraordinary achievements that both UNESCO and IAH can be proud of. Thanks to our collaboration, policy makers now better understand the importance of managing groundwater resources effectively, both within and across their borders.”

The Director-General concluded by saying that the award recognized the unique collaboration between UNESCO and IAH over the past ten years, and that he looked forward to further collaboration between the two organizations on the crucial topic of groundwater.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 149-2009
  • 31-08-2009
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