The incorporation of IHE into UNESCO in 2001 demonstrates the importance the Organization attaches to water issues. UNESCO member states decided to make water and associated ecosystems one of its ‘principal priorities’.
Since then UNESCO has moved rapidly to build up its programme and to increase funding in this area, focusing on sustainable development, sound decision making based on scientific knowledge, education and capacity building.
UNESCO is committed to implementing the international water agenda, consisting primarily of promoting integrated water resources management, and achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the targets laid out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (Agenda 21).
UNESCO also serves as lead agency for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014).
UNESCO’s work in the water sector is built on the following pillars:
At its heart is the long-standing International Hydrological Programme (IHP) , now carried out in collaboration with academic and professional institutions, the IHP National Committees, and the governments of UNESCO’s member states.
UNESCO Water-related Chairs are joint undertakings between UNESCO and interested parties. They can be established as teaching or research facilities at a university or other higher education or research institute.
The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education , as well as some 16 associated regional and international centres around the world .
The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). Hosted and led by UNESCO, the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) coordinates the work of 28 UN-Water members and partners in the World Water Development Report (WWDR)