Water is said to be liquid blue gold of the 21st century, because it plays so many crucial roles in earth system functioning and because it sustains life on earth . However, the water resources on our planet are subjected to so many pressures which needs appropriate management to reach sustainability. Sustainable management of water resources needs therefore to be based on sound scientific principles, acknowledging the complexity of water system function, and the diversity of different disciplines needed to address the water resources scientific questions. It should also be built on appropriate capacity and educational programmes on sustainable water management.
To meet this societal challenge, the UNESCO developed the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). IHP is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. The programme, tailored to Member States’ needs, is implemented in six-year phases – allowing it to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
The Belgian Committee of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO, in short UNESCO-IHP-BE, is the Belgian branch of this programme. It is composed of scientific, academic, educational actors and other stakeholders of the water sector in Belgium.
The role and mandate of the UNESCO-IHP-BE is to structure the activities of the Belgian scientific and educational community and other actors of the water sector within the framework of UNESCO-IHP. The UNESCO-IHP-BE will develop the following activities:
- The promotion of UNESCO-IHP-BE and of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO in Belgium;
- The development of links with other national committees of UNESCO-IHP, in particular of neighbouring countries and regions;
- The design and maintenance of an internet based communication plateforme of UNESCO-IHP-BE;
- The maintenance of a list UNESCO-IHP-BE members;
- The development of links with the UNESCO-IHP headquarters, i.e. to submit activity reports and to participate to meetings organised by UNESCO-IHP;
- The organisation of a meeting of the General Assembly of UNESCO-IHP-BE and other required meetings.