Saturday, November 12, 2005

UNESCO's International Hydrological Program

The IHP website.

Following UNESCO's major role in the International Hydrological Decade (IHD, 1965-1974) the International Hydrological Program (IHP) was created in 1975. The program has achieved progress on methodologies for hydrological studies and training and education in the water sciences. Now, however, greater emphasis is being put on the role of water resources management for sustainable development and on the adaptation of the hydrological sciences to cope with the expected changing climate and environmental conditions. Another important objective is to integrate the developing countries into the worldwide ventures of research and training.

IHP is a long-term program executed in phases of a 6-year duration. It functions through working groups, symposia, workshops, publications and extra-budgetary projects, the latter especially through the UNESCO Regional Offices where Regional Hydrologists are located.

IHP, over the decades has gone through a profound transformation from a single discipline to a multi-disciplinary programme. Recently, with the increased presence of the social science component, IHP has become a truly inter-disciplinary programme, capitalizing on the recognition that the solution of the world water problems is not just a technical issue.

The current IHP program, IHP-VI, covering the period 2002-2007, is devoted to "Water Interactions : Systems at Risk and Social Challenges".

The Intergovernmental Council of the IHP is a subsidiary organ of the UNESCO General Conference. The Council is composed of 36 Member States. Member States (22) elected at the 32nd session of the General Conference are: Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, Eritrea, Germany, Iceland, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Turkey, and Yemen. Those elected (14) at the 33rd session of the General Conference are: Australia, Benin, Costa Rica, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The National Committees have been set up by the respective governments. Where no National Committee has been established, a Focal Point or National Correspondent in the form of an organization or individual has been identified for channeling information about IHP to and from the country. The United States is represented by Dr. John E. Schefter of the U.S. Geological Survey. The website specified for the U.S. participation is the of the USGS Water Science for Schools website.

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