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UNESCO and Uruguay Establish a Regional Centre for Groundwater Management for Latin America and the Caribbean

On 20 March 2014, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Uruguay to UNESCO, H. E. Mr Omar Mesa, signed an agreement for the establishment in Montevideo, Uruguay, of a Regional Centre for Groundwater Management for Latin America and the Caribbean as a category 2 centre placed under the auspices of UNESCO.

The purpose of the Centre is two-fold: to strengthen national capacity in support of the sustainable management of aquifers in Uruguay, and to address the needs and requirements jointly identified with other countries of the region by working in mutual cooperation. Committed to promoting exchanges between water managers and technical experts, the Centre will provide facilities and opportunities for advanced research on aquifer systems and groundwater resources management for scientists from Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries.

The objectives and programmes of the Centre will contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO (IHP-VIII, 2014-2018). “The creation of a regional centre for groundwater management for the LAC region will serve not only to bring together technical capacity in Uruguay and those of other countries in the region, but also will support regional coordination on the management of groundwater resources. I am confident that the Centre will provide valuable contribution to the implementation of the strategic plans of the eighth phase of IHP” said the Director-General.

The signing of the agreement took place in presence of Ms Maria Laura Da Rocha, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Brazil, and also Secretary of the Latin America and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), Ms Elisabeth Wimpfheimer, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Argentina, and Ms Mame Fatim GUEYE, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Senegal, in her capacity as Chairperson of the Francophone Group, which Uruguay is also a member.

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