The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. Since its inception in 1975, IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research programme into an encompassing, holistic programme to facilitate education and capacity building, and enhance water resources management and governance.
IHP facilitates an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, which incorporates the social dimension of water resources, and promotes and develops international research in hydrological and freshwater sciences. UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme, founded in 1975 and implemented in programmatic time intervals or phases, is entering its eighth phase to be implemented during the period 2014-2021.
IHP-VIII: Water security: Responses to local, regional and global challenges
Aligned with the new eight-year Medium-term Strategy of UNESCO (2014-2021), the eighth phase of IHP (IHP-VIII) was prepared through a comprehensive consultation process with Member States. IHP-VIII will aim to improve water security in response to local, regional, and global challenges. Multidisciplinary and environmentally sound approaches to water resources management will be sought. The role of human behaviour, cultural beliefs and attitudes to water, and socio-economic research to better understand and develop tools to adapt to changing water availability are some of the issues to be addressed.
IHP-VIII will bring innovative methods, tools and approaches into play by capitalizing on advances in water sciences, as well as building competences to meet the challenges of today’s global water challenges. UNESCO centres and chairs will play an important role in this process.