20.11.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Regional UNESCO Water Science network welcomes all of Asia and the Pacific

25th IHP-RSC SEAP Meeting, 13 November 2017 (©UNESCO/Agarao, Maria Karisma Bea)

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme Regional Steering Committee for Southeast Asia and the Pacific made historical decisions at it 25th inaugural session held in Manila, the Philippines, on 13 November 2017.

The Regional Steering Committee – commonly known as the RSC – has over the past quarter century served as a mechanism for scientific exchange and discussion among water scientists in Southeast and East Asia.
Reflecting the increasing interconnectedness of the Asia and the Pacific as well as the shared water-related challenges faced by countries across the region, the 25th session of the RSC decided unanimously to welcome as a member any country in Asia and Pacific with a desire to participate in its work.

In order to better reflect its expanded geographical coverage, the RSC also decided to rename itself the “IHP Regional Steering Committee for Asia and the Pacific”, removing the word “Southeast” from the its name.

Attended by member country delegates, observers from India and Pakistan, representatives of water-related UNESCO Category 2 Centres as well as a representative of Fiji delivering a message from the Pacific island countries, the 25th inaugural session of the RSC further decided to pursue a more active engagement between annual sessions. Plans were made for the active exchange of hydrological data as well as the organization of several training and research exchange activities over the coming year.

The RSC met in conjunction with the UNESCO-JASTIP Joint Symposium on Intra-Regional Water Security and Disaster Management, organized by the Philippine Water Partnership and the UNESCO Office Jakarta in partnership with the JASTIP – the Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform: Promotion of Sustainable Development Research.

Held during 15-16 November, the Symposium featured more than 50 technical presentations - representing the cutting edge of water and disaster research in the region – as well as two special addresses on the history and achievements of the RSC delivered by founding members Prof. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi of Japan and Prof. Soontak Lee of the Republic of Korea.

The RSC’s first two years as a fully regional body will be guided by Indonesia, elected as RSC Chair until 2019. The RSC will take stock of its new status and welcome new members at its next meeting, to be held in Shanghai, China, in November 2018.

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