18.12.2013 - ODG

The Netherlands renews its commitment to support the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water education in Delft

© UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

The UNESCO-IHE Category 1 Institute in Delft was created ten years ago, thanks to the support of the Government of the Netherlands. By renewing its commitment, the Netherlands pledged an annual grant of over 10 million Euros per year, to cover the operating costs of the Institute for the period 2014-2016.

On 18 December 2013, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova signed two complementary agreements with H.E. Ambassador Zeldenrust, acting on behalf of the Minister for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and Mr Wim Kuijken, representative of the IHE Foundation, to extend their longstanding cooperation on the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and as a contribution to the International Hydrological Programme, following significant international support for the Institute in its strong contribution to water education and capacity-building in water management.

The UNESCO-IHE Category 1 Institute in Delft was created ten years ago, thanks to the support of the Government of the Netherlands. By renewing its commitment, the Netherlands pledged an annual grant of over 10 million Euros per year, to cover the operating costs of the Institute for the period 2014-2016.

The IHE Institute is the only UNESCO Category I Institute operating completely on voluntary funding, thanks to successful fundraising efforts with public and private donors. It is today the largest international postgraduate water education facility with a world class reputation and can rely on an alumni network of over 14,500 water professionals, from more than 160 mainly developing countries and countries in transition. This makes the IHE Institute an essential member of UNESCO’s ‘water family’ and one of the pillars of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme.

The Director General expressed her gratitude to the Netherlands for the continuous and substantial support, which supports UNESCO in maintaining its international lead in water resources management and water research, water education and capacity building.

“The UNESCO-IHE Institute is one of our most successful partnerships” said Ms Bokova. She expressed her hope that cooperation would continue with the same strength to contribute to a better livelihood for millions of people in the years to come.

H.E. Ambassador Zeldenrust stressed that the partnership between UNESCO and the IHE Institute was a win-win for both partners and for the world at large. “The challenges we are facing are gigantic, but the network for water managers and policy makers created by the Institute will prove to be an essential tool in meeting these challenges” he said.

Mr. Kuijken, as Delta Commissioner responsible for the mitigation of the risks of sea water level rising due to climate change in the Netherlands, emphasized the special status of the Institute, based in a country with cutting edge knowledge in the area of water and enjoying the full commitment and support of the Government.




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