CIS countries discussed their involvement in the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme
The second meeting of representatives of the National Committees of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the CIS countries was held in the State Hydrological Institute (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) on 18-19 October, 2011. The meeting was chaired by Mr Alexander Frolov, the Head of the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology (Roshydromet) and chairperson of the IHP National Committee of Russia and organized by State Hydrological Institute, UNESCO Moscow Office and Roshydromet.
Chairpersons and responsible representatives of IHP National Committees from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan attended the meeting together with the representatives of the UNESCO IHP Secretariat and the CIS Executive Committee, scientists from the State Hydrological Institute, State Oceanographic Institute, Arctic and Antarctic Institute, Russian State Hydrometeorological University and Institute of Water Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The meeting raised a variety of key problems and tasks in the field of hydrology and water resources both in the world and CIS countries, specific features and priorities of which were evaluate as well. The participants analyzed the efficiency of the countries’ activities during the seventh phase of IHP (IHP-VII), discussed progress and weak points of international cooperation within the IHP, possibilities of raising internal and extrabudgetary funds and enhancing administrative resources, planning of cooperation and coordination of activities, elaborating a joint strategy and programme for effective cooperation with UNESCO Member States and between National Committees of CIS countries.
The developed within the meeting recommendations tackled the most important for CIS countries issues within the IHP-VII entitled “Water systems under stress and societal responses” and were related to the following issues:
- Study of climate change and economic impact on hydrological cycle and water resources (also of arid and semi-arid regions);
- Assessment, management and use of water resources, especially in transboundary basins;
- Study and forecasting of hydro-hazards, hydrological extremes and water-related disasters;
- Monitoring of water bodies and improvement of hydrological networks;
- Assessment of ecological state of water bodies and water quality monitoring;
- Assessment of transboundary transport of water and non-biodegradable materials;
- Training for specialists in the field of hydrology and water resources in the CIS countries; organization of advanced training courses.
In conclusion, the participants expressed their common opinion about the necessity to organize the Third Meeting within the VII Hydrological Congress (October 2013) for evaluation of their involvement to the IHP-VII (2008-2013) and plan the activities for IHP-VIII (2014-2019).