28.01.2014 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO-HidroEX City of Waters to be the National Water Institute (INA) headquarters in the Southeast of Brazil

State institution chosen by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. UNESCO-HidroEX City of Waters is also a Category II Centre.

The UNESCO-HidroEX City of Waters, an institution that belongs to Minas Gerais state government and linked to the State Department for Science, Technology and Higher Education (Sectes), will be home to the Southeastern National Water Institute (INA), a body recently approved by the National Congress and awaiting presidential assent.

The announcement was made on Thursday (23/01) in Frutal (Minas Gerais, Brazil), where the institution has its headquarters, by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp, along with the Minas Gerais State Secretaries for Planning and Management, Renata Maria Paes Vilhena, and Science, Technology and Higher Education, Narcio Rodrigues. At the same ceremony a technical cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), the Government of Minas Gerais (Sectes, Seplag and HidroEX) and UNESCO-IHE for the submission of HidroEX’s candidacy as UNESCO’s Category I Centre was signed. The Foundation had already received UNESCO’s seal of approval as a Category II Centre on December 2, 2009.

"Minas Gerais has led the way by establishing a policy for the management of our water resources.  We along with the INA are joining the effort. If before we were only supporters, we will now be investing heavily in this project, "said minister Raupp.

Secretary Renata Vilhena stressed the responsibility Minas Gerais has in water resource management. Secretary Narcio Rodrigues spoke of the great contribution made by major institutions in implementing the City of Waters which is becoming a major centre for research into water resources, and with important international partners. "This project is not just local, it is not only Minas Gerais. It is for Brazil. For the world. Currently, with the City of Waters, Brazil is the only member  of the BRICS group of nations (the group of emerging powers in the global economy, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) that  has been taking the issue of water seriously, "he added.

He also highlighted the contribution of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Federal Government, noting that the introduction of the INA together with HidroEX, has enabled the foundation to win backing as UNESCO’s  Category I centre.

The ceremony was also attended by the acting mayor of Frutal, Frontinus Esio Santana, the rector of UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands, András Szollosi-Nagy, President of UNESCO-HidroEX, Octavio Elísio Alves de Brito, HidroEX’s international consultant, Richard Meganck, the MCTI ‘s undersecretary for the Coordination of Research Units, Archimedes Diogenes Ciloni, Minas Gerais state congressmen, Ze Maia (PSDB) and Adelmo Leão (PT) and São Paulo congressman, José Prado Zico (PT).

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