05.12.2016 - UNESCO Office in Tehran

UNESCO organizes three-day international training workshop for journalist educators on climate change and water management

The workshop was jointly organized by the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, the Regional Center on Urban Water Management under the auspices of UNESCO (RCUWM), the International Center of Qantas and Hydraulic Structures under the auspices of UNESCO (ICQHS), the Iran Water Resources Management Company, the Iranian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage and the Iranian National Commission of UNESCO.

On 4 December 2016 UNESCO embarked on a three-day international workshop on “Climate change and water management, using UNESCO Model Curricula” with participants and trainers from Canada, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the United States.

The workshop was jointly organized by the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, the Regional Center on Urban Water Management under the auspices of UNESCO (RCUWM), the International Center of Qantas and Hydraulic Structures under the auspices of UNESCO (ICQHS), the Iran Water Resources Management Company, the Iranian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage and the Iranian National Commission of UNESCO.

Mr. Hajrasooliha, advisor to the Minister of Energy and Managing Director of the Iran Water Resources Management Company delivered the opening remarks. “Water is the foundation of sustainable development. The Iranian government has invested resources to address the challenges of water management that the country faces. However, there is a communication gap between the public and the authorities when it comes to water. The aim of this workshop is to bridge the missing link in order to report the realities of the water situation to the public and at the same time hold the authorities accountable for their commitments”. Mr. Hajrasooliha suggested the creation of a core group of water journalists at the end of this conference to moderate a national conversation on water issues.

Dr. Nasiri Gheydari, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission of UNESCO argued that “in current times of depletion of natural resources and climate change, it is imperative to have a knowledgeable and informed media and journalists who can draw public attention to these important matters.”   

Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, welcomed all participants on behalf of UNESCO. “In a world of 7 billion people with limited natural resources, individuals and societies have to learn to live together in harmony with each other and with our planet, and take responsible actions based on the understanding that what we do here and now, will have implications for the lives and livelihoods of people in other parts of the world, as well as for future generations”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche. The UNESCO Representative emphasized the important role of the media in shaping public opinion, attitudes and actions. “No other sector has the outreach capacity, or such a wide range of methods for reaching decision makers and the general public as the media. It is for this reason that UNESCO regards the media as a crucial partner in achieving the sustainable development goals”, she said. “Journalists need not only the scientific knowledge to cover complex and diverse stories, but also new strategies for explaining these difficult and technical issues in ways that the audience can understand and relate to.”

Ms. Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros, Director of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), made a presentation about the work of IHP and underlined the need to work more with the public to create a greater awareness of water issues and ways to improve water management. In this regard she also stressed the crucial role the media could play in shaping public opinion and government policies.

The three-day workshop will end on 6 December 2016 and will include a field trip to the city of Yazd where the participants will visit qanats and historical hydraulic structures, as examples of traditional models of sustainable water management.

To learn more about UNESCO’s work in water management, please see:

http://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security




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