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UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands renew their partnership for the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC)

The renewal agreement of the designation of the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center (IGRAC, Delft, The Netherlands) as a Category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO was signed today for a further six years.

During the Closing session of the second International UNESCO Conference on Transboundary Aquifers ISARM2021, Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and the Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Netherlands, Eunice Den Hoedt, signed the agreement for a renewed partnership, on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to UNESCO, respectively.

IGRAC was established in 2011 and focuses on what is essentially for most people around the world an invisible but vital source of water: groundwater. The water resources contained in aquifers (subsoil formations) play a significant role in the global economy. However, because aquifers are hidden from view, there is an acute lack of information about these systems that actually contain the largest portion of the water resources available on the planet.

This new agreement underlines the importance of the existence of an independent global groundwater centre. Awareness about the importance of groundwater is increasing, given the fact that groundwater is the main theme for World Water Day 2022, and IGRAC hopes to grow its capacity in the next six years to accommodate this increased quest for responsible groundwater management.
Neno Kukuric, Director of IGRAC

During 2022, IGRAC, together with UNESCO, will jointly coordinate on behalf of UN-Water, the campaign and celebrations for the World Water Day, under the theme “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”. In continuity of the ongoing close cooperation, IGRAC and UNESCO will work together throughout the coming year to prepare groundwater-related events, culminating in the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater that will take place in December 2022 at UNESCO Headquarters.

The signing of the renewal agreement is a new chapter in a long-standing and successful cooperation between the Government of the Netherlands and UNESCO.

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