On 22 June, the National Hydro-Meteorological Institute in Colombia, IDEAM signed an agreement with UNESCO-IHE and Deltares. This partnership consolidates the relationship between the three institutes, with the objective of exchanging knowledge in topics such as integrated water resources management, hydrological modeling, early warning and climate change.
UNESCO-IHE and IDEAM already work together on several projects, including supporting the regional environment authorities in the implementation of river basin plans under the recently adopted policy on integrated water management.
On this same day, another contract was also signed between IDEAM, Deltares and UNESCO-IHE on the implementation of two operational pilot flood early warning systems for the Rio Bogotá and the upper part of the Rio Cauca, two important basins in the country. The regional environment authorities and universities are closely involved in both projects and include several master's research topics to be carried out by students at UNESCO-IHE, Universidad Nacional in Bogotá and Universidad del Valle in Cali.
The mission of IDEAM as a national institute under the Colombian Ministry of the Environment is to improve knowledge and ensure access to information on the natural resources and hydro meteorological conditions in Colombia. This includes the generation of knowledge that contributes to the conservation and management of the natural protected areas of the country. Additionally the institute is responsible for meteorological and hydrological forecasting at the national level and the reduction of risk associated to extreme weather events. Knowledge and technology transfer, and support to the regional environment authorities in water resources management, land management and ecosystem conservation form another important part of their tasks.