On 11 February 2013, the International Year of Water Cooperation was officially launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Given the intrinsic nature of water as a transversal and universal resource, a multidisciplinary approach is needed where social scientists, water managers, policy makers, mediators, lawyers, educational experts and many more work together for water.
Developing sustainable water resources
The objectives of this International Year are to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increased demand for water access, allocation and services.
The International Year highlights the history of successful water cooperation initiatives, and identifies burning issues on water education, water diplomacy, trans-boundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks. It maintains linkages with the Millennium Development Goals, capitalizing on the momentum created at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and supporting the formulation of new objectives contributing towards developing truly sustainable water resources.
From conflict to cooperation
History often shows that the vital nature of freshwater is a powerful incentive for cooperation and dialogue, compelling stakeholders to reconcile even the most divergent views. Water more often unites than divides people and societies.
UNESCO-IHE Rector András Szöllösi-Nagy predicts that water will function as a peace-builder in the future than as a primary source of conflict. "Part of the U.N.’s efforts in upcoming years will be to try and turn potential conflict surrounding water scarcity into avenues of cooperation."
Study water conflict management at UNESCO-IHE
Learn more on the International Year of Water Cooperation
UNESCO-IHE students participate in the Youth Event at UNESCO headquarters.
Take a look at the inspirational Infographic developed by Visual.ly on Fresh Water for All