His Excellency, Mr. Chen Lei, Minister of Water Resources (MWR) of the People’s Republic of China visited the Institute on 21 March 2012. The high-level delegation was in the Netherlands for an official visit to discuss bilateral agreement with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
The Minister decided to visit UNESCO-IHE since in the last 20 years UNESCO-IHE has trained 150 junior staff and 100 senior managers for his ministry and affiliated river basin authorities. The Minister was briefed on the long-term strategic plans of the Institute. In particular, the possibility of the establishment of an UNESCO-IHE Global Campus in Asia was warmly received.
The Minister proposed to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between the MWR of China and UNESCO-IHE. This MoU shall be signed during the 5th International Yellow River Forum to be held in September, 2012. The MoU seeks to strength the long-term close and effective cooperation in the areas of mutual interests and strengths. The priority areas are: (1) the support of MWR for the UNESCO-IHE Global Campus in Asia; (2) exchange of staff for organizing seminars and workshops; (3) organization of tailor-made training courses for professionals, middle managers at Division Chief level, and senior managers at Director General levels; and (4) conducting joint research in the fields of flood management, soil and water conservation, water pollution, and integrated water resources management.
Members of the delegation also included the Director-Generals of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, Water Resources, and Flood Control Headquarters. Chinese students studying at UNESCO-IHE met the Minister and his delegation.