Field-oriented Education

There are four major international programmes within UNESCO’s Natural Sciences sector. Among these is the International Hydrological Programme(IHP), which is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building.

UNESCO’s IHP programme has been implemented in six-year-long phases since its foundation in 1975. Now it is entering its eighth phase, to be implemented during the period 2014-2021, under the theme of “Responses to Local, Regional, and Global Challenges,” which focuses on six thematic areas. Theme 6 is Water Education, Key to Water Security and it consists of five focal areas, outlined as below.

  • Focal area 6.1 - Enhancing tertiary water education and professional capabilities in the water sector
  • Focal area 6.2 - Addressing vocational education and training of water technicians
  • Focal area 6.3 - Water education for children and youth
  • Focal area 6.4 - Promoting awareness of water issues through informal water education
  • Focal area 6.5 - Education for transboundary water cooperation

Moreover, the Sustainable Development Goals also emphasize the importance of water education. For example, SDG 6.a mentions the importance of international cooperation and capacity-building support for developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies. Also, SDG 4.7 aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of cultures contribution to sustainable development.

In line with these global priorities, the i-WSSM intends to design education programs to meet the specific needs of developing countries, focusing on case- and field-oriented programmes, as well as problem-solving capacity building.