Water resources and associated ecosystems are the main priority of the Natural Sciences Sector. UNESCO activities in this direction are carried out under the seventh phase (2008—2013) of the International Hydrological Program (IHP).
The main objectives of the IHP are formulating recommendations for the water management policy for satisfaction of human needs, as well as playing a key role in implementing the World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) within the UN system.
The program is directed toward an in-depth understanding of the vulnerability of water resources and causes of conflicts, as well as toward developing cooperative approaches and tools to facilitate their prevention or settlement through the effective management of water resources.
During realization of the work plan for the implementation of IHP-VII for the first two years a great deal of attention was paid to the problems of fresh water scarcity, consequences of droughts and floods, specialist training and capacity building at national and regional levels in the field of evaluation and development of groundwater resources, the impact of climate change on the freshwater resources and their structure.
Russia's participation in UNESCO IHP is provided by the National IHL Committee (www.ihp-russia.ru), chaired by the Head of Roshydromet A.V.Frolov (member of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO).
In close cooperation with the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, the Committee supports the implementation of scientific and educational projects, as well as preparation and carrying out in Russia of international scientific events devoted to various aspects of hydrology.
Russia is a member of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO IHP.
Significance for Russia:
• The program is unique, has no analogues in world practice. Within its framework the Russian scientists were given the opportunity to participate in multilateral projects on priority global issues as the impact of climate change on water resources, water erosion, river bed deformation, etc.
They have made a significant contribution to the creation of the World Atlas of water resources being of great scientific and practical significance.