This focal area will enable Member States to improve their institutions, strengthen professional capacities and develop regulations for the sustainable management and environmentally sound protection of transboundary aquifers.
Groundwater governance comprises the promotion of responsible collective action to ensure control, protection and socially-sustainable utilisation of groundwater resources and aquifer systems for the benefit of humankind and dependent ecosystems.
This focal area seeks to assess the medium and long-term impacts of climate change on groundwater resources and establish relevant mitigation and adaptation strategies on the global, regional and local scales.
In recent years, as communities and nations realized the significance of these shared freshwater resources, transboundary aquifers have become the subject of growing attention among aquifer riparians and the international community.
The geophysical settings of many small islands leave them vulnerable not only to extreme climatological and seismic events but more critically to periods of low recharge and adverse environmental impacts, including pollution, saline intrusion, soil erosion and mass wasting.
Gender Equality is one of UNESCO's global priorities, with a commitment to promote equality between women and men across the Organization's mandate. Gender Equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for the creation of sustainable and peaceful societies.
Conjunctive Water Management is intended as the efficient utilization of all freshwater resources existing in a specific basin – surface waters, groundwater shallow and deep, but also rainfall, treated wastewaters and other non-conventional sources – according to an overall strategy aimed at improving water availability and reliability.
Considering the benefits of groundwater recharge management and its potential to be a significant contributor to the SDGs, the Programme Strategies for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) in semi-arid regions was initiated in 2002 within UNESCO-IHP in cooperation with IAH.
This focal area aims to enhance knowledge of groundwater quality and groundwater protection policy. Many Member States included aspects of groundwater quality protection for drinking and other uses in their priorities for UNESCO-IHP programme (IHP VIII).