General Description

UNESCO’s mandate is to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO fosters scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and foster the free flow of ideas and knowledge sharing. Creating knowledge and understanding through science equips us to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges and to achieving sustainable development and greener societies.

To support countries in managing freshwater resources in a sustainable way, UNESCO builds through the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) and its large network of water Centres and Chairs around the world. Established in 1975, the UNESCO’s IHP is the only intergovernmental scientific programme of the UN system devoted to water sciences, research, education and capacity building for sustainable water resources management. 

UNESCO-IHP’s International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) supports the UNESCO Member States in protecting and improving the quality of freshwater resources towards the SDGs achievement by mobilizing scientific and policy-relevant expertise. The IIWQ builds the scientific knowledge base, promotes research, provides science-based policy advice and facilitates the sharing of knowledge and best practices to address water quality challenges. Its activities focus on the following key areas: emerging pollutants and microplastics in freshwater; nature-based solutions to water quality; innovative approaches to water quality monitoring; wastewater management, reuse and resource recovery; and water quality and climate change. As an international scientific collaborative programme, the IIWQ activities are implemented in collaboration with a large network of experts, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, as well as other stakeholders, in both developing and developed countries.

Key Persons and Expertise

Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, PhD

Programme Specialist for water quality,
Coordinator of UNESCO-IHP International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ)
UNESCO Division of Water Sciences – Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP)

Expertise: water quality, emerging pollutants, microplastics in freshwater environments; water reuse

UNESCO will host the secondment of ESR14 and will be involved in training events, 1, 15 and 16.

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