UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP)  

Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme of Unesco is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system which is dedicated to water research and education, management of water resources and capacity building in the field of water management. IHP provides interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the management of watersheds and aquifers, including the social dimension of water resources, and also promotes and develops international research in the field of hydrology.

IHP’s primary objectives are:

  • to act as a vehicle through which Member States, cooperating professional and scientific organizations and individual experts can upgrade their knowledge of the water cycle, thereby increasing their capacity to better manage and develop their water resources
  • to develop techniques, methodologies and approaches to better define hydrological phenomena
  • to improve water management, locally and globally
  • to act as a catalyst to stimulate cooperation and dialogue in water science and management
  • to assess the sustainable development of vulnerable water resources
  • to serve as a platform for increasing awareness of global water issues.

The planning, definition of priorities, and supervision of the execution of IHP are ensured by the Intergovernmental Council. The Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council of the IHP co-ordinates the work of the Council between sessions.
UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), founded in 1975 and implemented in multiyear programmatic time intervals or phases, is entering its nineth phase to be implemented during the period 2022 – 2029. IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research programme into an encompassing, holistic programme to facilitate education and capacity building and enhance water resources management and governance. IHP facilitates an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, which incorporates the social dimension of water resources and promotes and develops international research in hydrological and fresh water sciences.

The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) was renamed into the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) in 2022. The Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme is devoted exclusively to advancing water research and management, and the related education and capacity development efforts considered essential to foster sustainable and integrated water resources management. UNESCO-IHP offers a scientific and education platform related to water, enabling other complementary network initiatives that bring together research institutes, museums, industry development facilities, innovation centres, scientists, Member States representatives, policy makers, government officials, youth and others, to share knowledge and integrate different points of view.

IHP-IX: Science for a Water Secure World in a Changing Environment (2022-2029)

The Strategic Plan for the ninth phase of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP-IX) covering 2022-2029 identifies key water priority areas to support Members States to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially water related SDGs and other water-related global agendas, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The process of preparing the Strategic Plan has been highly participatory, collecting in successive consultation stages the inputs of regional experts, the IHP Bureau and Council members, the UNESCO Water Family, partner organizations and UN agencies, whose observations were substantial and useful.

The implementation of the ninth phase of the IHP (henceforth IHP-IX) will be guided by three interrelated documents:

i)                a Strategic Plan, presented herein (pdf document), identifying water-related priorities for Member States,

ii)              an Operational Implementation Plan (key activities and indicatorsmatrix of activities), and

iii)             a Financing Strategy.

Tthe last two documents to be elaborated at a later stage, which will be used to track the progress in implementing the Strategic Plan through proposed actions and related indicators.


  Slovak National Committee for the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme 

In 2016, the Slovak Commission for UNESCO established the Slovak National Committee for the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (at the Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences) to support IHP activities.

National Committees form the backbone of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and are fundamental to ensuring the widest possible participation of Member States in the international programme. These Committees are constituted and run under the authority of national governments and play a critical role in the implementation of the IHP.
The composition of a National Committee may differ from country to country, depending on the national capabilities and the existing institutional structure for hydrological studies and water resources management.
The IHP Council recommends that IHP National Committees should be constituted to:
  • Be multi-stakeholder in membership, so as to include both scientists and water managers, as well as relevant government bodies, professional associations and civil society (NGOs and the private sector);
  • Work closely with the UNESCO Regional Hydrologist and with the Vice-Chair of the IHP Council from the region, to ensure close and frequent communication and exchange of experience with other National Committees of the region and with the international programme;
  • Establish and maintain strong links with the UNESCO National Commission of the country, so as to participate more fully in UNESCO affairs as well as to contribute to international discussion and decision-making for UNESCO in which the National Commissions play an important and growing role.
  • There are at present 169 IHP National Committees and focal points among UNESCO’s 195 Member States.

For additional information about the program, see UNESCO IHP (https://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security/hydrology). For information about National Committees of other countries, see the IHP National Committee page (http://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security/hydrology/about-us/national-committees).
The Slovak National Committee includes members of the Slovak government agencies, Universities, and Slovak external organizations with expertise in water resources. The Institute of Hydrology SAS is chairing the Committee.
For additional information, please contact:, Dana Halmová, National Committee Executive Secretary (
halmova@uh.savba.sk) or Pavol Miklánek, Chair (miklanek@uh.savba.sk).
The Slovak National Committee for the International Hydrological Programme meets twice per year in Bratislava at the IH SAS. These meetings are usually open to interested individuals and organizations.

Basic information, role and assignments of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO (SC UNESCO)
UNESCO is the only international organization within the UN system which is based on mutual cooperation with its National Committees in UNESCO Member States. 
The Government of the Slovak Republic, at its meeting held on the 12th of January 1993, decided on the establishment of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO (SC UNESCO) and approved its Statute (Resolution no. 6 of 12th January 1993). The Commission was constituted in the first half of 1993. The Bodies of the SC UNESCO are: the Plenum, the Bureau, specialized Departments and its Secretariat which falls under the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The Commission and its Secretariat ensure the implementation of UNESCO activities in Slovakia. The coordination of activities in the area of international and intergovernmental UNESCO programme is done by corresponding Slovak Councils for the particular UNESCO programme, specialized Departments and the Information and Documentation Centre of UNESCO in the University Library in Bratislava. The role of the Commission is to promote activities of the UNESCO programme in the field of education, science, culture, environment, information and informatics and for that purpose to acquire and engage in cooperation with various experts from different organizations, institutions and corresponding departments of relevant ministries as well as with individuals on relevant projects.  
The main duties of SC UNESCO:

  1. SC UNESCO is an advisory body of the Slovak Government and of the National Council of the Slovak Republic in all issues concerning UNESCO and its programme(s).
  2. It ensures active participation of Slovakia in planning, preparation, realization and evaluation of the individual UNESCO programme.
  3. It informs the general public and the relevant institutions about the UNESCO activities.
  4. It coordinates all activities resulting from the cooperation with UNESCO with government authorities, ministries and various organizations.
  5. It serves as a conjunction between the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris and the national authorities and institutions.
  6. It promotes cooperation in the field of science, culture and education with other National Commissions.
  7. It provides the proposals of suitable candidates to the UNESCO governing bodies.
  8. It supports the nominations of the Slovak Republic in connection with the UNESCO World Heritage List, UNESCO Memory of the World Register, and other.