Water is one of the most important challenges in human settlements, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. Urban population is also increasingly growing all over the world, causing more pressure on limited water resources. In addition to urbanization and population growth, climate change will disproportionately affect water cycle. Hence, adaptation to water scarcity and demand management seems essential for sustainable development.
Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM) as a Category II Centre acting under the auspices of UNESCO was established in February 2002 in Tehran. The agreement between the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regarding RCUWM has recently been renewed, signed and exchanged for its third period of activities as for 2018-2023. It is worth noting that, RCUWM is guided and overseen by its Governing Board (GB) as the most important decision-making constituent at the highest level according to the Agreement.
The Centre’s mandate of activities is conducting training courses and capacity building events on various topics, such as water scarcity adaptation and demand management, providing support to joint research and technology transfer projects, and also partnership and networking at regional and international levels.
I believe that RCUWM with its active Governing Board Member States and Organizations could open a new horizon for precisely addressing regional water challenges at the highest level, leading us to more sustainable water governance. I also believe that consensus among water leaders, managers, and experts should be made for appropriate approaches and solutions to be presented, targeting serious pressure on water, and taking benefit of best practices and learned lessons.
We could share our vast experiences regarding water-related issues via the “Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM-Tehran)” under the auspices of UNESCO in Asia and North Africa; and I am sure that the Centre is fully prepared to cooperate with GB Member States.