جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University

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UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Resources Management

The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Resources Management is featured by multidisciplinarity and significantly linked to many UNESCO domains, disciplines, and priorities, such as water sciences, engineering and technology resources, the environment, natural resources policy and management, institutional and infrastructural science, regional sustainable development reviews, climate change, science education, science and technology,  policy and administration, public awareness and access to information.

The chair is related to several UNESCO’s medium-term strategies for 2014-2021. This proposal is closely aligned with UNESCO’s strategic objective SO5 “Promoting international scientific cooperation on critical challenges to sustainable development”. More specifically, the proposed chair will contribute to the implementation of the strategic plan of IHP-VIII (2014-2021) “Water Security: Addressing “Water Security: Responses to Local, Regional and Global Challenges with emphasis on Theme 1, focal area 1.5, Theme 2 in all its focal areas, Theme 3 focal area 3.1, Theme 5, focal area 5.1 and Theme 6, focal areas 6.1 and 6.5.

Moreover, the Chair helps to implement integrated water resources management at all levels including transboundary cooperation (SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation). The chair through the different project activities will contribute to increasing the water quantity produced from both conventional and non-conventional water resources. Currently, the average per capita water supply is way below the water poverty index and the domestic water supply is about 80 l/c/day which is below the recommended WHO standards. The chair will also seek to develop global partnerships with various UNESCO Chairs and category 2 centers.

(1) National development

The proposed Chair will offer a set of benefits to the State of Palestine including:

a - Promote integrated water resources management to ensure resource sustainability in terms of both water quantity and quality.

b – Increase sector capacity in planning and management of water resources.

c- Support national efforts toward justifying the Palestinian rights in water resources.

d- Contribute to increasing the capacity of water sector institutions and improving their roles and regulations.

(2)  Regional development

This proposed Chair seeks to create an international and multidisciplinary platform allowing water scientists from academia and industry to sustain a dialogue that allows the integration of findings from different fields into a more cohesive understanding of water management issues.  The project research themes will address a diverse range of scientific questions relating to the development, management, and utilization of water resources. An-Najah National University faculty and department staff, various partners, as well as interested researchers from other Palestinian universities and Arab and Middle Eastern countries will be engaged to participate in the interdisciplinary program of the proposed UNESCO Chair.  Therefore, the Chair will bring together a diverse range of water sciences expertise to explore water resource availability. The chair will also contribute to the creation of advanced scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of issues related to integrated water resources management.

Development objectives (long-term) 

  • To promote an integrated interdisciplinary system of research, information, and development activities in the fields of water resources management at the international level. 

  • To contribute to community development and capacity building in water management subjects through education and high-level training.  

  • To enhance opportunities to develop educational networks and information exchange in understanding water resources management-related issues. 

  • To contribute to the increase of water supply, development of water infrastructure, and improvement of wastewater services in Palestine.

 Specific objectives - (short-term) 

  • To enhance the coordination among the academic institutions and between the academic institutions and industry.

  • To develop common research projects and strengthen links with partners to foster advanced research, facilitate the exchange of scientists, and increase the availability of outstanding specialists.

  • To train students and technicians at the university with modern research and management principles in the fields of water resources studies.

  • To exchange and disseminate scientific knowledge and information between institutions about water research.

  • Postgraduate teaching program [x] (Supporting postgraduate supervision).
  •  Short-term training [x] (Offering short-term training to universities and industry).
  • Research [x] (Promoting research about different aspects of IWRM.
  • Visiting professorships [x] (Exchange of professors and students).
  • Scholarships [x] (Raise research funds from industry and fun.

1. Institute of Geography, Faculty of Applied Computer Science, Karlsruhe University, Germany.

2. Institute of Evolution and Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Tubingen.

3. Stockholm Environmental Institute, US Center, Boston USA.

4. Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

5. Water Research Center, Jordan University, Amman, Jordan.

6. Civil Engineering Department, Technical University of Delft, Delft, Netherlands.

7. Water Future VZ, an NGO in the Netherland.

8. Civil Engineering Department, Freiburg University, Germany.

9. College of Engineering, Technical University of Lille, France.

In addition, the Chair will be open to participation from other UNESCO Chairs/Networking and interested local, regional and international partners.


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