UNESCO´s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental freshwater initiative institutionalised in the UN system. It is governed by an Intergovernmental Council of 36 (rotating) member states.

Please find here a 4 minute video in which Stein van Oosteren, attaché at the Dutch permanent representation at UNESCO, explains UNESCO-IHP:


UNESCO hosts the IHP Secretariat, which coordinates the implementation of the programme together with its network of IHP National Committees, UNESCO Category 1 and 2 centres, UNESCO Water Chairs, and other partners. IHP is implemented in phases and is currently in its eighth phase (IHP-VIII 2014-2021). In this phase, IHP aims to improve water security in response to local, regional, and global challenges and focuses on 6 themes:

Visit this page for IHPs programmatic brochure.

IHP covers a wide spectrum of programmes and initiatives, all endorsed by the IHP Intergovernmental Council. IHP has two cross-cutting programmes: FRIEND-Water on data sharing and HELP on water policy. Furthermore, IHP has a number of associated programmes, which cover projects and activities that contribute to the development and implementation of the IHP themes:

Visit this website for more info about IHP´s work, programmes, events, publication Water Centres, Water Chairs.

Visit this website for more info about IHP´s Intergovernmental Council and Bureau.