UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics


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Our educational programs address the political and institutional dimensions of water management by focusing on water use rivalries and the challenges of resolving conflicts at different levels. Furthermore, we pay particular attention to integrating perspectives from both North and South.

We offer the following educational formats to students, practitioners and the general public – from around the world - to promote science-based decision-making and build water ‘literacy’.

Postgraduate programs

The University of Geneva’s Institute of Environmental Sciences offers a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science (“MUSE”) in conjunction with the Faculties of Science, Society, Economics, and Management. This interdisciplinary course targets students with a Bachelor’s Degree who wish to deepen their knowledge of the natural environment and its interaction with humans and society, and interested in pursuing related professions. The course offers five specializations: biodiversity ecosystems and society; climate impacts; sustainable development and urbanization; energy; and water sciences.

Massive Open Online Courses (“MOOCs”)

The UNESCO Hair in Hydropolitics, in collaboration with the Geneva Water Hub, has launched a series of Massive Open Online Courses (“MOOCs”).

This includes the MOOC in Water Resource Management and Policy. The course looks at the issues surrounding water resource governance. It defines “what is a resource?” – particularly water resources, their uses, their related activities, as well as possible conflicts –, and analyses the types of rules and rights at stake around water governance, such as the development of a multi-sector regulation and a watershed-based approach.

The Chair is currently developing, together with IHE-Delft and other partners, a new MOOC on Water Cooperation and Diplomacy, aiming to provide a solid understanding of the water cooperation and diplomacy processes. 

e-Learning Courses

The UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics experience developing interactive e-Learning courses suitable for water practitioners and university students.

One of them is the 2-week e-course on Hydropolitics and Hydrodiplomacy, developed under the framework of the German Kazakh University’s Master’s Degree in Integrated Water Resources Management. This course covers the conflictual and cooperation dimensions of shared water resources. It shows how these resources can be a source of intense use rivalries and tensions, but also an entry point for collaboration and cooperation, introducing students from Central Asia to the water’s potential as an instrument for cooperation and peace.

The Chair is currently developing an e-learning course on “Water Diplomacy and Integration of Water Norms in Peacebuilding”, financed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and targeting water practitioners, professional negotiators and university students. The e-learning course aims to enhance cooperation over transboundary water management, contributing to peacebuilding and conflict resolution in the OSCE area and beyond. 

Summer School in Water Governance

The UNESCO Hair in Hydropolitics, in collaboration with the Geneva Water Hub, organizes a Summer School in Water Governance at the University of Geneva, financed by the Global Water Program of the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC). In its past four editions, the Summer School has brought together professionals acting at strategic levels of water management and provided them with a 15-day certifying course focused on the water frameworks and negotiations.