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The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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World Water Forum: Groundwater resources and human security side event

Within the framework of the 6th World Water Forum taking place from 12 to 17 March 2012 in Marseille, UNU-EHS, UNESCO‐IHP, UNU-INWEH and UNW-DPC coordinate the side event "Addressing the links between groundwater resources and human security". The session takes place on Wednesday, 14 March 2012. Panellists will discuss the increasing dependence of communities worldwide on groundwater resources and how this may increase or decrease their immediate and longer‐term livelihoods.


Facilitated by: Dr. Zafar Adeel, Director, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

Side event announcement

The session´s background and objective

The United Nations University (UNU‐EHS and UNU-INWEH, UNESCO‐IHP and the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) have joined forces in a programme addressing the threats to human security and well‐being currently posed by groundwater degradation in developing countries: “Groundwater and Human Security (GWAHS)”.

The concrete objectives of this programme were, through the use of vulnerbaility assessment frameworks and in-depth questionnaires with communities, to determine who was vulnerable to degradation in groundwater resources or, on the contrary, who saw improvements in their livelihoods when groundwater resources were preserved.

Four case study areas were identified for the execution of the programme: Vietnam (two areas), Egypt and Iran. In-depth results will be presented from the case study in Egypt and the results of these case studies and the prospects for future replication of this methodology in other countries will be discussed with the participants.