The South Asia Foundation (SAF) is delighted to announce the establishment of the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Resources Management in South Asia at the University of Moratuwa (UMCSAWM). This significant milestone marks a decade of dedicated efforts to foster regional cooperation through South Asian water education, gaining international recognition from UNESCO.
The inauguration ceremony, held at UMCSAWM on November 24, 2023, was graced by Mr. Timothy Curtis, Director of UNESCO. The event witnessed the presence of UMCSAWM Vice Chancellor, faculty members, MSF Trustees, SAF Chairpersons, and the team from SAF-India and SAF Sri Lanka.
The UNESCO Chair, based at UMCSAWM, is a collaborative initiative with UNESCO to advance knowledge and practices related to sustainable water resources management in South Asia. The partnership formalization was celebrated through an agreement signed between the Director-General of UNESCO and the University of Moratuwa, designating it as the hosting institution for the UNESCO Chair.
The Chair is positioned within the Department of Civil Engineering at UMCSAWM, serving as a dedicated teaching and research unit. The brainchild of the Founding Director of UMCSAWM, Prof. N. T. Sohan Wijesekera, the UNESCO Chair is currently led by its Director/Centre Chairman and Academic Head, known as the Chairholder.
This prestigious acknowledgement reflects SAF's unwavering commitment to training professional engineers as the region's foremost water managers. The establishment of the UNESCO Chair signifies a pivotal step towards addressing common water challenges in South Asia and promoting sustainable water resource management practices.
The expert team assembled under the UNESCO Chair, led by UMCSAWM, is poised to contribute significantly to advancing knowledge and practices in the field of sustainable water resources management. The collaboration between SAF and UNESCO demonstrates a shared commitment to addressing critical water issues, fostering research, and developing skilled professionals who will play a pivotal role in ensuring the sustainable management of water resources in South Asia