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Capacity development for skills development in the water and wastewater sector

UNESCO-UNEVOC at IFAT 2014, Munich, Germany

About forty percent of the world´s population could face water scarcity by 2030. This is one of the urgent issues projected to be addressed by efforts to promote and improve water resources management and governance through better technology, improved capacity and training.

UNESCO-UNEVOC participated in the International Trade Fair on Water organized in Munich, Germany from 5 to 7 May 2014 with the aim to enable the development of new perspectives in TVET for water sustainability and the water-energy connection.

Shyamal Majumdar and representatives from the UNEVOC Network © UNESCO-UNEVOC
IFAT is being attended by thousands of visitors from Germany and all over the world to learn about new trends and technologies in the water and wastewater sector. Six participants from five UNEVOC Centres from Costa Rica, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria and Sri Lanka attended IFAT as part of capacity building on water-related challenges and the corresponding approaches for TVET. Various sessions and lectures during the three days are providing participants different perspectives in addressing water related issues and finding the nexus between water and energy. On 5 May, Mr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, presented on new approaches in greening TVET where he emphasized the positive correlation between integrated environmental and skills development strategies and the projected contribution to sustainable development. The approaches are underpinned by the need to meet the skills demand in the water sector and address urgent issues of water scarcity, sanitation, skills mismatch vis-à-vis occupational changes and limited teaching and learning resources in water education.

In the context of addressing knowledge and capacity gaps, technical and vocational training provisions in UNESCO Member States are continuously advocated to promote positive changes in the consumption and production patterns that could arrest unsustainable practices and reverse the unsustainable use and management of water resources.

We make water work, IFAT 2014 exhibiton © UNESCO-UNEVOC
A visit to the Gut Großlappen Wastewater Treatment Plant in Munich, organized in collaboration with the German Water Association (DWA), provided UNEVOC Network members with the opportunity to make practical observations of industry-based practices and technologies demonstrating environmental efficiency. To aid in processing input and translating the IFAT experience and learning gains to future skills development and sustainable development initiatives of the UNEVOC Centres, an exclusive session was also organized as a platform to identify potential commitments and follow up actions in this area. Discussions with the German Water Association (DWA) represented by Mr Rudiger Heidebrecht and Ms Grace Lung from the World Skills Foundation, provided the opportunity to connect institutional experiences of the centres with the German experience and those of the countries with which DWA and the World Skills Foundation have active cooperation with at the community and national training levels. UNESCO-UNEVOC is representing UNESCO in the UN Water inter-agency cooperation. For 2014, the UN Water Day finds the nexus between water and energy, which is highlighted in the UN Water IAG´s participation in IFAT 2014.

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