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Entrevista concedida pelo diretor da ANA, Benedito Braga, para o portal da Unesco - versão em inglês

por ASCOM/ANA publicado 30/04/2008 00h00, última modificação 14/03/2019 16h35
Getting to know UNESCO's Water FamilyAn interview with... Ben Braga, Chairperson - Intergovernmental Council and Bureau of the Internatioanal Hydrological Programme, Director – National Water Agency of Brazil (ANA), Vice-President – World Water Council What is your
Getting to know UNESCO's Water Family

An interview with... Ben Braga, Chairperson - Intergovernmental Council and Bureau of the Internatioanal Hydrological Programme, Director – National Water Agency of Brazil (ANA), Vice-President – World Water Council

What is your role as Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP)?
The Intergovernmental Council of IHP is formed by a group of 36 countries from the UNESCO family. This Council is managed by an Executive Board (“the Bureau”) formed by representatives of 6 countries from UNESCO’s groups: North America and Western Europe, Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Arab States. I am the representative of Brazil (Latin American group) in the Bureau and due to the resignation of our Nigerian colleague, Mr. Alhaji Muhktari Shagari, I became the Chairperson of the Bureau and Council. Hence, I am in a transitory position doing my best to serve the UN system. My role as Chairperson is basically to direct the discussion of the Bureau in such way to ensure that decisions made by the Council are implemented.

What influence does the Intergovernmental Council have on what the IHP Secretariat does on the ground?
In theory, the Secretariat is the executive branch of the Council. The Council is a political body that discusses and approves the general strategy of the IHP. When the Council approved the IHP-VII on “Systems Under Stress and Societal Responses” it gave indication to the Secretariat that actions on the ground should try look for a combination of Science and Policy. The Bureau of IHP is the intermediary between the Secretariat and Council. The Bureau should work in very close collaboration with the Secretariat in order to produce actions on the ground that match the expectations of the member countries at the Council. I think the scientific community at large plays a definite role in helping the Secretariat to produce these actions on the ground. But, of course, these actions should comply with the general objectives established by the IHP Council.

How did your career path lead you to be on the Intergovernmental Council?
This is a difficult question to answer. All my life I have been teaching, researching and providing advice to public and private institutions. I have been involved with IHP for a long time and I was in the scientific advisory group that produced the IHP-V (a very successful one…). When I was invited to be part of Board of Directors of the National Water Agency of Brazil - ANA in 2001, my life completely changed. This was the first time I was directing a public institution of the Brazilian Government. In the few years of existence of ANA a great deal of water resources management implementation took place in Brazil. I think the success of ANA and the acquaintance I had with the Programme in the past contributed for my participation in the IHP Council.

What do you see as the most important thematic areas that IHP should be addressing in the next decade?
The success of IHP is due to the vision of András Szöllösi-Nagy whom realized that the Programme could not develop based solely on scientific grounds. Hydrologic knowledge is extremely important and IHP has contributed immensely in this area, especially back in the early 70’s. However, I think we should deepen our knowledge of the interfaces between science and policy. The issue of adaptation in the face of global changes (climate change included) is extremely important. Water resources professionals have dealt with this issue all their life. However, the rate of change of the natural environment, either by land use or climate, in the last decades has been significant. IHP cannot stay away from this subject. Transboundary water resources management is another thematic area that should be focused on by IHP. It has the interest of many countries. According to Aaron Wolf, from Oregon State University, there are 263 transboundary river basins covering 45.3% of the world’s lands. These are significant numbers, which require the attention of the international community.


Fonte: Portal da Unesco