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UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Water Research for Climate Adaptation in Arid Environments

The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Research for Climate Adaptation in Arid Environment established at NUST is part of the UNESCO-NUST Partnership within the UNESCO/UNITWIN Science Chairs Programme. Nnenesi Kgabi is appointed as Chairholder for the duration of the Chair project – four years.

The purpose of the Chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on sustainable water research for climate adaptation in arid environments. It will facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally recognised researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions in Africa, Europe and in other regions of the world. The Chair is part of the UNITWIN Network, and is currently implemented with the help of several partners including 16 Universities and/or Research Institutes in Namibia, USA, Germany, Finland, India, South Africa and Botswana. The local institutions directly involved in the Chair Programme include Namibia Water Corporation Ltd (NAMWATER), University of Namibia (UNAM), Gobabeb Training and Research Centre (GTRC); and three Namibian government ministries - Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation (MHETI), Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).

The Chair seeks to:

  • Undertake jointly with partners research on water and climate in arid environments, and disseminate results widely, including online;
  • Develop water-air-climate models for the arid environment, and build capacities of students, faculty, professionals, civil society and government stakeholders to support their implementation;
  • Promote international scientific cooperation related to sustainable water consumption and production, and water scarcity and develop foresight to prevent undesirable trends;
  • Foster linkages between scientific research and the management of basins in the semi-arid and arid environments;
  • Serve as a platform for networking, knowledge production and sharing notably through the development of a dedicated website, scientific publications, the creation of a database of scientific studies field campaigns, the organisation of national, regional and international events and workshops; and,
  • Cooperate closely with UNESCO on relevant programmes and activities, as well as with relevant UNESCO Chairs and other members of the UNESCO Water Family worldwide.


Though there are several initial activities carried out by the Chair Team in 2015 and 2016, the official start date of the Chair is 1 April 2017.


The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Research for Climate Adaptation in Arid Environments is the first Science Chair ever hosted by Namibia. The Chair brings together water research and climate sciences to address water scarcity and sustainable development goals in arid environments. It puts Namibia in a better position to serve as the leader in water-climate interactions research leading to sustainable water augmentation programmes for the arid environments.