UNESCO Courier

Articles from May

A Hidden Asset
Underground water is an important, little-known and fragile resoure UNDERGROUND water was for centuries the great unknown of the water cycle. Despite the intuitive insights of a small number of geniuses, from the Greek Anaxagoras and the Roman Vitruvius...
Charles Malamoud
The French scholar Charles Malamoud, a specialist in the history and religions of India, describes in this interview the characteristics of Vedism and Hinduism, the great Indian religions, as revealed in their scriptures, rites and gods. A linguist by...
Climate of Uncertainty
Climate changes resulting from human activity will have serious implications for the distribution of the world's water SOME scientists already foresaw in the nineteenth century that the progress of civilization and the growth of industry and energy...
Crisis in the South
As a result of poverty, population growth, urbanization and pollution, water management is set to become the most crucial natural resource issue facing the developing world THE days when water could be considered a cheap and plentiful resource are virtually...
Dossier: Nature under Threat
IN June 1992, the authorities in Kigali (Rwanda) seized a young Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla graueri) and a young chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) from a foreigner passing through the country. He had purchased them for $1,000 and $500 respectively....
Miracle Algae
BARKADROUSSO is a little country town in the Kanem region of west central Chad. Its population is about 800, mostly women. The Kanem region used to be good cattle country, but drought has decimated the herds and made life very difficult. All the able-bodied...
Once upon a Time in Sumer
For most human history, water was the stuff of myth. Only in the 17th century did an approach based on observation and experiment lead to the birth od modern hydrology EVER since very ancient times, human beings have tried to explain the wonders of...
Pumps of Contention
CHAD is one country where women have to contend with both water scarcity and insecurity. The government, with the help of a few financial backers, installed water pumps in two northern regions, Guera and Ouaddai, where drought is endemic. Attitudes being...
Running Dry
Escalating consumption is threatening to outpace water supply FOR decades, water has been wasted, mismanaged and overused--and the consequences are beginning to hit home. Water scarcity typically conjures up visions of drought, the temporary dry spells...
Shifting Sands
Human activities as well as climatic conditions are responsible for desert advance. They can also help to curb it DESERTIFICATION has been defined as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting mainly from adverse human impact....
The Aswan High Dam, 25 Years On
FROM time immemorial life in Egypt has revolved round Nahr an-Nil, the River Nile, the longest river in the world and the dominating feature of Egypt's topography. The ancient Egyptians recognized the importance of the waters of the Nile to their economy...
The Forgotten Ones
Women are Africa's front-line troops in the struggle for survival against drought, famine and war. They also have to fight for recognition of their crucial role in economic development GETTING drinking water is a simple matter of turning on a tap in...
The Liquid of the Gods
Venerated for its divine qualities since the time of the Pharaohs, water is still invested with a rich symbolism in black Africa today A wealth of symbolic meanings--source of all life, purifying substance, regenerating element--is attached to water...
The Miracles of Love
The French Romantic historian Jules Michelet (1798-1874) was the author of a monumental body of work in which he acclaimed the heroism of peoples fighting for their freedom. He was also a passionate lover of nature. In L'Insecte (1857), the man who spoke...
The Role of UNESCO
For 30 years UNESCO has played a leading part in the development of international hydrology CIVILIZATIONS have always been strongly dependent on water. By now it should be clear to everyone that the converse is also true: vital water resources depend...
Towards Education for All
NEXT November, the Heads of State or Government of nine large countries will meet in New Delhi in India to give a new impetus to their efforts to achieve education for all. There is an obvious and powerful logic in this initiative. The nine countries--Bangladesh,...

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