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New books on water education to inspire youth in BRI countries

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2021-03-23

A research institute with China's Ministry of Water Resources unveiled an English series of books on water education in Beijing on Monday, the 29th World Water Day.

With support of a United Nations agency, the books are expected to be introduced to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, inspiring young people there to value and conserve water resources.

Compiled by the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, the popular science books were first published in Chinese in 2010, thanks to six-year efforts of a team headed by Wang Hao, a water resources expert with the institute and a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to a media release from the institute.

Aside from water-related knowledge and historical stories, the books illustrated by cartoon figures also include many experiments that could be carried out in the classroom and suggestions for field research.

The Beijing-headquartered institute begun to work on the English version after reaching a consensus for the translation in early 2020 with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's Regional Office for Eastern Africa, it said.

Aiming to enrich water knowledge and promoting water conservation, the English version of the books will be first introduced in Africa, especially in primary and secondary schools in nations in eastern Africa, the Monday release said.

With support from UNESCO, the books will be introduced to more nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in Africa, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe, it added.

Tian Xuebin, vice-minister of Water Resources, said the launch of the English books has fully reflected the shared aspiration of the Chinese government and UNESCO to proactively contribute to promoting water science and education.

These three volumes which will be used by teachers as a teaching material for extracurricular activities to adapt, develop and extend the knowledge into the daily teaching, is fundamental for children across Africa, said Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, UNESCO's assistant director-general for Natural Sciences, addressing the launch ceremony in Beijing via a video link.

"It will inspire teachers to develop new ideas, it will inspire children to value water," she said. "This series will foster curiosity, foster awareness, and encourage a positive action to help us to solve some of the pressing issues of water."

(Source: China Daily)

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