The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs programme was launched in 1992 promoting international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. In 2017, the programme celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

UNITWIN is the abbreviation for the university twinning and networking scheme. The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme consists of establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in higher education institutions.



As of March 31, 2019, there are 750 UNESCO Chairs in 114 countries. Over 250 Chairs are established in natural sciences. A list of such chairs as of April 2014 is given here. The UNESCO Chair on Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction at University of Ljubljana is the 42nd water-related chair in the world.

As of March 31, 2019, there are 45 UNITWIN Networks in 22 countries. One of the UNITWIN Network was established in 2003 at Kyoto University, Kyoto as the UNITWIN-UNESCO/KU/ICL International Consortium on Landslides Mitigation for Society and Environment Cooperation Programme (605).

It was extended to the UNESCO/KU/ICL “Landslide and Water-related Disaster Risk Management for Society and the Environment Cooperation Programme” to include water-related disaster and also disaster risk management and signed by UNESCO, Disaster Prevention Research Institute of the Kyoto University and the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL, Kyoto, Japan) at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on November 16, 2010.

As of the end of 2016, there are 3 UNESCO Chairs active in Slovenia:

  • UNESCO Chair on Karst Education (2014), University of Nova Gorica (1070)
  • UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning (2014), The Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (1080)
  • UNESCO Chair on water-related disaster risk reduction (2016), University of Ljubljana (1134)



Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering is a member of the public University of Ljubljana — UL FGG has been involved in many EU research projects related to floods and fluvial erosion.

The foundation for a UNESCO Chair in Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction at the University of Ljubljana were past research activities at UL FGG in the field of hydrology and hydraulic engineering, taken over by the Chair of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering. Past international experiences at the Chair of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering can be found here.

The Chair of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering was and still is actively involved in activities of various international non-governmental organisations, such as International Research Society Interpraevent (Klagenfurt, Austria), European Geosciences Union, or International Consortium on Landslides (ICL, Kyoto, Japan).

In 2014, UL FGG established the Research Institute for Geo and Hydro Threats (RIGHT).  Since 2008, UL FGG was three times recognised by the International Programme on Landslides Global Promotion Committee (IPL-GPC) as the World Centre of Excellence on Landslide Risk Reduction (2008-2011, 2011-2014, 2014-2017, application for 2017-2020 is under consideration).

Furthermore, UL FGG for some years actively participates in the Erasmus Mundus Master’s Program on Flood Risk Management that is coordinated by UNESCO-IHE, TU Dresden, and TU Barcelona.

UL FGG also publishes an open-access scientific journal Acta hydrotechnica that brings to a wider audience original research papers, short communications, technical notes, and reviews that deal with hydrology, hydraulic engineering and other field of water science and technology.