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Practical Guide for the Development of Agreements or Other Arrangements for Transboundary Water Cooperation


More often than not, transboundary waters can be better governed via an agreement or other arrangement which typically applies to both, surface and groundwaters.

Just how can countries and other stakeholders of a shared water basin work towards an effective, adaptable and sustainable agreement? What do they need to consider in the design and drafting phase of such an agreement? Once in place, how could and should such an arrangement be reviewed and updated?

This new publication, entitled “Practical Guide for the Development of Agreements or Other Arrangements for Transboundary Water Cooperation”, addresses these questions, and supports countries and other stakeholders on their journey towards an arrangement for their transboundary waters. It is intended for State representatives, legal and technical experts, decision-makers involved in negotiation of agreements or other arrangements for transboundary waters, the staff of river basin organizations, regional organizations, and other stakeholders working on transboundary cooperation and water diplomacy.

 In fact, such agreements and the establishment of joint bodies are key obligations for riparian Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (“1992 Water Convention”). However, the reporting under the 1992 Water Convention and on SDG indicator 6.5.2, which measures the existence of operational arrangements in shared basins, show that the development of agreements on transboundary waters remains a challenge.

At its eighth session in October 2018, the Meeting of the Parties to the 1992 Water Convention had therefore decided to undertake activities supporting their development and the establishment of joint bodies. The preparation of a practical guide on developing such agreements and good practices was part of these decisions. Ultimately, this new publication and its recommendations aim to support implementation of the Water Convention and acceleration of progress towards SDG 6 and its target 6.5.

• Mr. Aaron Salzberg, Director of the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (please click on the video)
• Mr. Péter Kovács, Water Director at the Ministry of Interior of Hungary (please click on the video)
• Mr. Komlan Sangbana, Legal Officer, Water Convention Secretariat, UNECE (please click on the video)


Download in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.