The subregional workshop on transboundary water cooperation in Central and Western Europe is a crucial step in the process of preparations of the second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in the UNECE region for the Seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (21-23 September 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan).
The workshop was held in Budapest from 8 to 10 February 2011, as one of the events of Hungary’s EU Presidency. The workshop will be organized by the Ministry of Rural Development of Hungary and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, in cooperation with the International Water Assessment Centre (IWAC).
The second Assessment is an important part of the programme of work for 201-2012 of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). Compared to the first Assessment, the second edition will have a more holistic approach, integrate surface and groundwaters, highlight legal, institutional and socio-economic aspects and emphasize cross-cutting themes that are a challenge for transboundary waters, in particular the impacts of and adaptation to climate change. The second Assessment will provide an authoritative picture of the state of transboundary waters and identify joint priorities and challenges. It will be a powerful tool to inform, guide and stimulate further action by Governments, river basin organizations, the international community, including donors, and relevant non-governmental organizations.
The workshop will allow representatives of countries in Central and Western Europe, including EU and EFTA countries, to work together to develop an accurate picture of all transboundary waters in the region – both surface and groundwaters – with the aims of monitoring and bringing positive changes to their management and of laying the groundwork for future work.
The workshop will allow discussion on common issues for transboundary water management, such as diffuse pollution and land use, ecosystems approach and ecosystem services, extreme events, climate change and its impacts on water resources, transboundary groundwater management, industrial and urban pollution with focus on selected pollutants, as well as hydromorphological alterations.