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Seminar on the UNECE Water Convention at World Water Week 2009

Seminar on the UNECE Water Convention at World Water Week 2009

18 August 2009
Stockholm Sweden
The UNECE Water Convention: how a legal framework is making a difference on the ground
Convenors: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Bureau of the UNECE Water Convention represented by the Governments of Germany, Finland and Switzerland, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Since 1992, the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) has provided a unique legal framework and practical support for transboundary water cooperation in the pan-European region, contributing to improving the management of shared waters. The seminar illustrated the practical usefulness of the Convention as a platform promoting action at different levels: from the development of strategic approaches for the whole UNECE region to concrete projects furthering cooperation in specific basins. Issues discussed ranged from traditional aspects of transboundary cooperation - such as legal issues, monitoring and assessment, etc. - to emerging challenges such as climate change adaptation in the transboundary context.

The second part of the Seminar focused on transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia. Challenges and possible solutions were discussed as well as the activities of the Water Convention in this sub-region, such as the recently started programme linked to the Berlin Water Process.

By presenting a broad range of experiences and lessons learnt under the Convention, the Seminar demonstrated how a legal framework and its implementation have made a real difference, and can therefore also be of interest beyond the UNECE region.


UNECE Article


Chair: Ms. Heide Jekel, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, Chair of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

Focus on Central Asia

11:15 Windows of opportunities - Steps to resolve the water crisis in Central Asia. Mr. Bo Libert, Regional Advisor, UNECE
11:25 Rebuilding regional water cooperation. Mr. Saghit Ibatullin, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea
11:40 The Berlin Water Process to support water management in Central Asia. Mr. Martin JungiusFederal Foreign Office of Germany, Desk Officer, and Mr. Volker Frobarth, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Programme Manager
11:55 Will the environment become an important element in water cooperation in Central Asia?, Mr. Bulat Yessekin, Consultant, Kazakhstan
12:10 Discussions and summary
12:30 Close

For more information on the World Water Week click here