The workshop was organized jointly organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-MED), the Sava River Basin Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) within the framework of the UNECE Water Convention and in line with the RCC’s objective to promote regional cooperation in South-Eastern Europe (SEE). The event contributed to the regional dialogue on transboundary water resources management in SEE facilitated under the Petersberg Phase II / Athens Declaration Process.
The workshop highlighted cooperation on shared water resources management as a crucial component of the stability and prosperity process in SEE. It promoted a high level discussion on key issues facing transboundary waters and cooperation in the region linked with:
(i) institutional and legal settings for cooperation
(ii) multipurpose use of water resources and
(iii) climate change adaptation.
It allowed sharing good practices, identifying bottlenecks and challenges as well as options for the region on the way ahead.
Moreover the workshop was a determinant step in the preparations of the second assessment of transboundary waters under the UNECE Water Convention. The first Assessment was presented to the sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (Belgrade, October 2007) which requested the Convention to prepare a second Assessment by the next Ministerial Conference, scheduled for 2011.
At the workshop, participants worked together to develop an accurate picture of all transboundary waters in SEE - both surface and groundwaters - with the aim to highlight achievements and challenges, shed light on the effectiveness of the measures taken, identify most urgent actions and provide the grounds for further measures to prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact. It therefore layed the ground for strategic directions for future work under the Convention and in other political fora. The assessment of transboundary waters in SEE which was started at the workshop was presented to the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention (Geneva, 10-12 November 2009).