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Rapid response mechanism to protect environmental defenders established under the Aarhus Convention

A decision establishing a rapid response mechanism for the protection of environmental defenders was adopted by the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) at its seventh session in Geneva, on 21 October 2021.

Optimizing financing for transboundary water cooperation and basin development worldwide: a way to accelerate progress on SDG 6

Global estimates for financing needs for water-related investments to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water range from $6 .7 trillion by 2030 to $22.6 trillion by 2050, according to the OECD. Investments are needed not only to build new infrastructure but also to maintain and operate existing facilities and ensure the sustainable and cooperative management of water resources.

UNECE to showcase efforts to reduce natural and industrial disaster risk and strengthen transboundary cooperation at European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction

This year, the UNECE region has seen devastating impacts of climate change and multiple natural disasters, such as the floods in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Disasters caused by natural hazards, on the rise due to climate change, can also trigger technological accidents.

Countries worldwide set the tone to further advance transboundary water cooperation at global level at Water Convention’s ninth Meeting of the Parties  

Transboundary waters are a global common good crucial for human life, which require concerted management and protection. The ninth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 9) to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) has shown numerous examples of how countries around the globe govern transboundary waters in a cooperative, equitable and sustainable manner.   The MOP 9 was organized by UNECE in cooperation with the Government of Estonia in a hybrid format with

Governments and civil society look to enhance public engagement and protection for environmental defenders at Geneva meetings 

A 5-day event in Geneva will provide a platform for some 400 representatives of Governments, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to meet in a hybrid format and discuss achievements and challenges in the promotion of transparency, public participation in decision-making and access to justice regarding a wide range of topics related to the environment. They will look, among other things, to enhance public engagement and protection for environmental defenders. 

The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal commit to cooperate on shared groundwater as foundation for regional stability, sustainable development and climate adaptation

Ministers from The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal have agreed to establish a legal and institutional framework for cooperation on the Senegal-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB), a shared aquifer basin (groundwater reserve) on which 80% of their populations depend. In a context of rising water stress, this resource is strategic for the region’s adaptation to climate change, as it is less vulnerable than surface water. Its concerted management will contribute to reinforce peace among the populations of the four countries. 

Togo joins UN Water Convention, pushing forward water cooperation for peace, security and sustainable development

Togo is the fifth country outside the pan-European region to accede to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), for which UNECE ensures the Secretariat. This comes as more and more countries – especially in Africa –are seizing the legal and intergovernmental framework of the Water Convention to support cooperation on shared water resources, following accessions by Guinea Bissau (2021), Ghana (2020), Senegal and Chad (2018).

UNECE report highlights progress in implementation of the Water Convention and calls for stronger cooperation on transboundary aquifers and adaptation to climate change

Joining the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) makes a difference! Parties to the Water Convention constantly advance water cooperation at the basin, subbasin and bilateral levels. The conclusion of at least 10 new transboundary water cooperation agreements and the entry into force of another 4 in the period 2017–2020 demonstrate the Parties’ strong commitment to effective cooperation. Most of the 144 transboundary river and lake basins reported on by the Parties are covered by agreements or arrangements in force.