UNECE Convenes Europe-Asia Transboundary Water Cooperation Conference

UNECE19 December 2011: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) organized the International Conference on “Europe-Asia transboundary water cooperation” to promote dialogue and cooperation on the management and protection of transboundary waters among Afghanistan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The conference, which took place from 15-16 December 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, was organized under the framework of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE Water Convention), and in the lead up to the opening of the Convention beyond the UNECE region to all UN member States.

Participants debated the current state, the progress achieved and the remaining challenges for cooperation on waters in this border region; exchanged experiences and good practices of transboundary cooperation from different basins within the European and Asian region; and identified options for the way forward. Discussions focused on: legal and institutional aspects of transboundary water cooperation; the balancing of different interests and uses in transboundary basins, and the application of integrated water resources management; protection of ecosystem and water quality, including monitoring and data exchange; extreme weather events and adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins; and prevention and response to industrial accidents. The conference conclusions will be posted on the conference website. [UNECE Press Release] [Conference Website]