The fifth meeting of the parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), held on 10-12 November 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland, adopted the Guide to Implementing the Convention and Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change, among other outcomes. The Guide to Implementing the Convention provides explanations of the Convention's legal, administrative, technical and practical requirements as well as examples illustrating good practices in the UNECE region. The Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change provides step-by-step interdisciplinary methodology on how to develop and implement an adaptation strategy in a transboundary context. UNECE Water Convention parties decided to foster implementation of the Guidance through a programme of pilot projects and the establishment of a platform for exchanging experience on cooperation on adaptation. The meeting also gave the Convention's Legal Board the mandate to explore options for a mechanism to support implementation and compliance. A proposal for such a mechanism will be considered by the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties in 2012. In addition, the Meeting's first ever high-level segment focused on Central Asia, a priority area of work for the Convention. Panelists stressed the contribution of various projects and initiatives such as the EU Strategy for Central Asia, including the Berlin Water Process, and the Wider Europe Initiative of Finland, as well the need to further coordination. The Meeting of the Parties endorsed the Safety guidelines and good practices for tailing management facilities, which seek to help Governments to provide leadership and create administrative frameworks for the safer development, operation and decommissioning of tailing management facilities. Participants also agreed on a road map to develop the Second Assessment of transboundary rivers, lakes and groundwaters in UNECE region, to be issued at the Seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (Astana, Kazakhstan, 2011), and on the workplan for 2010-2012.

Link to further information

Meeting website