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Assessment of transboundary waters

The most recent product in the work area of monitoring and assessment is the Second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters which provides a comprehensive overview of the status of transboundary waters in the European and Asian parts of the UNECE region. The Second Assessment was prepared under the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and launched at the Seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (Astana, Kazakhstan, 21-23 September 2011) to which it was one of the key inputs.

The First Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in the UNECE Region was published in 2007 on the occasion of the sixth Ministerial Conference which requested the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention to prepare the Second Assessment.

Compared to the first one, the Second Assessment it is broader in ambitions and scope: it has a more holistic approach, integrates surface and groundwaters, highlights legal, institutional and socio-economic aspects and emphasizes cross-cutting themes that are a challenge for transboundary waters, in particular the impacts of and adaptation to climate change. It covers pressure factors, quantity and quality status of waters, transboundary impacts, responses and future trends.

The Second Assessment is based on information provided by the countries of the region through nominated national experts or in some cases by river basin commissions. The Second Assessment seeks to inform, guide and stimulate further action by Governments, river basin organizations, the international community, including donors, and relevant non-governmental organizations.

The Second Assessment was prepared by sub-regions and a key step in its preparation was a series of sub-regional workshops on transboundary management of water resources where the participants worked together to form an accurate picture of all transboundary waters. The sub-regional workshops — listed below — allowed for the sharing of good practices and the identification of bottlenecks and challenges as well as future options for each sub-region.

- Workshop on Western and Central Europe, 8-10 February 2011 in Budapest, Hungary

- Workshop on Central Asia, 13-15 October 2010 in Almaty, Kazakhstan

- Workshop on Eastern and Northern Europe, 27-29 April 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine

- Workshop on the Caucasus, 8-10 December 2009 in Tbilisi, Georgia

- Workshop on South-Eastern Europe, 18-20 May 2009 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.