UNECE has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Environment Protection of Georgia on the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) that will be carried out in the country in the framework of the European Union (EU) Water Initiative.
The overall objective of the NPD is to assist Georgia reach the water-related Millennium Development Goals, in particular to integrate the principles of sustainable development into national policies and programmes and reverse losses of environment resources, and to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. The Memorandum of Understanding provides specific and concrete terms of reference for the NPD which will focus on three main areas of work:
- Institutional reform to approximate national legislation to the EU Water Framework Directive, including through the preparation of a new National Water Law;
- Improving the water and health situation through the development of targets and target dates in accordance with the Protocol on Water and Health;
- Strengthening transboundary water cooperation with Azerbaijan and supporting Georgian efforts towards preparing for accession to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).
Thus the NPD will at the same time facilitate Georgia accession and implementation of both UNECE and EU legal instruments, also supporting Georgia efforts in its association process with the European Union.
In order to coordinate implementation of NPD, the Memorandum of Understanding establishes a Steering Committee which includes representatives of 15 ministries, the Georgian Parliament, agencies, academia and the civil society.
The NPD in Georgia is financed by the Government of Finland, in the framework of its Wider Europe Initiative, and the European Union. Georgia National Water Partnership provides practical support to the process.
More information on the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on IWRM is available at the website www.unece.org/env/water/npd.html
Information about meetings under NPD in Georgia is available at http://www.unece.org/env/water/npd_meetings
Ms. Gulnara Roll, EUWI Coordinator
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Phone : +41 (0) 22 917 22 57
Fax : +41 (0) 22 917 06 21
Note to Editors:
The UNECE-supported National Policy Dialogues on IWRM programme assist governments of the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in promoting implementation of the IWRM in line with the principles of the UNECE Water Convention, the Protocol on Water and Health, the EU Water Framework Directive and other UNECE and European Union instruments.
National Policy Dialogues on IWRM are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI), an international partnership that aims at contributing to the achievement of the water related Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on integrated water resources management. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the strategic partner for water supply and sanitation.