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Implementation Committee

Committee at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 5 June 2013 (from left to right): Mr. Stephen McCaffrey, Ms. Nataliya Nikiforova (secretariat), Mr. Attila Tanzi (Chair), Ms. Vanya Grigorova, Mr. Nicholas Bonvoisin (Secretary), Ms. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, Mr. Kari Kinnunen, Mr. Aliaksandr Stankevich, Mr. Ivan Zavadsky, Ms. Iulia Trombitcaia (secretariat), Mr. Saghit Ibatullin (Vice-Chair).


The Implementation Committee under the Water Convention was established at the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Rome, 28-30 November 2012) which adopted decision VI/1 on support to implementation and compliance (ECE/MP.WAT/37/Add.2, see in Eng and Rus).

The objective of the mechanism is to facilitate, promote and safeguard the implementation and application and compliance with the Water Convention. The mechanism is to be simple, non-confrontational, non-adversarial, transparent, supportive and cooperative in nature, building on the distinctive collaborative spirit of the Convention.

The Implementation Committee consists of nine members, who serve in their personal capacity and objectively, in the best interest of the Convention. The Meeting of the Parties, at its sixth session, elected by consensus the following members of the Implementation Committee:  Ms. Vanya Grigorova (Full term), Mr. Saghit Ibatullin (Half term), Mr. Kari Kinnunen (Full term), Mr.  Johan G. Lammers (Half term), Mr. Stephen McCaffrey (Full term), Ms. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig (Half term), Mr. Aliaksandr Stankevich (Full term), Mr. Attila Tanzi (Half term) and Mr. Ivan Zavadsky (Full term).

At the first meeting, the members of the Committee elected Mr. Attila Tanzi as Chair of the Committee and Mr. Saghit Ibatullin as Vice-Chair.

Presentation on the Implementation Committee by the Committee members

List of meetings

Fifth meeting (5-6 May 2015, Vienna, Austria)
Fourth meeting (4 December 2014, London, United Kingdom)
Third meeting (15 May 2014, Bologna, Italy)
Second meeting (12 December 2013, Geneva, Switzerland)
First meeting (5 June 2013, Geneva, Switzerland)

Short biographies of the Committee members

Vanya Grigorova is the Executive Director of the Executive Environment Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Water in Bulgaria. In the past she led the Bulgarian Chamber of Mining and Geology (2009) and a Directorate in the Ministry of Environment and Water (2000–2008). She is a Vice-Chair of the European Environment Agency Management Board. Ms. Grigorova is a member of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Environmental Performance Reviews (EPRs) and has co-authored a number of EPRs. She has extensive experience in environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, integrated pollution prevention and control and other areas.

Saghit Ibatullin, Vice-Chair of the Implementation Committee, has a background in hydraulic engineering. He is a Professor and a Corresponding Member of the Kazakh Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He has been the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (2008–2013) – the permanent body for water cooperation of the five Central Asian States. He has also been a Director of the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Water Economy (2004¬2008). In addition, Professor Ibatullin served as national expert at the Chu Talas Water Management Commission (2004–2007) and as National Coordinator at the International Water Management Institute (2005–2012).

Kari Kinnunen has served as a Director of the Lapland Regional Environmental Centre for over a decade. He has been an alternate member (1982–1990) and Chair (1990–2007) of the Finnish-Norwegian Transboundary Water Commission, member of the Finnish-Swedish Transboundary River Commission (1994–2007), observer of the Finnish-Russian Border Water Commission (1996--2007) and Senior Advisor of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat (1998–1999). Professor Kinnunen has a background in microbiology, limnology, agriculture and forestry, and specializes in water hygiene, water quality, water ecological modelling, water ecosystem monitoring, environmental administration, acidification and international environmental cooperation.

Johan G. Lammers has been a Professor of Public International Law and International Relations (1986¬1989) and of International Environmental Law (1990–2006) at the University of Amsterdam. He served as Deputy Legal Adviser (1989–1999) and Legal Adviser (1999–2006) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Professor Lammers has negotiated, on behalf of the Netherlands, the 1991 Espoo Convention, 1992 Water Convention and 1994 Meuse and Scheldt Agreements and was the Chair of the Drafting Committee for the 1997 United Nations Watercourses Convention.

Stephen McCaffrey has an extensive career in international water law, having been the Special Rapporteur for the International Law Commission’s draft articles on The Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1985–1991), which formed the basis for the negotiation of the 1997 United Nations Watercourses Convention. Professor McCaffrey served as the Counsellor on International Law in the Office of Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State. He has been engaged as a counsel in numerous cases before the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration. Since 2000, Professor McCaffrey is a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig has a background in biology and water chemistry. She is the Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR). Ms. Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig has been coordinating the transboundary cooperation processes within ICPR since 1988. She worked on the implementation of the Rhine Action Program and ICPR Action Plan on Floods, and on the development of the 1999 Rhine Convention. Ms. Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig is responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive on an international level in the Rhine basin.

Aliaksandr Stankevich is the Head of the Republican Centre for Radiation Control and Environmental Monitoring in Belarus. Previously, he served as a Deputy Director of the Central Scientific Research Institute for Complex Use of the Water Resources in Belarus. Mr. Stankevich has extensive experience with the management and protection of the Dnieper and Pripyat rivers and with the organization of environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments. He specializes in hydrology, monitoring of quality and quantity of water resources (including transboundary aspects), water management and water legislation.

Attila Tanzi, Chair of the Implementation Committee, is Professor of International Law at the University of Bologna. He has been the Chair of the Legal Board of the UNECE Water Convention (2004–2012), Chair of the Compliance Committee of the Protocol on Water and Health (2007–2010), Chair of the Expert Group on Public Participation in International Forums (2004), Vice-Chair of the Working Group on the Elaboration of the Protocol on Civil Liability (2000–2003) and Special Rapporteur on the relationship between the 1992 Water Convention and 1997 UN Watercourses Convention for the Task Force on Legal and Administrative Issues (1998–2000). Professor Tanzi served as arbitrator in a number of water and environmental cases.

Ivan Zavadsky is the Secretary of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. In 2007–2012, he worked as Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat. Mr. Zavadsky has been a Regional Programme Director of the UNDP/GEF Danube/Black Sea Regional Programme (2005–2007) and Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project (2001–2005). He served as Director General of the Air, Water, Waste and Environmental Risk Division at the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (1995–2001) and Director of the Water Protection Department at the Slovak Commission for the Environment (1990–1992).