Launch of National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management
Geneva, 31 March 2011 --
The kick-off meeting of the European Union (EU) Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management took place on 29 and 30 March 2011 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The meeting was organized at the time of ongoing reforms in Georgia aimed at the liberalization of the economy and restructuring the environmental sector. The start of the National Policy Dialogue on integrated water resources management (IWRM) as an instrument for the intersectoral dialogue on water management is therefore crucial; it allows establishing contacts and cooperation between the agencies and ministries sharing responsibilities for water in Georgia. An important task under the National Policy Dialogue on IWRM is evaluation of the existing water policies and their revision to ensure they reflect better the changing institutional context of water management in Georgia.
The National Policy Dialogue on IWRM in Georgia focuses on four major topics: establishment of the legal framework for water management based on the IWRM principles; IWRM financing; setting up the targets for implementation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol on Water and Health to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention); and transboundary water cooperation activities — in particular, preparing a transboundary water agreement with neighbouring Azerbaijan and supporting the accession of Georgia to the UNECE Water Convention.
More information on the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on IWRM is available at: www.unece.org/env/water/npd.htm
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 IWRM in line with the principles of the UNECE Water Convention, the UNECE/WHO Protocol on Water and Health, the EU Water Framework Directive and other UNECE and EU 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. UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is the strategic partner for water supply and sanitation.
Implementation of the EUWI National Policy Dialogues on IWRM is supported in 2010–2012 by the European Commission and the Governments of Finland, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The National Policy Dialogue in Georgia is supported by funding from the Government of Finland.