UNECE supports development of new water legislation in Georgia
The first Steering Committee meeting of the Georgian National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), held in Tbilisi on Monday and Tuesday, 11 and 12 June, approved some basic elements for new water legislation to be further developed into a draft law. The Steering Committee meeting, which was followed by a Stakeholders Workshop, was organized by the Georgian Ministry of Environment Protection and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in cooperation with Global Water Partnership Georgia.
The meeting gathered representatives of key authorities involved in water management as well as international partners to focus on the issue of new water legislation, including how to best implement the principles of IWRM, as well as the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive, given the EU-Georgia Association Agreement currently under development. Participants confirmed the strong need for new legislation, and discussed the initiation of reform in the water management sector. Experts from Finland commented on a proposed outline for new water legislation before the meeting, drawing on their Finland’s long experience in this field, as well as other countries´ experiences in implementing the EU legislation. The Steering Committee decided that the outline should be further developed, with the possible addition of a draft national water strategy.
Participants in the Steering Committee meeting also discussed Georgia’s accession to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and to the UNECE/World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health, as well as the development of transboundary water cooperation with Azerbaijan. It was agreed to include financial aspects of water management as an additional component of the National Policy Dialogue. A session was also devoted to reviewing opportunities for strengthening cooperation and synergies between ongoing international projects in the country.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Bo Libert, UNECE
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 2396
Note to Editors
National Policy Dialogues on IWRM and on Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the EU Water Initiative (EUWI) component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. EUWI was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM, whereas the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is the strategic partner for WSS and financial aspects of IWRM. National Policy Dialogues are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
The UNECE Water Convention of 1992 aims to strengthen national measures and transboundary cooperation for the protection and ecologically sound management of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters. Thirty-seven States and the EU are Parties to the Water Convention.