Recognizing the importance of exchange of experience on the establishment and functioning of joint bodies, the Parties to the Water Convention have included in the Work Programme for 2013–2015 two workshops to promote the exchange of experience and good practices between joint bodies worldwide and to draw lessons learned and recommendations.
The First Workshop was organized on 23 and 24 September 2013, back-to-back with the eighth meeting of the Water Convention’s Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management (25 and 26 September 2013).
The First Workshop was organized under the leadership of the governments of Finland and Germany, and in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), Global Water Partnership (GWP), International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The meeting was funded by the governments of Estonia, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg.
The First Workshop convened in the International Year of Water Cooperation highlighted opportunities and inspired effective practices in advancing the legal and institutional frameworks and tools for transboundary water cooperation. It featured exchange of experience between existing joint bodies, as well as discussions to support the emergence of new joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation. It also provided a forum for networking between different joint bodies and experts in transboundary water cooperation from across the world.
Key note address “Strengthening legal frameworks for transboundary water cooperation at global level – what value for cooperation in transboundary basins?”
Key note address “UNECE Water Convention – 20 years of promoting and supporting joint institutions for transboundary water cooperation”, Ms. Heide Jekel, Germany
Session 1: Legal and institutional frameworks for cooperation through joint bodies
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR): evolution of organizational structure and substantive scope and cooperation with non-Convention countries,
Commission Internationale du bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS): from navigation-dominated commission towards integrated management,
Authority of Lake Titicaca (ALT) - a bilateral cooperation experience, Mr. Alfredo Mamani, ALT Executive President
Mekong River Commission - towards decentralization – the pass of organizational reforms, Mr. Sophearin Chea, Mekong River Commission Secretariat
International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) – the work with NGOs and stakeholders, and ways of reporting, Mr. Benedikt Mandl, ICPDR
Internal procedures in the International Sava River Basin Commission, Mr. Dejan Komatina, Secretary of ISRBC
Session 2: Conflict prevention - what role for joint bodies?
Conflict prevention in the Aral Sea Basin: the role of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination,
Session 3: Efforts to establish new agreements and joint bodies
Towards the Memorandum on the Drin River Basin, Mr. Dimitris Faloutsos, GWP-Med
The establishment of Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) and the role of SADC,
Afghan-Tajik cooperation on hydrology and environment, Mr. Azizullah Omar, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations in Geneva
Session 4: Primary tools for developing cooperation in the framework of joint bodies
Finnish-Russian Commission - exchange of data and information, Mr. Seppo Rekolainen, Finland
Russian-Estonian Commission – the development of joint monitoring and assessment, Mr. Harry Liiv, Estonia
Consultations on planned measures - the experience of Hungary, Ms. Maria Galambos Molnárné, Hungary