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Benefits of transboundary water cooperation

Cooperation is one of the main obligations of the Water Convention. Countries preparing for accession to or implementing the Convention naturally reflect on what benefits such cooperation can generate, such as accelerated economic growth, improved human well-being, enhanced environmental sustainability and increased political stability. A benefit assessment exercise can help these countries to fully realize the potential benefits of cooperation, including by uncovering previously overlooked benefits and identifying opportunities arising from increased cooperation. It can therefore provide arguments and compelling evidence for cooperating and help to ensure the much-needed political support and funding for the cooperation process.

The Policy Guidance Note on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation, published in October 2015, aims to support Governments and other stakeholders in realizing the potential benefits of transboundary water cooperation.

It does so by introducing the wide range of benefits of cooperation and providing step-by-step guidance on how to carry out a benefit assessment exercise. This includes the separate but related tasks of identification, assessment and communication of benefits. It suggests how to approach those tasks, as well as how the assessment of benefits can be integrated into policy processes to foster and strengthen transboundary water cooperation.

2016-2018: Support to the identification, assessment and communication of the benefits of transboundary water cooperation

The work on benefits of transboundary water copoeration under the Water Convention, co-led by Estonia and Serbia and supported by UNECE, aims at supporting pilot exercises in interested transboundary basins on the basis of the Policy Guidance Note and in cooperation with partners to highligh the potential to generate a broad range of significant benefits for cooperating countries. A workshop to share experience on the benefits of transboundary water cooperation  will be organized in 2017.

Briefing note: Why and how to carry out a Benefit assessment exercise

2012-2015: Development of the policy guidance note on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation

The publication is the result of a broad participatory effort building on the experience of basins from all over the world and 3 main workshops:

Expert Scoping Workshop on Quantifying the Benefits of Transboundary Water Cooperation (Amsterdam, 6-7 June 2013)

Workshop "Counting our gains: sharing experiences on identifying, quantifying and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation" (Geneva, 22-23 May 2014)

Expert workshop "Beyond water: Regional economic integration and geopolitical benefits of transboundary water cooperation" (Tallinn, Estonia, 28-29 January 2015)