Countries to gather in Astana under Water Convention for MOP8 to further strengthen water cooperation worldwide

Approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population live in transboundary river and lake basins, which account for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion of people, making transboundary water cooperation between riparian countries crucial to achieving sustainable development, peace and stability.

The eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP8) to the Water Convention, serviced by UNECE, will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan (10-12 October 2018). The meeting will discuss progress in transboundary water cooperation worldwide. MOP8 is in many ways historical: it will be the first MOP held in Asia and the first one with membership of the Convention beyond the pan-European region (with Chad and Senegal joining the Convention in 2018), symbolically marking the beginning of a new era for the Convention.

More than 400 participants are expected at the MOP8, which will bring together representatives, including Ministers, of around 90 countries, both Parties and non-Parties, joint bodies, international and non-governmental organizations and academia from all regions of the world. This illustrates the increasing political attention paid to the strengthening of transboundary water cooperation in a period of increasing water stress.

The discussions will address issues of global scope and present progress made through activities implemented under the Convention, in its numerous areas of work, such as on climate change adaptation, the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus, the benefits of transboundary water cooperation, industrial safety and reporting under the Water Convention and on Sustainable Development Goal 6.5.2, among others. These activities can only happen thanks to the Convention’s partnerships and synergies with other actors. MOP8 will also explore new topics such as the financing of transboundary water cooperation, a crucial issue to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of transboundary basin management.

The high-level segment ‘Transboundary water cooperation: Sharing water for people, planet, prosperity and peace’ will discuss how the Convention can promote reasonable, equitable and sustainable water allocation and benefit sharing. In parallel to this session of the Meeting, the artist Carolina Caycedo will build an art installation from objects brought by delegations. The installation will symbolize the progress and challenges of transboundary water cooperation worldwide, and the global and borderless character of freshwaters in our planet, as they ultimately all come together in oceans and aquifers.

Finally, the meeting will adopt several decisions and documents including the strategy for the implementation of the Convention at the global level as well as the Convention’s Programme of Work for 2019 – 2021, two key documents shaping the future work and activities to be implemented under the framework of the Convention.