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Other forms of cooperation

Consultations between Parties

In accordance with article 10 of the Convention, consultations of Riparian Parties take place through the existing joint bodies

Mutual Assistance

from the replies to the questionnaire, it seems that the provision of mutual assistance are an integral part of bilateral agreements concluded among countries in transition that border the same transboundary waters as well as recent bilateral agreements concluded between market economy countries.

Critical situations to which these agreements refer include:

(a) Flood events;
(b) Accidental water pollution, such as oil spills and spills of other hazardous substances;
(c) Ice drifts;
(d) Severe drought periods.

Examples of good practices include: border crossing without delay of the rescue services; coordination of measures and establishment of contingency mechanisms to minimize the effects of floods and droughts; real-time information exchange among points of contact and other competent organs; establishment of joint or coordinated alarm and alert communication systems. The Russian Federation and some of its riparian countries agreed on to recover costs for clean up of the consequences of accidental pollution on the basis of an assessment by the respective joint body.

Public Information

Although many bilateral agreements do not yet include provisions on public information, the respective Parties to these agreements usually provide information upon request the public in their countries. The replies to the questionnaire also show that riparian Parties do not face difficulties of complying with the provisions of article 16 of the Convention.

Good practices include:

(a) Reports of meetings of the joint bodies are made available to the competent entities, including municipalities and industry. On request, these are also made available to the public. It is established practice to hold press conferences in connection with meetings of joint bodies. Press releases are issued whenever major decisions were made;
(b) Some Parties are in the course of setting up ministerial departments to act as contact point for the public.