During 10 – 12 October 2018, capital of Kazakhstan – Astana hosted the 8th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. The meeting is organized by the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which services the Water Convention.
The event was attended by more than 400 representatives of Ministries responsible for water, foreign affairs and development cooperation – from both Parties and non-Parties to the Convention – together with representatives of joint bodies, international and non-governmental organizations and academia from all regions of the world.
The Water Convention represents a key United Nations legal and institutional framework promoting the quantity, quality and sustainable use of transboundary water resources by facilitating cooperation. It is a unique instrument for supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly target 6.5 which calls for transboundary water cooperation – the prevention of conflicts and the promotion of peace and regional integration.
Originally negotiated as a regional framework for the pan-European region, it was amended to allow accession by all United Nations Member States. The eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties in Astana will mark a historical milestone in the Convention’s development as it will see the participation of the first Parties from Africa.
The Meeting considers different aspects of transboundary water cooperation that have been in the 2016-2018 Convention’s programme of work, such as the benefits of transboundary cooperation, the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus, climate change adaptation and industrial safety.
Finally, the meeting adopts a strategy for the implementation of the Convention at the global level and the Convention’s programme of work for 2019-2021.
Why it is important for CLEANTECH LATVIA?
Being one of European NGOs/NCOs working in the field of environmental projects, CLEANTECH LATVIA must be updated with latest trends aimed at sustainable development and rational use of natural resources, as it promotes technologies and solutions for countries, which receive great support from EU and UN organizations.
Currently, Convention’s collaborative centre – “International Water Assessment Centre” (IWAC) hosted by Kazakhstan (in accordance with its terms of reference ECE/MP.WAT/WG.1/2017/4), the overall objective of IWAC is to support implementation of the Convention and, as relevant, its Protocol on Water and Health, and their programmes of work. The programme of work of IWAC is developed in consultation between the Government of Kazakhstan, the Bureau and the secretariat.
Transboundary river and lake basins account for nearly half of the earth’s land surface and generate roughly 60 per cent of global freshwater flow. Forty per cent of the world’s population live in shared basins. More than 600 aquifers are shared. These shared waters create environmental, social, economic and political interdependencies. 2. Transboundary waters in many areas of the world are not used sustainably and the situation is projected to aggravate in the coming decades owing to increasing pressures from population growth, agriculture and energy production as well as from the impacts of climate change.
The issues of transboundary waters are crucial for Kazakhstan, as it is the largest landlocked country in the world and vastly depends on rivers, which it shares with others states of Central Asia along with Russia and China, therefore it must strive towards sustainable use of these waters.
That point proves general strategy of CLEANTECH LATVIA to operate in this region.
The approved programme of work appointed Estonia as a Lead Party for Promoting and communicating the benefits of transboundary cooperation.
The Policy Guidance Note on the Benefits of Transboundary Water Cooperation: Identification, Assessment and Communication (ECE/MP.WAT/47) (Policy Guidance Note) will be applied in interested basin(s) to guide demonstration or pilot project(s) on the assessment and communication of the benefits of transboundary water cooperation, for example to prompt cooperation for the sustainable management of transboundary waters between Belarus and Latvia, Iran and Azerbaijan, Iran and Afghanistan, or Colombia and Peru.
Finland selected as Lead Party for Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus; Supporting intersectional dialogues and assessments through the application of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus approach.
In the 2019–2021 triennium, the Working Group1 will be co-chaired by Finland and Germany.
The activitie was implemented in the framework of the project “Cluster CLEANTECH LATVIA” 220.127.116.11/16/A/014.
1The Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management and the Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment are the two main subsidiary bodies established by the Meeting of the Parties.