WWF highlights global framework for water cooperation



Posted on 26 August 2013  | 
Local woman rowing a boat on a branch of the Mekong river near My Tho, south Vietnam.
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Stockholm – With only a handful of countries needed before the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) enters into force, WWF and the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee present new research to better understand and implement this important global framework for water cooperation.

Globally, there are 276 internationally shared watersheds, which drain the territories of 145 countries and represent more than 40 per cent of the Earth’s land surface. The UNWC establishes the rights and duties of states sharing freshwater systems. It is designed to foster interstate cooperation on the sustainable management of transboundary waters in accordance with international law. To date, the convention counts 30 contracting states – only five short of the number required for entry into force, which now looks imminent.

The joint WWF-CWLPS edited collection, “The UN Watercourses Convention in Force: Strengthening international law for transboundary water management,” published by Earthscan, provides an assessment of the role and relevance of the UNWC as a key component of transboundary water governance.

This unique collection draws together a decade of work led by WWF, along with numerous partners, to raise awareness and deepen knowledge of the UNWC among key stakeholders. The UNWC Global Initiative aims to contribute to the better management and protection of the world’s iconic transboundary river basins, which include priority watersheds such as the Amazon, Congo and Mekong.

The book includes contributions from more than 30 world-renowned experts in the multidisciplinary field of transboundary water management. The contributions describe the drafting and negotiation of the UNWC; the value of its entry into force; its relationship to other multilateral environmental agreements and development goals; and, through a series of case studies, the specific role of the convention at various levels across Latin America, Africa and Asia. The book concludes by proposing how the convention’s future implementation might further strengthen international water cooperation.

Flavia Rocha Loures, Senior Program Officer with WWF-US and a co-editor of the book, says the entry in force of the UNWC is vital to promote continued and peaceful collaboration and dialogue between riparian states, and will represent a significant step toward the better management, use and protection of transboundary waters. “We hope this book advances recognition of international law in general and the UNWC in particular as crucial tools for enabling the integrated management and sustainable development of international watercourses and the vital ecosystems services they provide for people and nature,” she says.

Join WWF to learn about the UN Watercourses Convention at Stockholm World Water Week
Tuesday, 3 September 18:00, Booth B03:40


About the co-editors and other contributors:
Flavia Rocha Loures is a Senior Program Officer, International Law and Policy, in the Freshwater Program of WWF-US, based in Washington, DC.

Alistair Rieu-Clarke is a Reader in International Law at the Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science (under the auspices of UNESCO), at the University of Dundee, UK.

Among the book’s contributors are renowned international experts in the areas of international law and policy, political science and freshwater conservation.

For further information and to order the book, please visit: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781849714464/

Ms. Loures is available for interviews, and can speak on the potential for conflict between countries sharing waters and the tools that exist to prevent them; and climate change impacts on international rivers and examples of cooperative responses. She can be contacted by phone or email: Flavia.loures@wwfus.org,
+1 202 6409055
Local woman rowing a boat on a branch of the Mekong river near My Tho, south Vietnam.
© Unassigned Enlarge

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