Rivers without Boundaries reported on climate adaptation to UNECE Convention

Rivers without Boundaries reported on climate adaptation to UNECE Convention

UNECE Water Convention side event on climate

On photo adove: The panel during the side-event: Adapting to climate change in transboundary basins – future work guided by lessons learned. From L-R: Sergei Zavyalov, Head, Air and Water Impact Management, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental, Belarus; Phan Nguyen, Programme Coordinator, Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative, Mekong River Commission Secretariat; Vasyl Stashuk, Head, State Agency of Water Resources, Ukraine;  Chair Hugo Aschwanden, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland; Evgeny Simonov, Coordinator, Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition; Bruce Stewart, Director, Climate and Water Department, World Meteorological Organization; Joost Buntsma, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Water and Climate, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Netherlands. Source:  http://www.iisd.ca/water/unece/mop6/28nov.html

The sixth Meeting of the Parties (MOP6) of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) met from Wednesday, 28 to Friday, 30 November 2012 at the Chambers of Deputies in Rome, Italy. The meeting was attended by more than 320 people, including parties, non-party states, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). MOP6 addressed many substantive issues related to the work of the Convention, such as: its opening to all members of the UN beyond the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region; support for implementation and compliance; transboundary groundwater; a thematic assessment on the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus; water and adaptation to climate change; cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements and international partners; vision for the future of the Water Convention; and the programme of work for 2013–2015.

WATER AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN TRANSBOUNDARY BASINS: This item was discussed on Thursday afternoon and delegates adopted the final decision on Friday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, Heide Jekel, Germany, Chair of the Working Group on IWRM, introduced the item on lessons learned and future work on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins . Joost Jacobus Buntsma, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Water and Climate, the Netherlands, presented the work done in this area since 2010, emphasizing the recognition of the need for transboundary cooperation and of the Convention’s provisions as a sound framework for work in climate change adaptation. He highlighted the exchange platform, with the organization of three international workshops and the pilot project programme, which focuses on impact and vulnerability assessments and development of adaptation strategies in eight river basins, as key activities for the implementation of the “Guidance on water and adaptation to climate change,” adopted by MOP 5 in 2009. He outlined future work for the Convention as, inter alia: scaling up the network of pilot basins to a global network of basins; continuation of the platform for exchanging experiences on water and climate change, with a workshop planned for June 2013; and continuation of the pilot projects.

International Sava Basin River Commission, Lithuania, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, Rivers Without Boundaries, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, and Luxembourg shared their experiences with the pilot projects in the Sava, Neman, Dniester, Dauria and Rhine River Basins. INBO supported the global platform for information sharing noting the positive reaction on several non-ECE countries. The GWP-Mediterranean highlighted the Water, Climate and Development Programme in Africa and its cooperation with GEF on climate variability. WMO stated its interest in continued collaboration with UNECE on this issue. Switzerland informed they will replace Germany as Co-Chair of the Task Force in the next triennium.

Sonja Koeppel, UNECE, reported on the expanded partnership of the Convention with the UNFCCC Secretariat, in particular in the framework of the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP), and urged countries to further build on synergies among the two conventions.

On Friday afternoon, delegates agreed on the proposals contained in document “Lessons learned and future work on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins” . Final Decision: The MOP, inter alia: decides to include “Adapting to climate change in transboundary basins” as one of the areas in the programme of work for 2013-2015; and invite countries and joint bodies sharing basins worldwide to indicate their interest in joining the programme by 31 January 2013.

Source: UNECE official web-site






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