From 6 to 9 December, UNESCO-IHP organised the ISARM2021 conference on ‘Transboundary aquifers: challenges and the way forward’. This 4-day event was a hybrid event with several speakers attending in Paris, France, and many more participating online. IGRAC staff were involved in seven sessions, IGRAC’s new TBA map 2021 and Global outline 2021 were officially launched and, also the signing of a new 6-year agreement confirming the support of UNESCO and government of the Netherlands to IGRAC took place.
TBA map and global outline 2021
IGRAC Director Neno Kukuric was one of the speakers during the opening ceremony of the ISARM2021 conference and he dedicated this talk to the official launch of the 2021 edition of the Transboundary Aquifers of the World map and a Global Outline on Transboundary Aquifers. Both documents are now available for download.
Transboundary aquifers and SDGs
On day 2 of the conference, IGRAC was represented in three sessions. In the morning, Researcher Christina Fraser presented during the session on transboundary aquifers contributions to SDGs. In het presentation, Fraser talked on transboundary cooperation per aquifer under SDG Indicator 6.5.2.
She also presented during the session about science/policy interface of TBAs, later that day. During that session, she talked about Prioritizing and Zoning Transboundary Aquifers in Africa for Informed Decision Making. The second day of the conference was concluded with a panel discussion on building a pragmatic approach to a TBA assessment, moderated by Neno Kukuric.
Governance of TBAs
On day 3, IGRAC was represented during a session on governance of transboundary aquifers and strengthening cooperation. During this session, several regional success-stories and casestudies were presented. One of those stories was about advancing transboundary cooperation in the Senegalo-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin, which is a large sedimentary basin comprising several regional aquifers shared by the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. This presentation was given by IGRAC Researcher Arnaud Sterckx.
Groundwater quality in transboundary aquifers
The fourth day of the conference was about assessment and mapping of transboundary aquifers. And Neno Kukuric particularly focused on the assessment of groundwater quality in the context of transboundary aquifers. In his flash presentation, he outlined past groundwater quality assessments and highlighted the recent work of the World Water Quality Alliance, with IGRAC contribution.
Signing ceremony during closing session
During the closing session, representatives of UNESCO-IHP and the Government of the Netherlands signed a new partnership agreement regarding IGRAC. This new agreement will become effective on the 1st of January 2022 and will last for six years.