On 9-10 May 2017, IGRAC participated in the ‘Convention of the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes Expert Group on Transboundary Assessment’, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland. This was the first expert meeting within the UNECE Third Assessment and in his presentation, IGRAC Director Neno Kukuric focused on the lessons learned from monitoring and assessment of transboundary aquifers.
About the 3rd Assessment
To support efforts at the basin level, in 2003, the Parties to the Water Convention decided to regularly carry out assessments of the status of transboundary waters in the region of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Two assessment reports were already produced (1st assessment report in 2007 and 2nd assessment report in 2011) and IGRAC has contributed to both of them.
The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties (Rome, 2012) of the Water Convention concluded that a new comprehensive assessment of transboundary waters could be timely some 8 to 10 years from the Second Assessment. Considering the opening of the Water Convention to all UN Member States, this Third Assessment would not only focus on the pan-European region, and as in previous exercises involve both Parties and non-Parties to the Water Convention.
Expert group meeting in Geneva
The main questions to be answered during the first day of this UNECE meeting was which needs the 3rd UNECE assessment should respond to and what should be the substantive scope and possible inputs. These questions were dealt with in the following four sessions:
- Background to the assessment, the context and the added value
- Purpose of the Third Assessment and possible scope
- Review of some relevant initiatives. What experiences and opportunities for the Third Assessment?
- Possible scope of the Third Assessment
Neno Kukuric contributed to session 3 by sharing lessons learned from monitoring and assessment of transboundary aquifers. On the second day, the group discussion on the scope of the 3rd assessment continued (session 4) after which the expert group focused on possible geographic scope and process of preparation as well as resource requirements.
More information and documents
All presentations and other background documents are available on the UNECE website.
Results of this expert group meeting will be submitted for consideration by the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management at its 12th meeting (Geneva, 5-6 July 2017).