UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1999)

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Convention Name

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes

Description

UNECE member States are aware of the need for cooperation if they are to ensure that transboundary waters are used reasonably and equitably. They know that they share the same water resources and rely on each other to apply effective solutions. This positive approach to the problem has been triggered, in no small measure, by the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which 36 UNECE countries and the European Community have already ratified. The convention entered into force in 1996.

The main objectives of the convention are:

  • Strengthen local, national and regional measures to protect and ensure the ecologically sustainable use of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters.
  • Prevent, control, or reduce transboundary impacts
  • Precaution and intergenerational equity
  • To prevent, control, and reduce the releases of hazardous, acidifying, and eutrophying substances into the aquatic environment


The UNECE states The Convention of the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is intended to strengthen national measures for the protection and ecologically sound management of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters. The Convention obliges Parties to prevent, control and reduce water pollution from point and non-point sources. The Convention also includes provisions for monitoring, research and development, consultations, warning and alarm systems, mutual assistance, institutional arrangements, and the exchange and protection of information, as well as public access to information.


Under the Convention, the Protocol on Water and Health was adopted in London on 17 June 1999, and the Protocol on Civil Liability was adopted in Kiev on 21 May 2003.


Moreover, several bilateral or multilateral agreements between European countries are based on the principles and provisions of this Convention. A first example was the Danube River Protection Convention in 1994, which develops the Convention's provisions in a more specific subregional context. Other examples are the agreements on the rivers Bug, Meuse, Rhine and Scheldt, on Lake Peipsi, as well as on Kazakh-Russian and Russian-Ukrainian transboundary waters. The most recent examples include the 1999 Rhine Convention and the European Union Water Framework Directive.


See the full text of the Convention  Convention on the protection of transboundary waters and international lakes.pdf


Status

The Convention entered into force on 6th October 1996 and has 36 parties. On 28 November 2003, the Parties to the Water Convention adopted amendments to articles 25 and 26. The amendments have been ratified by 10 Parties and will enter into force with 23 ratifications.

URL

References

See also

Water-related Legislation and Conventions

Status and importance of water-relevant international legal instruments for the 5 Central Asian countries

Protocol on Water and Health

Protocol on Civil Liability

General Assembly adopts Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (press Release)

Development and implementation of the Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe Basin Management Program

The Danube - Environmental Monitoring of an International River





External Resources

Attachments

 Convention on the protection of transboundary waters and international lakes.pdf

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