UNESCO and IGRAC organised the fifth and last Regional Workshop of the TWAP Groundwater project. The workshop was held from 7-9 October in Bangkok, Thailand and is part of a larger programme also the world's transboundary fresh and salt water systems.
The workshop for Central, South, East and South-East Asia was attended by national experts from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. Moreover, regional consultants were present as well as representatives of UNESCO, IGRAC, ESCAP, UNEP, Thai Nat Com, Thai IHP, DGR Thailand, CCOP and Chulalongkorn University. The workshop provided an excellent platform to exchange ideas and information on the transboundary groundwater resources in the region.
Scope of Regional Workshop Bangkok:
- Introduce TWAP groundwater component as a follow up of UNESCO's IHP ISARM initiative, the role and functions of the main actors in the project, the project methodology and the time frame
- Share currently available knowledge, based on previous regional initiatives (ISARM-Asia)
- Ensure that all parties are familiar with the methodological approach of the TWAP Groundwater project, including data collection protocols, input variables and parameters, indicators and main project outputs
- Resolve any remaining questions about the questionnaire for data collection
- Finalize delineation of Transboundary Aquifers (TBAs)
- Present preliminary results of the data collection
- Work towards harmonizing the data
- Identify inter linkages with other water systems,
- Identify common issues and emerging issues, hotspots and opportunities within the TBAs
- Discuss how to further build the coalition of experts in the region
- Agree on next steps
The TWAP Groundwater assessment is largely based on contributions by national experts on groundwater from all over the world. To bring partners together, TWAP Groundwater organises Regional Workshops. Previous workshops were held in Berlin (Germany) for Europe, Montevideo (Uruguay) with representatives from most American countries, Nairobi (Kenya) for Eastern and Southern Africa and Dakar (Senegal) with national experts of Western and Central Africa.
The TWAP Groundwater component is part of the GEF-funded TWAP programme, and it is also a follow-up of the UNESCO Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) Initiative.