June 20, 2012: 29-31 May 2012, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Within the frame of the Capacity for Water Cooperation (CWC) project aiming at strengthening the capacity of transboundary water management in the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA), a workshop on Legal, Institutional and Technical Aspects of Managing Transboundary Groundwaters was organized in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 29-31st May 2012, by UNECE, OSCE Centre in Astana, UNESCO, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Center "Cooperation for Sustainable Development" (Almaty) with the support of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IGRAC.
The participation includes policy and decision makers in field of groundwater management and transboundary from the EECA countries as well as international experts.
The first part of the workshop was dedicated to presentations by international experts focused on the last developments in international law related to transboundary aquifers and international experiences. During this part the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers prepared by the UN International Law Commission with the scientific assistance of UNESCO-IHP and the close collaboration of IGRAC, in the frame of the ISARM project were presented. The purpose was to raise awareness among the participants about these draft articles and the Resolution 63/124 adopted by the UN General Assembly. The Resolution represents the only international instrument available for States as guidance when they are intending to entre into agreement about a transboundary aquifer. The presentation was followed by a talk on the draft Model Provisions on Transboundary Groundwaters prepared under the UNECE Water Convention, and which are inspired from the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers. Another presentation focused on the importance of agreements for managing transboundary aquifers, while two others gave a practical view coming from the experience on the Genevese aquifer, and in the Danube Commission.
Finally the rest of the workshop was devoted to country presentations focusing on the legal aspects of transboundary aquifers.
In the conclusions, it was recommended, inter alia to "Promote awareness in the region on the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers (2008) of the International Law Commission commended to the United Nations Member States by the General Assembly in resolutions 63/124 and 66/104".
Background documents, Recommendations and Presentations are available on line here.