IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) Coverage
IISD RS has provided daily web coverage from this Forum. In addition, IISD RS will produce a summary report from this meeting on Monday, 1 December 2014.
Summary Report   Summary
 
htm
pdf
1 December   HTML version PDF format
Summary Report   Summary
 
htm
pdf
1 December   HTML version PDF format
Loading...
Sign up for ENB
Sign up for Water-L
Water Policy & Practice

First International Environment Forum
for Basin Organizations

26-28 November 2014 | Nairobi, Kenya

Daily Web Coverage (Click on the following links to see our daily webpages)

Summary Highlights of the Meeting

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations launched its technical discussions on Wednesday with a series of panels and open discussions on water-related issues. Participants addressed water quality and ecosystem health in the morning, and the water-energy-food nexus and adaptation to climate change in the afternoon.

Speakers from river basin commissions, technical assistance agencies and academia presented a wide range of experiences and lessons learned from on-the-ground work in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Their presentations were followed by question-and-answer sessions in which participants discussed to what extent river basin organizations should go beyond their traditional role of water resources management, noting that organizations are diverse and there is no “one size fits all” approach.

*Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 26 November 2014.

.
L-R: Arnold Kreilhuber, UNEP; Thomas Chiramba, UNEP; Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda; and Elizabeth Mrema, UNEP-DELC
Aruwa Bendsen, Freshwater Ecosystems Unit, UNEP, explained the threat posed by untreated wastewater to human health and food security, noting the importance of inland fisheries that are a major protein source for populations.
A slide from Aruwa Bendsen’s presentation
Session Moderator Abd Salam El Vilaly, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
Xia Jiang, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science, presented lessons learnt in successful water quality restoration in Taihu Lake Basin, which has been affected in the last 20 years by high population density, rapid economic development and urbanization.
Lenka Thamae, Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM), reported on lessons learnt from Orange-Senqu River basin, stressing that transboundary water cooperation requires long-term commitments to reap water governance benefits.
Alexandra Carlier, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, discussed conflicts associated with competing uses of river basins, giving the example of indigenous peoples' struggles in the mining region of Cajamarca, Peru.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

The First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations launched its technical discussions on Wednesday with a series of panels and open discussions on water-related issues. Participants addressed water quality and ecosystem health in the morning, and the water-energy-food nexus and adaptation to climate change in the afternoon.

Speakers from river basin commissions, technical assistance agencies and academia presented a wide range of experiences and lessons learned from on-the-ground work in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Their presentations were followed by question-and-answer sessions in which participants discussed to what extent river basin organizations should go beyond their traditional role of water resources management, noting that organizations are diverse and there is no “one size fits all” approach.

*Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 27 November 2014.

A slide from Ariella D’Andrea’s presentation
Ariella D’Andrea, International Water Law Association, presented on the evolution of international water law, noting the declaration of a “human right to water.” She highlighted the UN Watercourses Convention and green principles of water law, which emphasize equitable utilization, ecosystem-based approaches and groundwater.
Alfredo Mamani Salinas, Executive President, Bi-national Autonomous Authority of the Lake Titicaca
L-R: Elizabeth Mrema, Arnold Kreilhuber, and Margaret Oduk, UNEP
Madine Ba, Senegal River Basin Authority, discussed success stories from his basin, and underscored that water presents an opportunity for cooperation and diplomacy.
Charles Ngangoue, African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), said that while some participants needed visas to enter Kenya, water has no such need as it flows everywhere. He called for strong South-South cooperation because “water needs everybody.”

Friday, 28 November 2014

The high-level segment of the First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations opened on Friday morning. Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda, delivered opening remarks, placing the Forum in the context of the ongoing post-2015 development agenda negotiations and calling basin organizations “key building blocks for environmental governance.”

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, Jean-François Donzier, International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), and Max Campos, Organization of American States (OAS), also spoke at the opening. Steiner highlighted that shared basins account for 60% of global freshwater flows, but more than half of transboundary basins currently lack a cooperative framework.

Delegates exchanged views on three areas during the morning and afternoon sessions: priority actions needed to protect freshwater basin ecosystems for the continued provision of both surface and groundwater resources; ways to better support basin organizations to improve environmental governance and freshwater management; and the contributions that basin organizations can make to international processes and forums.

Summarizing participants’ views, Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, noted calls for improved monitoring, data and assessment on the state of basins, and for strong institutional arrangements, including the creation of basin authorities where they do not yet exist. Other issues raised included, inter alia, the need for taxes and disincentives for pollution, harmonization of norms and regulations, increased financial support for basin organizations, and an emphasis on adaptation to climate change and Ecosystem-Based Approaches (EBA).

In closing, Minister Kamuntu thanked all participants, saying the Forum had made the case that effective governance of freshwater resources requires legal, technical and financial mechanisms. The meeting closed at 5.25 pm.

IISD’S SUMMARY REPORT: Please return to this site on Monday, 1 December 2014, for IISD RS’ summary report.

*Visit the web coverage for Friday, 28 November 2014.

Amb. Raúl Rodríguez Ramos, Cuba, conveyed concerns of SIDS, calling for technical and financial support to tackle devastating impacts and water scarcity as a result of extreme weather events.
Augusto Flores, Vice-Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Nicaragua, emphasized the need for prioritization of the effects of climate change on freshwater resources.
Belete Tafere Desta, Minister of Environment & Forests, Ethiopia, called for financial support for basin organizations to facilitate capacity building and experience sharing.
Alfredo Mamani Salinas, Executive President, Bi-national Autonomous Authority of the Lake Titicaca, called for streamlining of NGO activities within transboundary basins to avoid overlaps and competition.
Yang Youlin, Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said that it is clearly understood that water ecosystem and management issues are closely related to desertification, land degradation and drought.
Lesha Witmer, WWF International, reaffirmed the importance of the UN Watercourses Convention in providing a legal framework for shared principles in water governance.

Daily Web Coverage (Click on the following links to see our daily webpages)

Funding for coverage of this Forum has been provided by UNEP - Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC)
UNEP

Related Links
UNEP Resources

*Forum Website

*Forum Draft Agenda

*Forum Concept Note

*Forum Scenario Note

*Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses *International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)


IISD RS resources

*WATER-L - A News and Announcement List on Water Policy Issues

*Water Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities

*Linkages Update - Bi-Weekly International Environment and Sustainable Development News
View HTML version Questions about the content of this page? E-mail the Digital Editor
| Back to IISD RS "Linkages" | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to IISD RS |
© 2014
, IISD. All rights reserved.