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UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) Global Initiative

Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, WWF Sweden, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), HSBC, and in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, Green Cross International and other organisations, the aim of the UNWC Global Initiative project is to support entry into force of the UNWC, and examine issues around its effective implementation.

The UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) constitutes a global legal mechanism for facilitating the equitable and sustainable management transboundary rivers and lakes around the world. The project seeks to deepen the evidence base around why more states should support the Convention, and what mechanisms need to be in place to ensure its effective implementation.

Other activities that have recently been conducted as part of the UNWC Global Initiative project include: publishing a book, ‘The UN Watercourses Convention in Force’ (Earthscan, Forthcoming) edited by Alistair Rieu‑Clarke & Flavia Loures; organising the UNWC Global Symposium in June 2012 and a Special Issue of ‘Water International’ on the UNWC; assessments of the relevance of the UNWC within particular regions, including Congo, Central Asia, South America, East Africa, and Greater Mekong; and developing the UNWC User’s Guide (2012) co-authored by Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Ruby Moynihan and Bjørn‑Oliver Magsig.

 

The Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO) is delighted to announce the launch of a new interactive learning website for the UN Watercourses Convention.

The UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide was published in 2012 as a comprehensive guide to aid interpretation and implementation for water practitioners and decision-makers at all levels. Based on this Guide, an interactive website on the Convention has been developed to cater for the multi-faceted ways in which people learn, as well as functioning as a central information portal and advocacy platform for promoting the Convention.

This innovative, interactive online tool includes the following features:

 

‌‌UN Watercourses Convention Global Initiative Symposium 2012 Proceedings Published

The IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO) (CWLPS) is very pleased to announce the publication of the Proceedings from the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) Global Initiative Symposium held in Dundee, Scotland, in June 2012. 

At over 400 pages, these Proceedings are a comprehensive collection of materials (programme, accepted abstracts, slideshow presentations, and some full papers) featured as part of the Symposium. The biographies of participants and others who contributed to the Symposium are also included.

The Proceedings are available to download as a PDF here

In his foreword, Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Reader in International Law from the CWLPS and co-convener of the event, writes:

‘With Niger recently becoming the 30th nation to accede to the UNWC, as of the beginning of May 2013 the Convention now requires only five more parties for it to enter in to force. By publishing these proceedings it is hoped that an audience beyond those who participated in the Symposium may also be able to access and engage with the UNWC, especially its past, present and potential future roles and relevance in relation to the world’s transboundary freshwater resources the Convention’s imminent entry into force’.

Organised by the CWLPS in collaboration with WWF through the UNWC Global Initiative, the Symposium took place between 5-8 June 2012 at the University of Dundee under the banner: ‘The 1997 UN Watercourses Convention: What relevance in the 21st Century?’. 

 

 

 

Special Issue of 'Water International' on the UN Watercourses Convention

A special issue of the inter-disciplinary journal ‘Water International’ has been published focusing specifically on the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) and its role and relevance in the 21st Century.

Reader in International Law, Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke, and Researcher, Mr Rémy Kinna, from the IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO) (CWLPS) at the University of Dundee, along with Ms Flavia Rocha Loures, Senior Programme Officer at the WWF, have guest co-edited the special issue, entitled: 'The UN Watercourses Convention: What Relevance in the 21st Century?'. ‌‌

It features a collection of the best papers presented at a symposium held at the University of Dundee in June 2012 which focused on the UNWC’s role and relevance in the 21st Century.

This special issue, as with the symposium, brings together a broad and diverse range of papers dealing with crucial, topical aspects and questions regarding the future of this global framework agreement. The aim is to promote and disseminate discussion and debate about the existing and potential relevance of the UNWC amongst a wide variety of stakeholders.

The other papers presented at the symposium in Dundee and their accompanying abstracts will be published in late April 2013 via 'Reports, Policy Briefs and Publications'. 

 

UN Watercourses Convention User's Guide

The UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide was published in 2012 as a comprehensive guide to aid interpretation and implementation for water practitioners and decision-makers at all levels.

The User’s Guide provides an Article by Article explanation of the text of this global framework instrument. In so doing, the User’s Guide explains the meaning and purpose of each Article, and offers guidance on the rights and obligations contained therein for policymakers and decision makers, implementation agencies and other bodies responsible for transboundary water issues.

Download a free copy of the UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide

Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke discusses the relationship between the principles of 'equitable and reasonable utilization' and 'no significant harm' as they specifically relate to the UN Watercourses Convention.

Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke discusses the relationship between the 'drainage basin' approach to transboundary water management, as opposed to the concept of a 'watercourse' which is utilized within the UN Watercourses Convention.

Further videos relating to the UN Watercourses Convention User's Guide can be found on You Tube 
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