8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention MOP8) serviced by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
A delegate pours water into a globe to symbolize commitment to transboundary cooperation and water diplomacy
On Friday, MOP8 participants resumed discussions on National Policy Dialogues and the European Water Initiative. They then moved into discussions on the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in transboundary basins, the International Water Assessment Centre, and efforts to identify, assess, and communicate the benefits of water cooperation. Representatives from the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi river basin in East Africa and Okavango-Cubango river basin in Southern Africa highlighted efforts to assess and communicate benefits of cooperation in their regions.
Delegates also discussed how climate change adaptation will compound management challenges in transboundary river basins worldwide. They heard a report from the African Development Bank on a training conducted in Dakar in June 2017 on how to prepare bankable projects for financing adaptation in transboundary contexts.
Delegates adopted the programme of work for 2019-2021 and approved the requested budget of US$12.1 million. The programme will further support the opening of the Water Convention to parties outside the pan-European region, facilitating accession of new parties, implementation of the Convention principles, and awareness raising about the benefits of transboundary water cooperation.
Estonia offered to host MOP9 in 2021.
Throughout the day, delegates from countries that share transboundary basins, rivers, and aquifers gathered at the entrance to the conference center to participate in a symbolic action. Groups from the Danube, Mekong, Okavango, and Kura basins, among many others, poured water into a globe to demonstrate their commitment to transboundary cooperation and water diplomacy.
At the close of the meeting, delegates adopted a package of decisions by acclamation and elected the new Chair, Vice-Chairs, and bureau members. Outgoing MOP Chair Peter Kovács expressed his appreciation to all colleagues for their contribution, and to the Water Convention Secretariat and the Kazakh hosts. In closing remarks, Yerlan Nyssanbayev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kazakhstan, hailed MOP8 as milestone meeting, as it was the first with participants from all continents. MOP8 Chair Péter Kovács closed the meeting at 6:11 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and a summary report from MOP8.
Seppo Rekolainen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
Péter Kovács, MOP8 Chair, Hungary
Boško Kenjić, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rachi Taibi, Consultation Mechanism of the North-West Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS)
Callist Tindimugaya, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda
Claudio Bacigalupi, International Cooperation and Development, European Commission
Harry Liiv, Ministry of Environment, Estonia
Tracy Molefi, Permanent Okavango-Cubango River Basin Commission (OKACOM), Botswana
Francis Bougaire, African Development Bank (AfDB)
Niels Vlaanderen, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Water and Climate, the Netherlands
Jos Timmerman, the Netherlands
Paola Albrito, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
View of the dais during the afternoon session
Ardak Zebeshev, Kazakhstan
Heide Jekel, Co-Chair of the Joint Ad Hoc Expert Group on Water and Industrial Accidents (JEG), Germany
Francesca Bernardini, Secretary of the Water Convention, UNECE
Serik Akhmetov, Director, International Water Assessment Centre (IWAC)
Carlos Rodríguez Brianza, Uruguay
Birgitta Liss Lymer, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
Christian Schilling, EU
Lea Kauppi, Finland
Anne-Marie Reckinger, Luxembourg
Yerlan Nyssanbayev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kazakhstan
Francesca Bernardini, Secretary of the Water Convention, UNECE, presents Péter Kovács, MOP8 Chair, Hungary, with a gift
Péter Kovács, MOP8 Chair, Hungary, hands over the chairmanship to Ardak Zebeshev, incoming MOP9 Chair, Kazakhstan
Francesca Bernardini, Secretary of the Water Convention, UNECE, thanks Péter Kovács, MOP8 Chair, Hungary, for his 'super human efforts' throughout the MOP process
Around the Venue
Water Convention Secretariat family photo
Members of UNECE and UNISDR stand with the newly launched publication 'Implementation guide for addressing water-related disasters and transboundary cooperation'
Members of Water Convention Bureau
Youth volunteers assisting with the meeting
The 'single river of objects' artistic installation symbolizing the cooperation between parties that is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Carolina Caycedo, Visual Artist, Colombia, who created the artistic installation
One of the objects in the installation
Delegates representing countries from the Danube basin pour water into a globe to symbolise their commitment to transboundary water cooperation
Delegates representing countries from the Mekong basin
Delegates representing countries from the Volta basin
Delegates representing countries from the Kura basin
Delegates representing countries from the Rhine basin
Delegates from Russia
Delegates from Kazakhstan
Delegates from East Africa
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB+) team covering the meeting: Katie Browne, US; Dina Hestad, Norway; Asterios Tsioumanis, Greece; and Kiara Worth, South Africa
WATER-L - A News and announcement List on Water Policy Issues
BIODIVERSITY-L - A Mailing List for News on Biodiversity and Wildlife Policy
SDG - A Mailing List for News on Sustainable Development Policy
SDG Update Newsletter - A compilation of news, commentary and upcoming events published on the SDG Knowledge Hub
SDG Knowledge Hub - An Online Resource Center for News and Commentary Regarding the Implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Linkages Update - International Environment and Sustainable Development News