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Approximately 40% of the world’s population live in transboundary river and lake basins, accounting for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. In a world increasingly impacted by the effects of climate change, preserving and managing these shared waters in a cooperative manner is crucial to achieve sustainable development, peace and stability.
On 29 September-1 October 2021, more than 100 countries and over 500 participants will gather for the ninth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention (MOP 9) to discuss progress made and how to further enhance transboundary water cooperation worldwide.
As a global legal instrument and intergovernmental platform serviced by UNECE, the Water Convention promotes the sustainable management of transboundary water resources through cooperation among riparian countries. Counting as of today 45 Parties, the Convention has been fostering cooperation both at political and technical level for the past 20 years, contributing to water quality improvement, mitigation of flood and drought impacts and ecosystems conservation across shared basins worldwide.
The attendance of more than 30 high-level representatives, including ministers, illustrates the increasing political attention paid to the strengthening of transboundary water cooperation in a period of increasing water stress and on the road to the 2023 UN Water Conference. The high-level segment on “Water and Peace” planned on the first day will provide an opportunity to discuss how sharing water can spark conflicts, but much more often facilitate peace and broader cooperation.
Over three days, both Parties and non-Parties, basin organizations, international and non-governmental organizations and academia from all regions of the world, will discuss transboundary water cooperation and progress made through activities implemented under the Convention, in its numerous areas of work, such as climate change adaptation, the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus, the benefits of transboundary water cooperation, water allocation in transboundary settings and the financing of transboundary water cooperation and basin development. The accession of new Parties to the Convention such as Ghana and Guinea-Bissau will also be celebrated.
Finally, the meeting will discuss, review and adopt a number of documents including practical tools for improving the management of shared waters such as a handbook on water allocation, the practical guide for developing agreements and other arrangements for transboundary cooperation and the Convention’s Programme of Work for 2022 – 2024.
MOP 9 will be a milestone for reviewing and accelerating progress towards SDG target 6.5, discussing challenges and good practices related to transboundary water cooperation and the role of the Convention worldwide.
More information and registration for the meeting : https://unece.org/environmental-policy/events/MOP9_Water_Convention.