Global Environment Facility / Government of the Netherlands / United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Implementing the SDGs in shared basins through international water law

Monday 24 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: M4
Dr. Susanne Schmeier, GIZ

Managing internationally shared water resources poses many challenges to riparian states – ranging from water allocation for different and sometimes conflicting uses to infrastructure development or the provision of ecosystem services. Water resources development and management decisions made in shared basins can positively or negatively influence progress in sustainable development, which is why the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a target on cooperation for IWRM. To address these challenges, many transboundary basin riparians have opted to join forces in the management of water resources by committing to provisions of international water law in the form of global conventions  and/or regional legal and policy frameworks for cooperation such as, for instance, River Basin Organizations (RBOs). This session asks how water law provisions at the global and the regional level can contribute to achieving the SDGs and which approaches and tools they provide for ensuring the sustainable development of water resources in order to achieve the SDGs. It focuses on successes and challenges for the development of legal provisions for shared water resources development and management across the world at both global and regional levels.


16:00  Welcome on behalf of the co-conveners

Susanne Schmeier, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

16:05 Introductory Presentation: Linking global water law and sustainable development

Owen McIntyre, University College York, Ireland

16:15 Global water law and the SDGs

Marie Laure Vercambre, Water for Life and Peace Programme Director, Green Cross International

16:25 Regional water law and policy provisions and the SDGs

The Nile Experience: Helen Natu, Nile Basin Discourse & Abdulkarim H. Seid, Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)

The SADC Experience: Phera Ramoeli, SADC Water Division & Lenka Thamae, Executive Secretary ORASECOM

16:40 Interactive Discussion with the audience, including inputs from selected organizations (GEF, Government of the Netherlands, Green Cross International, Ramsar, SIWI, UNECE, UNESCO, etc.)              

Facilitated by Zaki Shubber, UNESCO-IHE

17:25  Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks on behalf of the co-conveners

Therese Sjömander Magnusson, SIWI