TROSA Annual Learning Review and Workshop on the UNECE Water Convention

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TROSA Annual Learning Forum

Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) is a five-year (2017–2021) regional programme working to reduce poverty in communities living in the transboundary river basins of the Ganges Brahmaputra Meghna (GBM) and Salween. The programme is funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by Oxfam with support from national and regional partners. The programme’s first year of implementation ended in June 2018.

The annual learning forum is being organized to:

  • Discuss and share learnings and insights from the programme, both among programme partners and with relevant external audiences.
  • Foster long-term engagement and synergies with programmes and networks working on transboundary water cooperation in the region.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Water Convention Workshop

This workshop will provide for a dialogue with and among South Asian countries about the implications and benefits of joining the community and regime of the Water Convention, and contributing to its future development.

For more than 20 years, the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (signed in 1992 in Helsinki, into force in 1996) has provided a unique legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of shared water resources, both surface and groundwater. The institutional structure, including a Meeting of the Parties and an adaptive set of subsidiary bodies, and a programme of work adopted every three years, make this convention operational and responsive to the needs of countries. The work involves both political and technical support to transboundary cooperation, covering a broad range of topics.  As a framework, the Convention does not replace bilateral and multilateral agreements for specific rivers, lakes and groundwater resources, but, instead, it fosters their establishment, implementation, and further development. 

Some 100 countries have already participated in the Convention’s meetings or activities. Initially negotiated for the pan-European region, the Convention was amended to become open to all UN Member States in 2016. Most countries in Central Asia are already Parties to the Convention and there is also interest in South Asia.