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The Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, at its fifth session (Geneva, 10–12 November 2009), agreed on the need to establish a mechanism under the Convention through which problems related to implementation and possible differences in the Convention’s interpretation could be addressed.

 

For this purpose, the Meeting of the Parties at its fifth session entrusted the Legal Board to prepare a proposal with regard to the objectives, structure, tasks, functions, policies and procedures of institutional and procedural mechanisms to facilitate and support implementation and compliance for possible adoption at the Sixth Meeting of the Parties in 2012.

 

The Legal Board will discuss the document prepared by Chairman at its tenth meeting and further elaborate the text by taking decisions on the drafting language.

The Central Asian States have ratified several international conventions and have developed action plans to address country-specific and regional environmental challenges. However, these processes are not always balanced as all the states have not ratified the same conventions and when they have done so they are implementing action plans at different speeds.

 

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The legal regulation of water cooperation in Central Asia is based on regional and subregional agreements; the main one being the 1992 five-Party Agreement on cooperation in joint management, use and protection of water resources of inter-State sources (all Central Asian States are Parties to the Agreement). Regional instruments include the 1993 Agreement on joint action to address the problem of the Aral Sea and surrounding areas, environmental improvement and ensuring socio-economic development of Aral Sea region and the 1998 intergovernmental Agreement on the use of water and energy resources in Syrdarya basin (to which four countries are Parties: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).

 

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The International High Level Conference and the Workshop are organized in the framework of the UNECE Programme “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia”, supported by the Government of Germany through GIZ, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Brief overview of existing Regional agreements in water sector is provided, extracted from Discussion note on strengthening legal and institutional frameworks of IFAS, January 2010, as part the project “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management”, implemented by the IFAS Executive Committee and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German International Cooperation)

The 12th meeting of the Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment (2-4 May 2011) and the sixth meeting of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management (4-5 May 2011) under the Water Convention will be held in Geneva on 2-5 May 2011.

The working meeting within the project proposal of France and the UN ECE - “Strengthening capacity for data administration and exchange for monitoring and assessment of transboundary water resources in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA)” was held in the office of the Executive Committee IFAS.

The project proposal was developed by the International Office of Water with involvement of International Water Assessment Centre and the French Ministry of ecology, energy, sustainable development and sea, within the framework of activities covered by the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UN ECE).

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