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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 International Conference on “Europe-Asia Transboundary Water Cooperation” will be held from 15 to 16 December 2011 which is organized in the framework of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

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.

In the framework of regional cooperation to prevent conflicts on transboundary rivers the seminar on "Early warning of potential problem situations associated with the use of transboundary rivers resources in Central Asia" was held in Almaty on September 26, 2011.

Since the early 1990s the issue of water in the Aral Sea Basin has been seen in the context of regional security and stability. Water is valuable and it is scarce. There are enough water resources in the Region but they are not used effectively and, as a result, the use of transboundary water resources in Central Asia (CA) is a source of potential conflict.


The Heads of the Central Asia states recognise this and set up the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). The member states of IFAS are: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.


The objectives of IFAS and its organizations are to work towards integration and cooperation in order to use existing water resources more effectively and efficiently, to ensure sustainable development and to adapt to climate change in the region. However, it is widely recognized that the present structure of IFAS needs to be improved and the legal base to be adapted to fit the needs of today. 

In the framework of Component1 of the programme “Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia” – Fostering regional institutional cooperation, the project on “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation in Water Resources Management” is implemented in cooperation with UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). This project presents contribution to implementation of the EC IFAS activities aimed at the institutional and legal strengthening of IFAS and its organizations.

The working meeting of the Expert group on improving the structure and legal base of IFAS took place on October 23 in Almaty.

The First meeting of the Working Group on Institutional and Legal Strengthening and the Development of Aral Sea Basin Programme - 3 took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 10-11 December 2009. The meeting was convened by the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) and facilitated by the UNECE under the program on Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia, financed by the Government of Germany through GTZ (German Agency for technical cooperation).

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