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GEF Action on Water. Transboundary Freshwater Basins, Aquifers and Marine Ecosystems. Major Threats to International Waters-Transboundary Systems. Degradation of Water Quality Habitat Destruction-excessive withdrawals, wetland conversion, dam releases Overexploitation of Fish/Living Resources

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GEF Action on Water

Transboundary Freshwater Basins, Aquifers and Marine Ecosystems

Major threats to international waters transboundary systems
Major Threats to International Waters-Transboundary Systems

  • Degradation of Water Quality

  • Habitat Destruction-excessive withdrawals, wetland conversion, dam releases

  • Overexploitation of Fish/Living Resources

  • Land Degradation/Sedimentation

  • Introduced Species– ship ballast water, fish, cholera, red tide organisms

  • Groundwater Quality, Quantity, Recharge Areas

  • Balancing Basin Uses/Conflicts

Iw conventions and programs of action
IW Conventions and Programs of Action

  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) 

  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78)

  • The Nairobi, Abidjan, Barcelona, Bucharest, Cartagena, Jeddah, Kuwait, Lima, Noumea, Guatemala Conventions (UNEP Regional Seas Programme - 1974-2002)

  • Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (1979)

  • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS - 1982)

  • Bellagio Draft Agreement Concerning the Use of Transboundary Groundwaters (1987)

  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC - 1991)

Iw conventions andprograms of action
IW Conventions andPrograms of Action

  • UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD - 1992)

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD - 1994)

  • Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States (1994)

  • UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (1995)

  • Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (1995)

  • Jakarta Mandate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (1995)

  • UN Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997)

  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs - 2001)

GEF support to international

agreements (#of projects)

Gef comprehensive ecosystem based approach to iw
GEF Comprehensive,Ecosystem- Based Approach to IW

  • The goal: Maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and of the services they provide. The GEF Strategy:

  • Promotes Actions To Address the Multiple Concerns Facing Transboundary Systems that Focus on Changing the Way Human Activities are Conducted in Different Economic Sectors: (a) policy, legal, and institutional reforms nationally and regionally & (b) investments.

  • Helps Governments to Balance Competing Uses, and encourages moving from sectoral (supply, sanitation, irrigation; freshwater basins Vs coastal zones, etc.) to cross-sectoral integrated approaches to water management.

  • Promotes coordination among donors and the leveraging of Partner Programs.

Gef operational strategy for iw
GEF Operational Strategy For IW

  • Foundational Work: Support for Initial Strategic Capacity Building For Multicountry Basin-specific or Marine Ecosystem-specific Collaboration – creation of inter-ministerial committees; transboundary diagnostic (TDA), agreement on a Strategic Action Program (SAP)

  • Stress Reduction Measures: based on an agreed SAP, GEF may support a “SAP Implementation Project”, including national reforms, demonstration investments for transboundary priorities, regional institution-building

Key elements of foundational work in multi country water bodies
Key Elements of Foundational Work in Multi-country Water-bodies

  • Establishment of National and Multi-country Interministerial Committees as main decision making bodies

  • Achievemnet of informed consensus among riparian/littoral countries through a science based Analysis of Transboundary Water Concerns (TDA): identify problems and their causes, (discriminating domestic versus transboundary); identify possible solutions.

  • Agreement on Actions: inter-ministerial committees agree on what reforms and investments, needed to solve transboundary concerns nationally and regionally, they are willing to undertake and governments formally adopt a Strategic Action Program.

Stress reduction measures the gef role
Stress Reduction Measures: Water-bodiesthe GEF Role

  • GEF will facilitate changes in behaviors through reforms (policies, laws, institutions) at the local, national and regional levels.

  • GEF will help leverage investments for on the ground interventions through strategic partnerships.

  • GEF will support projects that will demonstrate on the ground the beneficial impacts of new approaches and technologies.

  • GEF will strengthen regional institutions and processes.

GEF International Waters Water-bodies

Strategy and Indicators

Process Indicators

Stress Reduction Indicators

Environmental Status Indicators

Foundational Work:

Capacity building

Establishment of processes


of Causes and Solutions

Agreement on Action Programs

Stress Reduction Measures

Implementation of

Strategic Action Programs:

Legal, policy and

Institutional reforms



Agreement on


Long Term


IW projects in Africa Water-bodies

More information
more information? Water-bodies

IW-LEARN is a GEF Project