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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: the 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

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


more information
more information?

IW-LEARN is a GEF Project