74 countries, Parties and non-Parties to the Water Convention, were represented in Budapest to review the progress achieved in the Convention’s implementation. They discussed how the Convention can best support transboundary water cooperation worldwide.
The Meeting of the Parties addressed a variety of topics including assessing the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in transboundary basins of Alazani and Syrdarya rivers in Central Asia and Caucasus.
A Georgian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, Ms. Catherine Grigalava. A new memorandum was signed by Georgia and UNECE, aiming to improve water governance through National Policy Dialogues under the European Union Water Initiative.
GWP Central and Eastern Europe co-organized a side event on the benefits of transboundary rivers. Bernardas Paukstys of GWP Lithuania gave a presentation on the successful transboundary collaboration in the Neman and Pregolya River Basins.
This collaboration has benefitted the Kaliningrad Oblast, Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus, and it was the first practical transboundary project between two EU and two non-EU countries. The project demonstrated the willingness for cooperation between experts and some institutions. Such cooperation may generate economic benefits, increase human well-being, and enhance environmental sustainability and political stability, said Mr. Paukstys in his presentation.
The UNECE session gathered about 350 participants in total: representatives of countries, international organisations, NGOs, and academia.
Photo: The UNECE meeting in Budapest