Interactive Online Session: River Basin Organisations and the Implementation of Treaty Commitments

GWP and Wuhan International Water Law Academy are co-organising an interactive online series called the "Transboundary freshwater security governance train". The sessions are conducted in an approach of a ‘train’ stopping at various locations in the world. At each of the stops, a different topic from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security is explored. On 16 March, the 3rd session looks at river basin organisations and the implementation of legal commitments.

Please note: Prior to this online session, participants are encouraged to register to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security, and to take a look at Module 3: International Water Law, and Module 4: Institutions - in particular lecture 4d: The Role of Institutions in the Implementation of International Water Law (with Owen McIntyre).

River Basin Organisations (RBOs) can play an important role in advancing transboundary water cooperation, including supporting countries in the implementation of their  treaty commitments, such as obligations related to data exchange,  notification of planned projects, joint environmental impact assessment, joint basin-wide planning or public participation.  The purpose of this session will be to explore the different ways in which RBOs support countries to implement their treaty commitments, and to exchange experiences on some of the challenges and opportunities they face. 

Questions will be collected in advance (through the MOOC platform) and during the 1,5-hour-long session. Panellists will provide brief presentations and then the floor is open to questions in breakout rooms, which offers an opportunity to engage deeply with regional experts.

WHEN: Tuesday 16 March, at 10:00 (Washington DC), 11:00 (Rio de Janeiro), 14:00 (London), 15:00 (Stockholm), 16:00 (Johannesburg), 22:00 (Beijing)

WHAT: The session will feature speakers with different experiences to share, discussing the following topics:

  • What are the different ways in which RBOs support countries to implement their treaty commitments?
  • How does the mandate of RBOs affect their ability to support treaty implementation? What powers and functions are needed for RBOs to play an effective role in treaty implementation?  How can RBOs address any difficulties arising from weak or ambiguous mandates?
  • Are RBOs better suited to support the implementation of some treaty commitments, e.g. notification and data exchange, over others, e.g. dispute settlement?
  • How can RBOs play a role in addressing situations where countries are not in compliance with their treaty commitments?

HOW: Registration is required, please use this link.

WHO: The confirmed speakers are (changes may still occur):

Background: The MOOC on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security opened in August 2020 by GWP, GEF IW:Learn, and Partners. The aim is to bring together countries that share freshwater resources – giving them the skills to cooperate so that the shared resource is managed sustainably for the benefit of each country’s population. The self-paced MOOC is available on the SDG Academy platform - it is free and open to everyone - but especially designed for professionals who manage and make decisions about transboundary waters

Top photo: Aerial of Amazon River, by Gagliardi