The Regional Workshop on Transboundary Water Cooperation

A regional workshop on ‘Transboundary Water Cooperation in the context of the SDGs in South Asia and beyond’ was held in Pokhara, Nepal from 23 and 24 May 2017.

The workshop was organised by GWP South Asia, GWP and GWP Nepal in collaboration with the Geneva Water Hub and UNESCO-IHE. 

Water practitioners; lawyers working on transboundary water laws; members of women, youth and civil society organisations across the world and Asia who are active in transboundary cooperation and  Regional and Country Coordinators of GWP in Asia – from Central Asia and Caucasus, China, South Asia and South East Asia got together to discuss and to share knowledge, experiences and expertise on key issues in the areas of transboundary water law, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gender and Youth. 

The workshop started by giving an overview to the status of current international agreements on transboundary waters and transboundary cooperation in South Asia. The water experts from Asia led the session on ‘Insights from cooperation in major Asian river basins’. The session on overcoming challenges to transboundary cooperation in Asia was the third session with the key note on ‘Conflict avoidance and dispute settlement mechanisms’.

‘Transboundary water cooperation in the context of the SDGs’ session was concluded with a group activity while the session on ‘Making transboundary water cooperation more inclusive’ covered three topics including transboundary water cooperation, public participation and civil society, transboundary water cooperation and gender equity and involving youth in transboundary cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)’.

The workshop was able to build trust and develop negotiation skills through relevant role players and working groups and to develop inclusive approaches, which leave no one behind, involving civil society, women and youth. The discussions facilitated in exploring possible joint activities, context-specific solutions and way-forward on knowledge exchange in international water law and transboundary cooperation.

The Inter-Regional Coordination Meeting was held back to back on 25 May 2017 with the participation of the four Asian Regional Water Partnerships – Central Asia and Caucasus, China, South Asia and South-East Asia. The Country Coordinators of GWP South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were also attended the meeting. The meeting discussed the developments in PAN Asia and the way forward, status of WACDEP and other projects including SDG PF and the developments in the youth activities in the region.