Activities such as horticulture and tourism around the Great Barrier Reef create sediment, nutrient and pesticide runoff, placing increased pressure on the ecosystem. The World Wildlife Fund has taken action, predominantly by raising awareness. The key lesson is how a carefully orchestrated campaign can convince decision-makers of the importance of integrated river basin management as a means of reducing land-based marine pollution.
Körös/Crisuri transboundary River Basin is in need of more transboundary cooperation and coordination to ensure sustainable management of the resource. To address this, Romania and Hungary jointly developed a strategy for integrated water resources management, aiming to strengthen cooperation. The key lesson is that access to, and management of data is at the core of decision-making in the case of transboundary water management.
In the Danube hydrographic basin, agricultural practices continue to be the main source of water pollution. A pilot project “Best Agricultural Practices” was initiated focusing on e.g. nutrient management, conservation tillage and manure management. Awareness campaigns were initiated, training and education of farmers were emphasised. The key lesson is that these projects should be complimented by other technical and investment measures.
Management of the Upper Vistula basin is guided through the project Continuation of the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive, which is a joint French-Polish initiative. This project provides avenues for exchange of practical experiences between Polish and French partners, mobilises different stakeholders within basin borders. The most important lesson learned is to remember that documents should be transparent and comprehensible.
The EU Water Framework Directive requires member states to identify and implement program of measures for reaching good water status for all water bodies by 2015. In Romania, this requires substantial investments. In response to address the pressures in the Romanian river basins, a number of measures have been identified, divided into basic measures and supplementary measures. The key lesson is the value of approaching the issue with several complimentary measures.
China is faced with significant costs regarding floods and degradation of ecological conditions in the Yangtze River basin. As a response, the application of Ecosystem Function Conservation Areas approach has been initiated not only to increase water retention capacity and reduce sediment loads, but also to provide benefits in biodiversity, carbon sequestration and sustainable land management. The key lesson is that success is easier to achieve with positive natural and political conditions.
Driven by the Water Resource Directorate of the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, Eritrea initiated IWRM implementation in 2005. Several steps were taken including the drafting of a water situation analysis report, identifying strategic areas and major gaps for IWRM implementation, and completing an IWRM Action Plan. The lesson which should be drawn from this case study is the importance of proper management of the planning process and building capacity for IWRM.
Water is a source of conflict around the Berki River Basin in Ethiopia, predominantly a consequence of a lack of IWRM awareness and an institutional framework. Action was taken to implement an IWRM pilot project to account for different stakeholder interests, resulting in the development and adoption of the Berki Basin IWRM. Key lessons drawn from the project include the importance of capacity building, consensus building, and the importance of decentralised multi-stakeholder platforms for conflict management.
Complex environmental, social, economic and political structures make the Nile hard to manage. The Nile basin states have, because of these issues, collectively recognised the need to protect, manage and utilize the Nile basin in an integrated sustainable manner through a close co-operation. Action was taken and the Nile basin states formed the Nile Basin Initiative. This illustrate the opportunities created by multidisciplinary networks to solve complex environmental problems, stemming from their broad platform.
In Benin, water use has not been regulated. Furthermore, water management has been sector-based, fragmented and compartmentalised. To change this, action was taken to initiate IWRM in Benin. A baseline study was done followed by drafting of an IWRM action plan. From the experience, the lesson learnt is that advocacy for strengthening political will for supporting the process must be seen as a transversal and on-going action throughout the whole IWRM process.