Transboundary cooperation

This focal area will enable Member States to improve their institutions, strengthen professional capacities and develop regulations for the sustainable management and environmentally sound protection of transboundary aquifers. More than half of the large continental aquifers are shared between two or more riparian countries. To compile a world inventory of transboundary aquifers and to develop wise practices and guidance tools concerning shared groundwater resources management UNESCO IHP established the long term ISARM (Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management) Programme launched at the 14th Session of Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO IHP (2000). Within the first phase of the UNESCO ISARM programme, UNESCO – IHP provided technical support to the United Nations International Law Commission for the preparation of the draft articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers. The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers in December 2008.
 
Strengthening groundwater monitoring activities of transboundary aquifers and filling their groundwater data gaps are a globally justified task and IHP will provide guidance to establish and promote: policies to encourage and assist organizations involved in the development of groundwater to monitor, record, assess and submit groundwater data and information; GIS databases to facilitate the storage and retrieval of groundwater data for different uses; and institutional and legal frameworks to manage, share and use data on international level.
 
Selected Publications
 

Internationally Shared (Transboundary) Aquifer Resources Management: their significance and sustainable management; a framework document
Puri. S and Aureli, A (eds.), 2009. Atlas of Transboundary Aquifers – Global Maps, Regional Cooperation and Local Inventories. UNESCO-IHP ISARM Programme. UNESCO, Paris. [CD only]

This framework document presents a UNESCO-IHP initiative that responds to the challenges of shared water resources. The purpose of this document is to summarise the current understanding of transboundary aquifers, demonstrate their significance in water resource management and to highlight the fact that, as yet, there is very little international experience in the approaches needed for their shared management.

Since the management of transboundary aquifers is a multidisciplinary and multi-dimensional issue, the document has been prepared for widespread circulation. It addresses a broad readership, particularly scientists, legal specialists, socio-economists, environmentalists and policy makers. This document illustrates certain key issues that have arisen from case studies on Transboundary Aquifer Systems that exist in areas with diverse climatic and socio-economic conditions.

 

Atlas of Transboundary Aquifers – Global Maps, Regional Cooperation and Local Inventories
Puri. S and Aureli, A (eds.), 2009. Atlas of Transboundary Aquifers – Global Maps, Regional Cooperation and Local Inventories. UNESCO-IHP ISARM Programme. UNESCO, Paris. [CD only]

The Atlas aims to present a global vision of regional and local initiatives. Since its start in 2000, ISARM has launched a number of global and regional initiatives. More than 200 transboundary aquifers have been identified. Inventories undertaken in the Americas, Asia, Africa, South-Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus, and Middle East have been already published separately. This Atlas presents a compilation of available data.

The Atlas also aims to show the usefulness of a common knowledge for shared management. In recent years water security for people and the natural environment have taken a centre stage in much of the dialogue on international policy. Coordination among countries being then essential for the sustainable management of transboundary aquifers, this atlas is intended to be a valuable reference that will encourage their sound and sustainable management.

 

Abstracts of the ISARM2010 International Conference “Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and New directions”, 6-8 December, UNESCO, Paris
UNESCO, 2010. Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and New directions. ISARM2010 International Conference, 6-8 December, UNESCO, Paris. Abstracts. UNESCO, Paris.

This publication contains the abstracts of papers and posters, received from countries all across the world that constitute the technical programme of the International Conference on ‘Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and new directions’ (ISARM2010), organized by UNESCO and its partners at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 6– 8 December 2010.

 

Pre-Proceedings of the ISARM2010 International Conference 'Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and New directions', 6-8 December, UNESCO, Paris
UNESCO, 2010. Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and New directions. ISARM2010 International Conference, 6-8 December, UNESCO, Paris. Pre-Proceedings. UNESCO, Paris. [CD-ROM version only]

This publication contains the full articles of papers and posters, as they were received for the technical programme of the International Conference on ‘Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and new directions’ (ISARM2010), organized by UNESCO and its partners at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 6– 8 December 2010.

 

Vers une gestion concertée des aquifères transfrontaliers. Guide méthodologique (Part I) : Constat préliminaire – Analyse générale
Updated August 2011.

The first part of the “Guide on TBAs” (see below, Part III) is about a preliminary assessment and general analysis including the identification of going on dynamics at the legal, institutional and technical levels, an identification major challenges and an analysis of experiences on some transboundary aquifer systems (North Western Sahara, Iullemeden, Guarani, Nubian sandstone, Upper Rhine, Carboniferous, Genevese and Stampriet aquifer systems).

 

Vers une gestion concertée des aquifères transfrontaliers. Guide méthodologique (Part II) : Analyse de quelques cas à forts enjeux
Updated August 2011

The second part of the “Guide on TBAs” (see below, Part III) includes detailed case studies of seven transboundary aquifer systems representing important challenges (aquifer systems of the Mekong River basin, coastal aquifers Ghana-Togo-Benin, lac Chad basin, Senegal-Mauritania aquifer system, Taouudeni-Tanezrouft, Iuellemeden, Mountain and Coastal aquifers between Palestinian Territories and Israel).

 

Vers une gestion concertée des aquifères transfrontaliers. Guide méthodologique (Part III)
Collectif, 2010. Vers une gestion concertée des aquifères transfrontaliers. Guide méthodologique. AFD, UNESCO-IHP, Oieau, BRGM, Académie de l’eau, Paris. The English version is now available on-line and printed versions are expected early 2012.

In order to efficiently contribute to take up the challenges of the sustainable management of transboundary aquifers, the French Development Agency (AFD) launched a methodological study in close partnership with UNESCO-IHP's ISARM project, the French Water Academy, the International Office for Water, and the French Geological Survey (BRGM). The aim of this study is to develop an operational guidebook which consists of recommendations targeted to political decision-makers and managers, and includes case studies selected on several continents.