Recap of first day. Josefina Maestu, Director of UNW-DPAC. International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013. Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013
1. Recap Day 1 Josefina Maestu
2. Opening Sessions Insights I Not only upper riparian people must accommodate the needs of their lower riparian neighbours, but any user must recognize the legitimacy of the other users and join with them to manage the common good. One important user is nature itself who needs water for all its living creatures, but also provides high quality water if her ecosystems are healthy. The future generations will rely on water cooperation. Dialogue and consensus building are called to be the institutional framework for conflict resolution and water governance.
3. The Conference Approach Learning from experience Emphasis on the means: thus showing the importance of mediation, water diplomacy, transboundary cooperation, information, shared views and goals, voluntary approach, dispute resolution. Identifying challenges, barriers, failures Learning from failure and building upon success stories.
4. Opening Sessions Insights IISustainable water management is an enduringcollective entrepreneurship that may start withthe creation of a nucleus able to makecooperation the instrument to guarantee thepreservation of natural capital while allowingthe covering water needs for life and theequitable functioning of the economic system(E.g. The Ebro experience).
5. Opening Sessions key remarks International conventions have been an important driver of transboundary cooperation: The globalization of the [Water] Convention should also go hand-in-hand with the expected entry into force of the United Nations Watercourses Convention. These two instruments are based on the same principles. They complement each other and should be implemented in a coherent manner. Climate change, economic development and population growth implies increasing competition for water resources that might become a source of local, regional and international conflicts However water has also proven to be a productive pathway to cooperation and conflict prevention. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offer a set of approaches aimed at resolving disputes in a non-confrontational manner. (litigation.. arbitration..mediation..Negotiation) Confrontation, although possible, is not an alternative to negotiation: sooner or later parties will need to or communicate for the purpose of influencing other partys decisions.
6. Session 1: Furthering water cooperation among nations and stakeholders. Making it happen. Cooperation: A Risk-Opportunity approach (The World Bank):While the associated economic benefits and costs of cooperation are generally wellanalysed, the perceptions of decision makers regarding political risks and opportunitieshave been much less explored.The critical institutional change that needs to be promoted is the shift in peoplesperception so that: Opportunities must be perceived as more important that the risks involved in cooperation. The benefits of agreeing are more significant than the opportunity costs of competing.In many countries risk reduction was an important pre-condition before countrieswould progress to negotiated outcomes.Reduced risks provided sufficient motivation for countries to reconsider thecooperation deal, and even sign an agreement.
7. Session 1: Furthering water cooperation among nations and stakeholders. Making it happen. The five main risk concerns The Seven Risk Reduction StrategiesCapacity and knowledge (confidence in ability Knowledge and skill Expansionto negotiate a fair deal) Institutional designAccountability and voice Agreement designSovereignty and Autonomy (ability to act inthe best interest of the country without constraints,making decisions independently) Program designEquity and access (Fairness of relative benefits Financing and or guaranteeto country including timing of benefits and costs ofaccessing the river) Facilitation (third party)Stability and Support (longevity of thepotential agreement, including ratification likelihood) Decision legitimacy
8. Furthering water cooperation among nations and stakeholders. Making it happen. Lessons from experience it is imperative to invest the necessary time and resources to produce the most appropriate solution Fit for purpose remedies rather than model river basin solutions are needed. Politics are difficult to predict, so anticipation is critical. Laying the foundation for cooperation by reducing risks will prepare countries for deals. Long-term time commitment is needed. Cooperation takes several years of planning, facilitation, and confidence building, often before formal negotiations even begin. Deals are dynamic. Deals can be fragile, and fall apart or evolve and grow into stronger and more sustainable arrangements. Periodic assessments are needed.
9. The Sava River Basin Commission: an agreement to manage disagreement The Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB) started after the war pushed up by several internal factors and external factors(such as the need to preserve and promote economic development, voluntary commitment to comply the WFD, the stability pact, UE accession process) but also with awareness raising. International frameworks enhanced cooperation and the need for a balance between environmental protection of the basin and economic development of the countries Need for a new, international framework for water management on the basin level after geopolitical changes FASRB provides a solid basis for the IWRM in the basin, although rather demanding in terms of the need for resources and continuous, joint efforts of the parties, challenging in terms of cross-sectoral cooperation. Countries have different interests but they became interested in contributing to the common goals (such as quality even not being a national priority) for the sake of commitment and international reputation. A functioning Secretariat that helps build and maintain engagement and trust among the parties is fundamental.
10. La Albufeira: a long lasting adaptable cooperation framework Since 1864 a dialogue have been a constructive strategy to share the benefits of river use (for fishing, irrigation, hydropower, etc.) Opposed perceptions on the role and value of water are recognized but the agreement is not the outcome of a conflict but of a long lasting good neighborhood relationship Consensus is based on the recognition of other party interest. Loyalty and trust is essential to make agreements enforceable and robust. The WFD allow to balance environmental protection with sustainable use of water within the frame of International and EU law. A good agreement must have a sound technical basis. There is still scope to advance in shared technical knowledge. Individuals, third parties and facilitators play a crucial role to enable stable and effective cooperation. Moreover when water is abundant agreement is still easier than when in drought periods.
11. Hungary Tisza Cooperation a gradual approach towards a cooperative Integral Water Resources Management. Tisza Group, as part of the International Commission for the Danube Basin, is the platform strengthening coordination and info exchange related to international, regional and national activities. An example on how many international initiatives can jointly push cooperation at a regional level (the EU, the ICPDR, the UNDP, the GEF and the UNEP Carpathian Convention) Coherence with IWRM is guaranteed by the voluntary adherence to the WFD. Cooperation is cost effective.Monitoring is important, sharing reliable information systems and sources can save money as efforts are coordinated. So far RBMP have been built but finance might not be ready. The main challenge still is the PoM implementation. Local/regional issues remain a national task. Coordination efforts, conducted mainly through the respective Ministries responsible for water and environment issues, have been largely directed at inter-ministerial coordination.
12. Finland Russia a working cooperation framework for peace, the economy and the environment Since 1964 the Finnish Russian Agreement on the utilization of trans- boundary watercourses provides an institutional setting able to adapt to new demands, priorities and perceptions of water challenges (from sharing the economic benefits at the star to environmental and health concerns in modern times) Agreement based upon successful. - Identification of shared interests and goals - Analysis of multiple interests disregarding state borders - Finding an optimal solution for sharing costs and benefits (including agreements among private partners (companies). - Participatory approach - Long-term commitment - Being open and transparent has increased trust between partners.
13. Success stories of cooperation and their transferable lessons learntMyanmar - Identifying the appropriate level of intervention (ethnical, sectoral, country) - Making sure that no partners is more equal than other partners, empoweringcommunities - Ensuring funding is a challenge. - Giving women a central role.Basins in decentralized states - Legal arrangements are critical. - All decision levels needs to be considered and harmonized (national,regional, local..) - Funding is key to incentivize agreements .
14. Senegal River Basin - Political will might be the driving force of cooperation - Equality concerns make agreements feasible and socially acceptable. - Water is a matter of solidarity rather than competition. - Financing and external support is critical for all parts to opt for cooperation rather thancompetition. The key role of the Secretariat.Africa There are two major factors that play a role: The rate of change within a water basin. Scarcity, economic growth, and population growth can all affect the availability of water resources. The institutional capacity of the region; what Wolf calls the human systems built to mitigate the change. It is possible to make people work together? (capacity, information, rules, etc.) External incentives for cooperation (if you go that way we will provide financial and technical support) Water must be part of the solution not of the problem. BUILDING PEACE TO IMPLEMENTING AN ECOSYSTEM APPROACH.
15. Programme day 2Water cooperation in rural areas and cities. Making it happen! Session 2: Furthering water cooperation in rural areas: making it happen! Session 3: Techniques and models to further water cooperation to improve water efficiency and water services in cities Wrap up and take away lessonsSide events:Intensively developed aquifers (Botn Foundation Water Observatory)Informal meeting on the Post-2012 and ODS process (UNICEF, UN-Water)