First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations

26 -28 November 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

"The Forum will provide a platform for basin organizations from around the globe to share experiences on strengthening their governance structures as well as incentives and tools for enhancing their operations particularly for the implementation of different environmental obligations and international agreed goals in support of sustainable development."

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Co-convened by INBO


Towards Sustainable Freshwater Governance

The importance of freshwater resources to human life and development cannot be overstated. The essential roles these resources play relate to human health, facilitating trade, communication, inland navigation, agriculture, fishing, fish-farming, energy production, recreation, tourism, culture and location of human settlements.

The state of the global freshwater resources, however, is in crisis. As human populations swell and economies expand, both surface and groundwater resources are being depleted and polluted to an extent never before witnessed. Competition for the increasingly scarce resources has reached unprecedented levels. Rivers, lakes, aquifers, wetlands, and other water bodies are being strained. Both surface and groundwater resources are being depleted and polluted and wetlands and habitats destroyed. Ecosystems, species as well as communities around the globe are increasingly suffering from these impacts..

Existing governance structures provide, in most cases, policy, legal and institutional frameworks for meeting human water demands, they often insufficiently, if at all, address the control of pollutions and the protection of ecosystems in the provision of water.

Effective cooperative arrangements for the management of freshwater basins, which recognise the environmental dimension for these resources, are indispensable as new challenges, such as climate change, arise. States face the challenge of mitigating and adapting to climate variability involving adjustments in water management whilst balancing ever-growing water demands for development. Whilst this unpredictable state of affairs embeds a potential for conflict among stakeholders, it also provides an opportunity for cooperation, growth and the sharing of costs and benefits.

Provisional Timetable and Draft Agenda

26 November

  • 08:30 – 09:00 Registration of participants
  • 09:00 – 09:30 Official opening for the technical segment
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Keynote address on the themes of the day
  • 11:00 – 15:30 Theme 1 : Water Quality and Ecosystem Health
  • 11:00 – 15:30 Theme 2 : Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Adaptation to Climate Change
  • 16:00 – 18:00 Plenary 2: The Role of Basin Organizations in the Post 2015 Development Agenda

27 November

  • 09:30 – 10:30 Official opening for the technical segment 2
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Keynote address on themes of the day
  • 11:00 – 15:30 Theme 3 – Environmental laws and regulations
  • 11:00 – 15:30 Theme 4 – Institutional Challenges
  • 16:00 – 18:00 Plenary 4 : Basin Organizations as Key Constituents of International Environmental Governance
  • 18:30 – 21:00 Reception hosted by the Government of Thailand*

28 November

  • 09:30 – 10:30 Welcoming Ceremony
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Opening Remarks
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Summary of outcomes of the technical segment
  • 12:00 – 13:00 High-Level discussion on the way forward for sustainable governance and management of freshwater basins
  • 12:30 – 14:00 Adoption of the outcomes and closing of the Forum
  • The High-Level Segment will be accessible to all participants. The segment will be composed of Ministers, heads of basin organizations and other invited high-level participants.
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