DEWA

Division of Early Warning and Assessment

Water Unit

Water unit is within the Scientific Assessment Branch (SAB) of DEWA, the other branch being the Early Warning and Capacity Building and Technology Support. The water unit is responsible for the assessment of the world's water resources where it carries out in collaboration with partners, UN collaborators, NGOs, universities, governments..., comprehensive assessments of world's freshwater and coastal/marine water resources in an integrated manner. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the freshwater and coastal water assessments:


Freshwater Assessment Activities

The World Water Quality Assessment The World Water Quality Assessment
The aim of the assessment is two-fold: first, to identify current and future problem areas of freshwater quality in surface waters, especially in developing countries; and second, to propose and evaluate policy options for addressing water pollution.

The assessment includes a concerted effort with the UNEP Global Environment Monitoring System for Water (GEMS/Water) Programme to extend the existing water quality database for tracking progress in protecting surface waters, as well as for testing and using models to evaluate policy measures.

Click here to download the Brochure.
Click here to download the Presentations.



Adaptation to Climate-change Induced Water Stress in the Nile Basin Adaptation to Climate-change Induced Water Stress in the Nile Basin: A Vulnerability Assessment Report
The Nile River Basin’s rich ecological resources are vital to the 238 million people living in the region. The basin’s natural environment is the ultimate source of its economic activities (production and consumption) and the sink for disposing of all its waste. At the same time, the Nile Basin’s human resources are also crucial assets, providing the labour and markets for goods that drive the regional economy. This report illustrates these links between people, the economy and the environment. For example, we learn that the Nile Delta and the wider Mediterranean coast account for 30-40 per cent of Egypt’s agricultural production and more than half of its tourism and industrial base. Water is central to all these activities and processes and must be available in sufficient quantities to meet environmental, consumption and social needs.

Click here to download the Full Report


Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Climate Change: Implications for Shared Water Resources in the West Asia Region
West Asia (WA) countries have been experiencing different degrees of natural and anthropogenic water risk affecting the sustainability of their limited water resources and preservation of the ecosystem equilibrium. The fragile arid environment and its resiliency to cope with external natural and anthropogenic activities, including the expected impacts of climate change, present a major challenge to decision-makers who must achieve adequate, safe and dependable water and food supply in the future to improve human well-being in their societies, and to meet the requirements of future generations.

Understanding the vulnerability of freshwater resources in WA is therefore vital to ensuring sustainable water management in the region. Undertaking a vulnerability assessment of freshwater will highlight gaps in information and identify the most dominant factors that influence vulnerability, in addition to enhancing public awareness. The availability of such an assessment will provide decision-makers with options to evaluate and modify existing policies and implement measures to improve water resources management.

For More: View the Webpage


Freshwater Under Threat- Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater to Environment Change
Regional groups of researchers from key institutions in Africa and Asia carried out Freshwater vulnerability assessment in selected river basins of their respective regions (Africa’s - Southern, Eastern, Central, Western, and Northern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean island States and Asia’s – North east, South east and South) by assessing major rivers/lakes/groundwater basins on the basis of natural and socio-economical management criteria. The assessment was aimed at providing the current environmental status of water ecosystems under their changing environment. At the end of the assessment their findings are analysed and documented in several publications. A preview of the publications given below is an out put of their work that provides data and information for policy makers, academicians and the general public.

Freshwater under Threat – Pacific Islands Freshwater under Threat – Pacific Islands
This study undertakes a vulnerability assessment of the freshwater resources of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs), based on input from technical experts and regional resource managers. The approach assumes that the vulnerability of freshwater resources is dependent upon the resources available to meet the productive, consumptive and environment uses; the pollution and development pressures; and the management capacity to respond to these pressures. This approach highlights the importance of drivers such as climate variability and change, population growth, urban migration and economic development to water resource vulnerability through their influence on the state of freshwater resources and the associated pressures.

Click here to download the Full Report


West Asia

Assessment of Freshwater Resources Vulnerability to Climate Change
Countries of the West Asia region have been experiencing different degrees of natural and anthropogenic water risk regarding the sustainability of their limited water resources and preservation of the ecosystem equilibrium. The fragile arid environment and its resiliency to cope with external natural and human activities, including the expected impacts from climate change, presents a major challenge to decision makers. They have to achieve adequate, safe and dependable water sources and food supply in the future for improving the well-being of the society as well as meeting the requirements of the future generations.

Click here to download the Full Report


Assessment of transboundary Freshwater Vulnerability in Africa to Climate ChangeAfrica

Assessment of transboundary Freshwater Vulnerability in Africa to Climate Change
There is increasing certainty in some climate projections for Africa, with consensus between the major general circulation models (GCMs) and the regional circulation models (RCMs) emerging for many parts of the continent. Points of consensus are that temperature increases are very likely during this century, with increases of 1-3 oC by 2050, depending on emissions scenario. This warming is more than the rest of the world is likely to experience and will occur across all seasons, with the interior warming more than the coastal regions, and temperature increases in the drier sub-tropics greater than in the moist tropics.

Click here to download the Full Report


AFRICA-ASIA SummaryAfrica-Asia Summary

Freshwater under Threat: Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change - Africa-Asia Summary
After carrying out similar assessments in Africa and Asia, an attempt was made by experts from the two regions who exchanged experiences and networked among the themselves on the subject area. It was decided that a summary be written that will assist decision makers in the two continents note similarities in vulnerabilities of their water resources.

This summary establishes the fact that freshwater resources and sustainable development are strongly interdependent. Africa and Asia’s dependence on natural resources makes their people most vulnerable to environmental change. This vulnerability includes both natural and human phenomena, including climate change and variability, pollution, population growth, competition for water resources data availability and quality, and knowledge gaps.

Click here to download the Summary for Decision Makers


Freshwater under Threat - AfricaAfrica

Freshwater under threat: Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change - Africa
This publication documents an assessment of a selected forty one (41) vulnerable water resources in five regions on Africa i.e. Southern, Western, Eastern, Central, Northern and the Western Indian Ocean Island States, subjected to various environmental changes. The study indicates that Africa’s water resources are already facing serious risks, with the situation expected to get worse. What is not clear in these reports and that requires undertaking further comprehensive assessment is information and data that will inform freshwater managers of the vulnerability risks from climate change at various levels i.e. of river/lake/groundwater basins and the socio-economic aspect. This may require expanding the network of researchers.

Click here to download the Summary for Decision Makers


Freshwater under Threat - AsiaAsia

Freshwater under threat: Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental change - North East Asia
As part of UNEP’s global initiative on assessment of vulnerability of freshwater resources under a changing global climate, this report summarizes the results from an in-depth vulnerability assessment of freshwater resources in the Northeast Asia sub-region, including a general introduction to the sub-region and the main characteristics of its freshwater resources, including all the countries in the sub-region, and an in-depth synthesis of vulnerability assessment case studies, which are attached to this report as appendixes. The main findings of this assessment indicate that the changes in the hydrosphere can hinder achievements of clean water, health, food security targets of the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) and damage ecosystem health and services as well as having socio-economic impacts.

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Freshwater under Threat - SouthEast Asia Freshwater under threat: Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change - South East Asia
Even though South East Asia is endowed with abundant water resources, the region’s major river basins are under considerable pressure from raising human numbers and economic activities. It is in this context that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) joined hands with a number of regional partners from Africa and Asia to address the issue of vulnerability of fresh water resources to Environment changes in the region.

Click here to download the Full Report



Freshwater under Threat - South Asia Freshwater under threat: Vulnerability Assessment of Fresh Resources to Environmental change - South Asia
Water experts that carried out the assessment concluded that; South Asia supports a quarter of the world population with one twentieth of the world’s annual renewable water resources. 500 million people half of world’s poor, eke out a living on the region’s land and water resources. The big challenge is to manage water resources for maximum benefits including safe drinking water, adequate sanitations, growing food, producing electricity while minimizing the risk of ecosystem degradation.

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Methodologies guidelines Methodologies guidelines - Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change
This document aims to provide a general framework to partners under UNEP’s project on “Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to Environmental Change”. The framework is developed on the basis of available knowledge of the field, with full consideration of data availability and other constraints, and is intended to be a common platform for partners to adopt their studies, and produce comparable results for regional and inter-basin synthesis at later stage of this joint effort.

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Global Assessment of the Vulnerability of Water Resources to Environmental Change Global Assessment of the Vulnerability of Water Resources to Environmental Change
This a framework used to assess the vulnerability of surface and groundwater to human land uses, within an integrated river basin management approach. In Africa, the project has provided significant baseline information on vulnerable aquifers fed by the River Nile in North Africa, serious freshwater shortages in West Africa, the variable rain-fed aquifers of Eastern Africa, and the uneven distribution of freshwater in Southern Africa.
More detailed assessments on the rivers, lakes and aquifer basins are being carried out in Africa, including Central Africa and the Indian ocean Islands. Assessments have begun in Asia. Latin America and the Caribbean will follow soon. This approach will also include the Integrated Water Resource management. There is a specific focus on groundwater vulnerability.

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Africa’s lakes - Atlas of our changing environment Africa’s lakes - Atlas of our changing environment
This publication underscores the importance of developing, harnessing and sharing technologies that help provide deeper understanding of the dynamics of the changes. The words and pictures within these pages also serve as a vivid reminder that Africa’s lakes are a source of livelihoods for many African communities, and contribute significantly to socio-economic development of the continent, and that sound policy decisions and positive actions by societies and individuals are needed to sustain the lakes and the well-being of its inhabitants.

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GEMS/Water Programme GEMS/Water Programme
The UNEP-GEMS/Water programme is a global water quality monitoring programme, which collects and assesses water quality data from 104 developing countries. The programme provides information on the state and trends of global inland water quality, which serve as a basis for decision-making processes related to Integrated Water Resources Management in the development and sustainable use of freshwater resources.



See: http://www.unep.org/gemswater/


Groundwater Recharge 'A Survey of Methods for Groundwater Recharge in Arid and Semi-arid regions' Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA)
Global International Waters Assessment was a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-led and Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded (with other partners) programme. The Kalmar University, Sweden was the main executing agency that hosted the GIWA Core Team and Co-ordination Office. The GIWA project divided the continents and shallow-water seas of the world into 66 natural regions consisting of one or more international river basins and their adjacent Large Marine Ecosystems. Local teams of experts assessed the deterioration of freshwater and marine systems caused by freshwater shortage, pollution, overfishing and habitat modification, as well as global climate change. Altogether, about 1 500 scientists and other experts were involved in the GIWA project, which was the largest global assessment of a broad array of ecosystem-wide water issues. The regional reports have been published in print and/or electronically. The Final Report of the project Challenges to International Waters - Regional Assessments in a Global Perspective, gives key results of GIWA and contains a complex matrix presenting the severity of 22 environmental and socio-economic water-related issues in all the studied regions. All GIWA reports are available in print and electronically at …

For More http://www.unep.org/dewa/giwa


Vital water graphics 2008 Vital water graphics - An Overview of the State of the World’s Fresh and Marine Waters - 2nd Edition - 2008
Water is an essential commodity upon which all life on Earth depends. For most nations, economic development is inextricably linked to the availability and quality of freshwater supplies. Although everyone uses water on a daily basis, we often take this vital commodity for granted – particularly in regions with a natural abundance of water. We often forget that, in many regions, the availability of water is a matter of life and death. Vital Water Graphics provides a valuable and timely addition to existing literature on the state of the world’s water resources 36 years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The publication focuses on our most ‘vital’ and pressing water issues – issues that will determine the very future of life on Earth. These graphics, together with accompanying texts and maps, highlight how the quantity, quality and availability of fresh and marine waters play a major role in determining levels and patterns of poverty, land degradation, pollution, sanitation, health, and rural and urban development around the world...

See: Vital Water Graphics website


Vital water graphics 2002 Vital water graphics - An Overview of the State of the World's Fresh and Marine Waters - 2002
UNEP has compiled this report in order to provide an easily accessible resource on the state of the world's waters. The goal of this publication is to produce a clear overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the state of the world's fresh and marine waters. It also illustrates the causes, effects, trends and threats facing our water sources, with examples of area of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters...

See: Vital Water Graphics website





Atlas of International Freshwater AgreementsAtlas of International Freshwater Agreements.
Utilizing historical documents, statistical analyses, and maps, the Atlas of International Freshwater Agreements presents both a graphic and textual analysis and documentation of the world's international basins and their agreements. Humans have always had trouble addressing cross-border issues, yet cooperation is essential. This study offers information for how to move forward in a collaborative way to develop appropriate policies for making sure that transboundary water resources are identified and successfully addressed in the coming years. The Atlas was compiled under the direction of Aaron T. Wolf, Oregon State University, in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. "The World's International Freshwater Agreements" was authored by Meredith A. Giordano and Aaron T. Wolf. "Thematic Maps: Visualising Spartial Variability and Shared Benefits" was authored by Aaron T. Wolf.

See: http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/


Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters

Assessment of the Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters was carried out in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and North America by UNEP and in collaboration with the Universities Partnership for Transboundary Waters led by Oregon State University. This collaboration over a two year period has resulted in publication of five series of valuable reports that establish the fact that transboundary water resources have been a source of collaboration within established cooperation and conflict resolution structures and institutions.

Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Europe Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Europe
Presents a comprehensive assessment of hydropolitical vulnerabilities and resilience of Europe’s international water’s. It focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing Europe a continent that enjoys relatively abundant water resources. Although there has been tension and conflicts in many places, the good news is that nations across the world have often chosen cooperation over conflict when it comes to water– “hydro-diplomacy” and “hydrological cooperation” which are now at the forefront of scientific enquiry. This publication shows that lessons learnt from the past can guide current and future policy-makers in water management decisions. The good news is that in the midst of tension and potential conflict in many places our shared water, nations have often chosen cooperation over conflict in water.


Click here to download the Full Report


Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Asia Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Asia
There is an increasing annual demand for water drawn from Asia’s international rivers for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and environmental purposes .International, regional, and local level conflicts regarding access to and use of fresh water pose serious threat both to human security and the security of the countries in this region, especially areas severely affected by water scarcity. Fragmented approach to water management is a major challenge to both local and international level if integrated water resource and ecosystem management system based approaches are not applied. Progress has been made adopting basin wide approaches. This publication promotes a broader dissemination of assessed information and data for informed policy-making.


Click here to download the Full Report


Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - North America Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - North America
This publication presents a comprehensive assessment of the hydropolitical vulnerabilities and resiliencies of Northern America’s international waters, including detailed information on existing and forthcoming cooperation agreements which inform policies at regional, sub-regional and national and which ensures greater cooperation across the diverse social, political, economical, and environmental boundaries in North America. This information and data is an invaluable tool for policy-making in the face of climate change and the challenge of maintaining healthy ecosystems.


Download the Full Report [English] [Spanish]


Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Africa Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Africa
Wherever a major river, lake, or aquifer system is shared by two or more sovereign nations, the shared (international) waters become vulnerable to indiscriminate exploitation and degradation. In a situation of rising populations and increasing urbanization, industrialization, and environmental degradation, nations sharing the water resources also become vulnerable to conflict. These vulnerabilities are made more acute by climate variations and variations in precipitation.
This hydropolitical vulnerability and resilience along international waters is a subject area that has increasingly become a critical arena of systematic enquiry requiring the development of comparable databases and analyses among the African continent.


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Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Latin America Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters - Latin America
With only 15 percent of the world’s total landmass, Latin America and the Caribbean have a large abundance of freshwater resources. However, the sustainable management of this rich resource is complicated by several factors. Firstly, the distribution of the region’s fresh water is highly heterogeneous; Brazil, for example, has 40 percent of the region’s freshwater resources. While some zones receive over 9000 mm of rainfall each year, others receive virtually none.

This report presents a comprehensive assessment of the hydropolitical vulnerabilities and resiliencies of Latin America’s international waters, including detailed information on existing and forthcoming cooperative agreements to develop more sustainable resilience and informed policies at regional, sub regional and national levels.


Click here to download the Full Report


The Pan-African Conference
It represents a political commitment at the highest level among African Governments to move forward in solving the continent's impending water crisis. African Governments, along with representatives of the international community, the scientific community, civil society and the private sector will, therefore, meet in Addis Ababa to agree on how to turn commitments into action.


See: http://www.uneca.org/panafcon/


Indicative Roadmap for the Africa Groundwater CommissionIndicative Roadmap for the Africa Groundwater Commission
This roadmap was presented and discussed at the first African water week in Tunis, 26-28 march 2008. In the concluding ministerial declaration, it was reflected as follows: “institutionalize dialogue on groundwater management in Africa and implement the roadmap for the African Groundwater Commission”. At its 6th Ordinary Session in Brazzaville in May 2007, AMSCO adopted key groundwater resolution: in particular that it would become the custodian of continent-wide strategic groundwater initiative which would strategically be achieved through the establishment of a commission dedicated to this purpose, namely the Africa Groundwater Commission. This document provides an indicative roadmap for the soon to be constituted AGWC, outlining its proposed purpose, composition, operation and expectations, as well as an appendix of eleven project concepts of the AGWC’s work and priority during is first five year period.


For the Full Report: [English]   [French]


GEMS/Water Programme Groundwater Pollution in Afica
This publication is largely based on the investigation or review of the situation of aquifer’s water supply in sub-Saharan African cities, from the UNEP/UNESCO project on ‘Assessment of Pollution Status and Vulnerability of Water Supply Aquifers of African Cities’. Strategically this project resulted in the setting up of groundwater monitoring networks in the eleven participating countries and provided groundwater quality information through various aquifer vulnerability maps and bulletins. National water managers and planners were thereby provided with information pertaining to water quality trends and status in both space and time for resource planning, management purposes and policy formulation for groundwater protection and contamination prevention.


See the Preliminary.
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Groundwater and its susceptibility to degradation Groundwater and its susceptibility to degradation
This publication provides an overview of the susceptibility of groundwater to degradation caused by human activities. Including both quantity and quality impacts, it examines the different issues affecting groundwater resources in rural and urban/industrial settings, where groundwater has become an integral part of billions of people's lives. Numerous examples illustrate the consequent resource management issues and underline the need for active management, not development by default.
This review is intended for planners and other decision-makers at national/provincial government level and also for the general reader.


For More Click Here


Assessment of Pollution Status and Vulnerability of Water Supply AquifersAssessment of Pollution Status and Vulnerability of Water Supply Aquifers of African Cities
Is a joint Project of UNEP-DEWA in collaboration with UNESCO-IHP as the implementing agency. The project aims to built on the successes achieved in earlier work (See: http://www.unep.org/DEWA/water/groundwater/africa/ ) carried out in six (Benin, Burkina Faso, CÔte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Senegal) West African countries and includes four new Anglophone countries i.e. Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. Its aim is to determine the status and vulnerability of groundwater supplies in cities of the selected countries, establish a network for exchange of related information, and develop suitable methodologies for assessing and monitoring of real and potential contamination of shallow and deeper groundwater aquifers ......


See: http://www.unep.org/dewa/water/groundwaterproject


Groundwater Recharge Groundwater Recharge "A Survey of Methods for Groundwater Recharge in Arid and Semi-arid regions"
The rate of recharge is the single most important factor in the analysis and management of groundwater resources in arid and semi-arid regions. At the same time, it is also the most difficult quantity to determine. This report, which is the result of a course held in Niamey, Niger, in 2000, presents an overview of all the methods identified to date for estimating groundwater recharge, including an assessment of the accuracy and suitability of each.


For the Full Report Click Here


Integrated Water Assessment Activities

Groundwater Recharge 'A Survey of Methods for Groundwater Recharge in Arid and Semi-arid regions' World Water Development Report 2
This volume, covering all regions and most countries of the world, provides an up-to-date global overview of the state and uses of freshwater, critical water-related problems and societies’ coping mechanisms. Drawing on an extensive database, expert analysis, case studies, and hundreds of graphic elements, it is the most comprehensive undertaking to date of freshwater assessment, providing a mechanism for monitoring changes in the resource and its management and progress towards achieving development targets, particularly the Millennium Development Goals. WWDR2 is aimed at a wide audience, including all those interested or directly involved in the formulation and implementation of water-related policies, as well as managers, researchers, teachers, students and, of course, water users themselves.


 


Coastal and Marine Assessments

Regular process for Global reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment An Assessment of Assessments Findings of the Group of Experts
The Assessment of Assessments (AoA) is a start-up phase towards a Regular Process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment that takes the WSSD decision forward. It was initiated in response to a UN General Assembly Resolution in 2005. The AoA represents the most comprehensive initiative undertaken to date by the UN system to better coordinate ocean governance. Its central recommendation calls for a mechanism that builds on existing global, regional and national institutions and processes while integrating all available information, including socio-economic data, on how our seas and oceans are actually being used.


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Regular process for Global reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment Regular process for Global reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment
The process of investigating the potential establishment of a regular marine environment assessment to provide accurate information to decision markers on the state of the marine environment was initiated in 1999 at the seventh session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.  In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), agreed, in paragraph 36 (b) of the Plan of implementation of the WSSD (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation)  to establish a regular process under the United Nations for global reporting and assessment of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects, both current and foreseeable, building on existing regional assessments. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in resolutions 57/141 (paragraph 45) and 58/240 (paragraphs 64-65) endorsed the paragraph.

See http://www.unep.org/dewa/Assessments/Ecosystems/Water/

Official website of the Regular Process for the Global Reporting of the State of the Marine Environment


Global Marine Assessments: A survey of global and regional assessments and related activities of the marine environment Global Marine Assessments: A survey of global and regional assessments and related activities of the marine environment
The report provides a very useful starting point for conducting the Assessment of Assessments. It highlights the fact that the data available to assess the different ocean processes is patchy in both time and space. It defines the huge challenge that lies ahead in terms of capacitybuilding and information and knowledge gaps. The report recommends that, to improve this situation, new ways to address capacity-building, particularly in developing countries, are needed. It emphasizes the fact that a systematic effort to fill the information and knowledge gaps will be necessary in the future to support an effective decision-making process. The report was produced as a tool to make easily available essential background information for the assignment of the Group of Experts of the Assessment of Assessments.

The report is supported by an interactive on-line database tool (available at www.unep-wcmc.org/GRAMED) which enables the user to search through the assessments and activities relating to the marine environment.


Download Report (PDF File - 913 KB)


Vital Water Graphics Vital Water Graphics - An Overview of the State of the World’s Fresh and Marine Waters
The report presents an overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the current state of the world’s fresh, coastal and marine waters. It illustrates the causes and effects of trends that threaten our water resources, with examples of areas of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters. There is a specific focus on groundwater vulnerability.

It is hoped that this information will be useful to enable a general audience to better understand water issues and assist water users and professionals to make decisions that will protect our water resources for future generations.


The original version of this report is available at: http://www.unep.org/dewa/vitalwater


Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Human Well-Being (2006) Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Human Well-Being (2006)
This report is a synthesis of the findings from the reports of the four Millennium Ecosystems Assessments (MA) Working Groups (Conditions and Trends, Scenarios, Responses, and Sub-global Assessments) concerning marine and coastal ecosystems.
The aim of this synthesis report is to contribute to the dissemination of the information contained within the MA to decision-makers and a wide range of stakeholders of marine and coastal ecosystems through seven key messages.


See the Full Report Click Here


Global Marine Assessment Global Marine Assessment
This report presents part of UNEP's contribution to evaluating the feasibility of establishing a Global Marine Assessment, as a process that will periodically report on the state of the world's marine environment. It presents a snapshot of the marine assessment and related scientific activities in progress at the end of 2002, and recommends various ways in which a Global Marine Assessment could integrate and support these activities.


See the Full Report Click Here



Dugong - Status Report and Action Plans for selected Countries and Territories Dugong - Status Report and Action Plans for selected Countries and Territories

The " Dugong - Status Report and Action Plans for selected Countries and Territories " has been finalized. The report is published in the Dewa Report Series February 2002.


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UN Atlas of the oceansUN Atlas of the oceans
The atlas has received direct input from UNEP-DEWA. It is an information system designed for use by policy makers who need to become familiar with ocean issues. It provides valuable information for use by scientists, students and resource managers who need access to underlying databases and approaches to sustainability.


See http://www.oceansatlas.org/index.jsp




GESAMP
Its purpose was to provide advice to the agencies and, through them their Member Governments on a problem that was just beginning to be recognized as a major threat. Since then the Joint Group has met regularly and in 1993 its role was extended to cover all scientific aspects on the prevention, reduction and control of the degradation of the marine environment to sustain life support systems, resources and amenities.


See http://gesamp.imo.org/

 


Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP)

GEF TWAP Brochure GEF TWAP Brochure: Transboundary Waters
Transboundary waters need sustained conservation to ensure the health and wellbeing of our planet and all its inhabitants. The Global Environment Facility International Waters focal area is enabling the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (GEF TWAP) to provide the first global-scale assessment and improve knowledge for informed decision-making, raise awareness and foster cooperation among all stakeholders.



Click here to download the Brochure



TWAP-VOL1 Volume 1: Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary Aquifers, Lake Basins, River Basins, Large Marine Ecosystems
The water systems of the world – aquifers, lakes/reservoirs, rivers, large marine ecosystems (LMEs), and open ocean areas – support the socioeconomic development and wellbeing of the world’s population. Many of these systems are referred to as transboundary waters since they extend across, or lie beyond, national boundaries. These waters continue to be degraded by multiple and complex human-induced stresses, and the sustainability of their ecosystem services is at risk in many cases.


Recognizing the importance of the management of transboundary waters and consequences of associated problems and being aware that a comprehensive assessment of transboundary waters has never been undertaken, nor are the required institutional arrangements in place, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved the GEF Medium Size Project (MSP) Development of the Methodology and Arrangements for the GEF Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) in January 2009.


Click here to download the Full Report


Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary Aquifers Volume 2: Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary Aquifers
Unlike other water bodies, aquifers are located below the surface and visible only through the eyes of science – hydrogeology. Consequently, while groundwater is being used intensively in all countries, in many cases this is happening in the absence of a full understanding of the nature and characteristics of the resource. This is particularly true for transboundary aquifers, which are often not recognized as shared resources by countries because of differing geological approaches, lack of communication between countries, uneven availability of data, or sovereignty issues. Limited recognition of the nature of shared resources increases their vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures.


Download: Full Report | Annex 3 | Annex 5


Transboundary Lake Basins Volume 3: Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary Lake Basins
The International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) Foundation was contracted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, the Implementing Agency (IA) for the Global Environment Facility-International Waters (GEF-IW) focal area), to execute a medium-sized project to develop the lakes and reservoirs (hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘lakes’) component of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP).

This report presents a draft methodology for the assessment of transboundary lake basins and forms the basis for a follow up full-sized project. Lakes, along with rivers, groundwater, large marine ecosystems, and open ocean make up the five TWAP waterbody types. While interlinkages to other waterbody types is a recurring theme in this report and in TWAP itself, we look explicitly at lakes here, or more correctly, at lakes and their drainage basins.


Click here to download the Full Report


Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary River Basins Volume 4: Methodology for the Assessment of Transboundary River Basins
This report describes the methodology for the assessment of transboundary river basins prepared by the Transboundary River Basins Group (hereafter referred to as the River Basins Group). It is an output of the Medium-Sized Project (MSP) of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP), with implementation of the assessment to be undertaken in the next phase (Full Size Project – FSP). The MSP is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNEP.


Click here to download the Full Report



Methodology for the Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems Volume 5: Methodology for the Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems
The methodology for assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) was developed under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) medium size project (MSP) ‘Development of the Methodology and Arrangements for the GEF Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP)’. Large Marine Ecosystems, 64 of which have been defined globally, are natural regions of coastal ocean space encompassing waters from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and seaward margins of coastal currents and water masses. They are relatively large regions of 200 000 km2 or more, the natural boundaries of which are based on four ecological criteria: bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically related populations.


Click here to download the Full Report


Methodology for the Assessment of the Open Ocean Volume 6: Methodology for the Assessment of the Open Ocean
The global open ocean deserves a higher profile when examining and trying to improve our management of the relationship between human society and the environment. Global impacts on the ocean such as pollution and fishing come from human drivers on land and at sea, and global impacts on human society can be driven by the global open ocean through its role in the climate system, through ocean-related natural hazards, and by loss of ocean ecosystem services upon which society depends.

The proposed TWAP open ocean assessment will address these challenges through a globally-scoped assessment that directly addresses four broad themes: climate, ocean ecosystems, fisheries, and pollution. Rather than carving the open ocean into assessment units based on natural system criteria (which can vary depending on the scientific discipline consulted, and whether the surface, mid, or deep ocean is being considered), the assessment will take the cue from the human system side and the global governance arrangements already in place and focus on a global thematic assessment.


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