The aim of GIWA is to produce a comprehensive and integrated global assessment of international waters, the ecological status of and the causes of environmental problems in 66 water areas in the world, and focus on the key issues and problems facing the aquatic environment in transboundary waters.|
GIWA Brochure [PDF-file 1,3Mb]
An illustrated brochure with readily comprehensible information about GIWA.
means the Global International Waters Assessment.
is a water programme led by the United Nations Environment Programme,
is funded to about 50 per cent by the Global Environment Facility,
GEF. Other major donors are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), the Finnish Department for International
Development Co-operation, and the Swedish International Development
Co-operation Agency (Sida).
assessments have already been made on biodiversity, climate change,
and the ozone layer (stratospheric ozone) for the purpose of supporting
the implementation of the GEF project portfolio in these areas.
GIWA is intended as a comparable assessement in support of the implementation
of the international waters component of GEF.
has been working since 1999. Its main executing
agency is Kalmar University in Sweden, where the GIWA Core Team
and Co-ordination Office is located.
objective is to produce a comprehensive and integrated global assessment
of international waters. It is to be a systematic assessment of
the environmental conditions and problems in international waters,
comprising marine, coastal and freshwater areas, and surface waters
as well as ground waters.
overall objective of GIWA is to develop a comprehensive strategic
assessment that may be used by GEF and its partners to identify
priorities for remedial and mitigatory actions in international
waters, designed to achieve significant environmental benefits at
national, regional and global levels.
is designed not merely to analyze the current problems and their
societal root causes, but to develop scenarios of the future condition
of the world's water resources and analyze policy options.
the aim is to provide sound scientific advice to decision-makers
and managers concerned with water resources and dealing with environmental
problems and threats to transboundary water bodies.
is focusing on 66 transboundary water areas worldwide. The assessment
does therefore include marine water areas, surface freshwater areas,
is focusing on five major problem areas, including 23 specific environmental
and socio-economic problems. Causal chain analyses is an essential
tool used to identify and better understand the links between perceived
problems and their societal root causes.
lakes, wetlands, rivers, groundwater basins etc. do not only provide
us with water for all human purposes. They also constitute life-support
systems, which provide us with fundamental ecological and other
services. The character of our planet, physically as well as biologically,
is shaped by water. Without water all life ceases.
though man is dependent of water in a broad sense, we have degraded
aquatic environments and mismanaged aquatic resources at a global
scale. Pollution, destruction of habitats, overutilization of living
resources etc. threaten the future development of human societies,
especially in developing countries. Water issues therefore play
an important and increasing role in international development co-operation.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has designated International
Waters as one of its four focal areas. GIWA is providing the information
needed for GEF's work in this area.
Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, when announcing the
start of GIWA, stated that "the lack of an
International Waters Assessment has been a unique and serious impediment
to the implementation of on-the-ground action since there exists
no basis on which to identify areas of global priority for intervention."
Töpfer also noted:
"Comparable to the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Biodiversity Assessment, and the
Stratospheric Ozone Assessment, spearheaded by UNEP, the Global
International Waters Assessment will provide the intellectual leadership
in dealing with global environmental problems and threats plaguing
transboundary water bodies."
is a worldwide assessment but is mainly executed in 66 subregions.
It is to a great extent based on the many studies, which exist
or are ongoing at various levels. Close co-operative links to all
relevant bodies and activities, constituting the global GIWA network,
has been established, encompassing exchange of data, co-ordination
of programmes, joint activities etc. Duplication of work must be
avoided. A well-designed network and an active participation of
relevant organisations in all sub-regions is two preconditions
for a successful implementation of GIWA.
Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.
page last modified on Tuesday, August 22, 2006