Objectives, Scopes and Activities
presentation by Prof. Per Wramner,
GIWA Scientific Director
| GEF | The need for GIWA
| The objective of GIWA ]
The execution of GIWA | The
preparation of GIWA | The work plan ]
[ Expected outcomes ]
(Global International Waters Assessment) is a four-year GEF-funded
project executed by UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme).
It is a systematic and comprehensive assessment of the environmental
conditions and problems in international (transboundary) waters comprising
marine and freshwater areas, and surface waters as well as groundwaters.
covers the entire globe and is designed to identify not only existing
and emerging ecological problems but also their societal root causes
and barriers to be overcome in solving them.
Assessment will be carried out in a systematic and coherent manner
and its focus will be regional (i.e., region by region assessment).
(the Global Environment Facility) promotes international co-operation
and fosters actions to protect the global environment. It provides
funding to developing countries and those with economies in transition
for projects and activities targeting global benefits in one or more
of four focal areas - Biological Diversity, Climate Change, the Ozone
Layer, and International Waters.
assistance complements traditional foreign aid by covering the additional
costs (agreed incremental costs) involved in extending national or
regional development projects to target also global environmental
most GEF projects a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) is carried
out. A TDA is a systematic review of the transboundary environmental
issues afflicting the particular region of interest, and an analysis
of their probable causes and of the stakeholders involved in the problem
and its potential solution.
Waters is the only one of GEF's four focal areas which does not address
a single global convention. As a result, it has often proven difficult
to prioritise projects addressing International Waters, particularly
given the insufficient understanding of the nature and root causes
of environmental problems in this field. International Waters lack
an assessment comparable with that of the International Panel on Climate
Change, the Global Biodiversity Assessment and the Stratospheric Ozone
need for GIWA
there exist a number of assessments of separate aspects of International
Waters, there is no holistic assessment of the kind needed to develop
an intergovernmental consensus on priorities for action by the GEF.
This is a serious impediment to the implementation of the International
Waters focal area of the GEF.
limited funds available for addressing transboundary water problems
make it necessary to agree upon funding priorities. Actions aimed
at resolving environmental problems in International Waters usually
focus on removing the symptoms of environmental degradation but neither
identify nor address its root causes. Such actions also frequently
fail to identify the geographical boundaries of the problem. The boundaries
of the area, where the problem itself is observed, seldom encompass
the location of the cause. Objective information, which helps to pinpoint
the ecological status and the societal root causes of environmental
problems as well as the barriers to be overcome in solving them, is
clearly a valuable asset for improving the design of assistance projects
addressing International Waters.
objective of GIWA
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.
project aims at producing a fully comprehensive and integrated global
assessment, encompassing the ecological status and causes of environmental
problems of transboundary freshwater basins and their associated coastal
and ocean systems.
also aims at providing scientific and other information that may be
used by other national, regional and global bodies and activities
in the field of International Waters, such as the Regional Seas Programme
and the Global Programme of Action on the Protection of the Marine
Environment from Land-Based Activities.
execution of GIWA
is executed by UNEP in collaboration with the University of Kalmar,
partners are the Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS);
the City of Kalmar, the Government of Finland; the International Council
of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and its Scientific Committee on Problems
of the Environment (SCOPE); the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific
Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP); the Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP); the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA); the World Bank; and the World Water Council
project cost for which funding is secured amounts to 14 million USD
for the four-year period. GEF finances half of it and the other half
is financed by Finland, the City of Kalmar and the University of Kalmar,
NOAA, SIDA and UNEP.
there is an urgent need for additional funds, as well as contributions
in kind, especially for activities in industrialised countries and
there are ongoing sectorial and thematic assessments at the global
level, which will contribute to GIWA. Their costs amount to about
15 million USD.
ongoing regional and national assessments may contribute to GIWA.
Their costs have not been estimated but are probably higher.
will be co-ordinated by a Core Team located in Kalmar. The Team will
consist of 4-6 professionals plus supporting staff, and will be headed
by a Scientific Director.The Core Team will be advised by, and report
to, the Steering Group.
of the work will, however, be carried out regionally. The basic units
of assessment will be 66 subregions
grouped into nine megaregions. For each subregion, a Focal Point and
for each megaregion a Task Team will be appointed. They will in most
cases be based in or attached to an existing organisation already
undertaking similar activities.
main task of the Core Team is to initiate, co-ordinate, facilitate
and evaluate the subregional assessments. It is anticipated that governments
and international governmental organisations participate through involvement
of scientific and technical experts, policy makers etc., and by providing
is, however, not primarily a data gathering exercise. Only data required
for a stepwise, iterative analysis of transboundary water-related
problems and their causes will be gathered. Scenarios will be drawn
up which reflect the continuation of current practises and the adoption
of sustainable alternatives.
Chain Analyses will be an important tool in bringing this about. GIWA
will make full use of existing assessments and all other available
information. Duplication of work must be avoided. Co-operation with
and linkages to all relevant international and national organisations
will be established.
preparation of GIWA
was responsible for the preparation of GIWA, with the help of a grant
from GEF. The pre-project preparatory phase has been completed and
reported in the approved Project Document, which constitutes the basis
for the implementation of GIWA.
pre-project preparatory work included definition of the thematic analytical
scope of and development of the geographical framework for GIWA. The
thematic definition comprised, inter alia, the following components:
of water-related environmental issues with transboundary consequences.
About 25 such impacts (physical, chemical, biological etc.) were
of primary socio-economic forces causing water-related environmental
degradation. About 25 socio-economic root causes were identified,
divided into policy, governance and legal failures, institutional
failures, economic or market failures and information failures.
of a matrix illustrating the interactions between major concerns and
issues. A matrix was developed which shows how different kinds of
degradation of transboundary waters affect each other.
of a methodology for examining the status and causes of the identified
problems through a Casual Chain Analysis. The chosen methodology is
based on the identification of the sequence of causes for environmental
problems in International Waters through a hierarchical chain extending
from the scientific and technical to the socio-economic and policy
levels. A Casual Chain Analysis is a series of statements that demonstrate
and summarise, in a stepwise manner, the linkages between problems
and their underlying causes. When properly supported with quantitative
information, the chain can be reversed and used to study the implications
of different policy options in the improvement or worsening of environmental
development of the geographical framework comprised the division of
the world into a series of areas based upon a mix of environmental,
biogeographical and geopolitical factors appropriate for the purpose
of GIWA. The main determining factor was the integrity of each unit
in terms of encompassing the major causes and effects of environmental
problems associated with each transboundary water area, whether river
basin, groundwater, lake or sea. As GIWA focuses on linkages between
transboundary freshwater and marine systems, even though other aquatic
issues are also included, a drainage area and associated marine basin
(usually a Large Marine Ecosystem) turned out to be the most appropriate
units in many cases. Based on these criteria the 66 areas (subregions)
were identified. A Large Marine Ecosystem constitutes a major component
of 46 subregions.
work plan of GIWA
will be implemented in four phases, each lasting about one year.
the first phase, work will concentrate on the establishment
of the GIWA network and development of an assessment protocol. The
network will consist of national experts and institutions, regional
and global collaborating bodies, GIWA Co-ordinators (Focal Points
and Task Teams) etc., organized around the 66 geographic units of
assessment (subregions) and nine major regions (megaregions). The
Core Team will convene the necessary expert consultations for the
completion of a GIWA Assessment Protocol and identify the needs for
Thematic Task Teams. The Protocol will encompass a preliminary analytical
tool for the analysis of the ecological status of water-related environmental
issues and their societal root causes and includes, inter alia, agreed
methodologies for conducting Casual Chain Analyses and Transboundary
Diagnostic Analyses in International Waters.
the second (analytical) phase, experts and institutions will
gather and analyse the information necessary for applying the GIWA
Assessment Protocol at the subregional level. The Focal Points, the
Regional Task Teams, and the Core Team will assist them and, where
necessary, the Thematic Task Teams. The subregional assessments will
be commenced and, as far as possible, completed during this phase.
the third phase (the predictive and policy options analysis phase),
scenario development and policy options analysis will be carried out.
The expected principal product will be a scheme for placing priorities
on transboundary water-related environmental issues in the various
subregions. Other products will be megaregional and subregional scenarios
of the future state of International Waters based on different development
trends etc., a global analysis of the societal causes of identified
water-related concerns and a global overview of the relative importance
of the various major concerns by region.
the fourth (dissemination) phase, the work will concentrate
on the preparation and dissemination of the global and regional GIWA
products, such as reports, reviews, databases etc. that are easily
comprehensible to various sectors of society. They will be freely
available through electronic communications, on CD-ROM and, where
strictly necessary, in hard copy. GIWA should not remain a desk exercise
but should make its results available to the public in general, to
educational institutions, to national authorities, to international
outcomes of GIWA
following results are expected to come out of GIWA:
assessments of the ecological status of International Waters,
including ecological priorities at the regional and global scales.
framework for GEF projects to decide upon appropriate management interventions,
including remedial and mitigatory actions.
of more sustainable approaches to the use of water and its associated
resources at regional, national and local levels.
for the conduct of Casual Chain Analyses and Transboundary Diagnostic
Analyses for use in GEF International Waters projects.
considerable increase in leveraged co-financing as a result of improved
focusing and credibility of future interventions and projects.
baseline of information at the regional and sub-regional levels which
will facilitate the preparation of Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses.
a preliminary consideration of the importance
of the major water-related concerns and principal issues for each
of the 66 subregions. It is based on the Project Document, a literature
review and consultations of experts.
expected results will be used by GEF, other donors, governments, international
governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations etc.
will also be designed to provide data needed for the implementation
of the Action Plans of the Regional Seas Programme and the Global
Programme of Action on the Protection of the Marine Environment from
will be comparable to the global assessments of the other three focal
areas of GEF (Biological Diversity, Climate Change and the Ozone Layer)
and will provide the intellectual leadership in dealing with International
Waters which is so urgently needed.