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Global Water Links For regional bodies, agreements and networks — see Regions and network

UN organizations and agencies

  • UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
    The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world's oceans and seas. It is an umbrella convention which establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. In so doing, it embodies in one instrument traditional rules for the uses of the oceans and at the same time introduces new legal concepts and regimes and addresses new concerns. The Convention provides the framework for further development of specific areas of the law of the sea. -- The site includes the full text of the Convention, as well as information on Marine Resources and Marine Environment. Here you will also find links to a variety of International Organizations and Institutions. There is also information on Settlement of Disputes; links to Documents and Publications; Education and Training; and a search function to all Oceans and Law of the Sea documents.

  • UN Commission on Sustainable Development, UNCSD
    The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of the UN Conference on Environment and Development; to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. ----- The site offers reports from CSD Meetings, various background documents, and reports on intersessional activities. See also more information on the Sustainable Development Web Site, including links to CSD Update Newsletter; Major groups; Global agreements and commitments; National information - Guidelines; Indicators of sustainable development; Success stories; and Learning Centre. Here you will also find various topics, including ocean and seas; and freshwater. Furthermore, the CSD site provides the UN Comprehensive Assessment of the Freshwater Resources of the World. This report of the UN Secretary General to the Session of the CSD and to the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in 1997, is an outcome of the United Nations - Stockholm Environment Institute Freshwater Assessment Project. The report deals with The Supply, Availability and Use of the World's Freshwater Resources; Water Challenges - A 30 Year Outlook; Conclusions and Policy Options.

  • UN Development Programme, UNDP
    The UNDP mission is to help countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable human development by assisting them to build their capacity to design and carry out development programmes in poverty eradication, employment creation and sustainable livelihoods, the empowerment of women and the protection and regeneration of the environment, giving first priority to poverty eradication. On the UNDP site one finds the GEF unit of UNDP and the UNDP/GEF Project Portfolio on International Waters. See also the UNDP Sustainable Development Network Programme, and the joint UNEP-European Commission Poverty and Environment Inititiave.

  • UN Environment Programme, UNEP
    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is built on a heritage of service to the environment. Established as a follow-up to the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP is the environmental conscience of the United Nations system, and has been creating a basis for comprehensive consideration and co-ordinated action within the UN on the problems of the human environment. Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

    The UNEP site includes the Regional Seas Programme with Regional Action Plans, Regional Conventions, and information on environmental threats to the sea, environmental assessment and environmental management.

  • UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO
    The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations.
  • Global Environment Facility, GEF
    GEF is a multilateral financing mechanism created in 1991 to address global environmental issues that do not normally get funded through national, bilateral, and international finance. GEF is currently the principal international funding mechanism for the global environment. The GEF site links you to information on GEF Projects; Operation policies; Partners, etc.

  • International Maritime Organization, IMO
    IMO is responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution to water and air from ships. On the IMO site you find information on the organization itself, and on conventions on marine pollution, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL 73/78. IMO is also the secretariat for the Convention on the Prevention of Maritime Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (LDC) 1972).

  • United Nations Regional Economic Commissions
    The UN has five Regional Economic Commissions, which are subsidiary bodies to the UN Economic and Social Council (see also the Regional Commissions Development Update).

  • World Meteorological Organisation, WMO

    The Global Climate Observing System, GCOS, was established in 1992 by WMO, IOC, UNEP, and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). The objectives are to insure the acquisition of data to meet the data for: Climate system monitoring, climate change detection and response monitoring especially in terrestrial ecosystems; Application of climate information to national economic development; Research toward improved understanding, modelling, and prediction of the climate system.

    The overall objective of the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme, HWR is to apply hydrology to meet the needs for sustainable development and use of water and related resources; to the mitigation of water-related disasters; and to effective environmental management at national and international levels. These needs relate to the planning, design, operation and management of water projects, including forecasting and control. The HWR consists of three mutually supporting component programmes: Operational Hydrology Programme (OHP) - Basic Systems, including HOMS; Operational Hydrology Programme (OHP) - Applications and Environment; Programme on Water-related Issues. Links to a collection of other sites addressing issues of hydrology and water resources can also be found on the WMO site.

    The Global Runoff Data Centre is operated under the auspices of WMO and closely co-operates with other UN-agencies, international organisations and research institutes. The major activities of the GRDC include the collection and dissemination of river discharge data on global scale. WMO, with the support of the World Bank, promotes the development of a World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS). The first regional WHYCOS component is the Mediterranean Hydrological Cycle Observing System - MED-HYCOS project - hosted by the Institute of Research for Development with its MED-HYCOS Pilot Regional Centre. The MED-HYCOS information system is based on a World Wide Web to Database connectivity dealing with managing and numerical/graphical processing of Hydro-Meteorological data.

  • World Health Organization, WHO
    Information on world health issues and the work of WHO can be found on this site, including Water, Sanitation and Health. The Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, June 1999, arranged by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, adopted a Protocol on Water and Health to the UN ECE 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

  • The World Bank
    The World Bank Development Topics include environment; fisheries & aquaculture; health, nutrition & population; rural development; urban development; and water. Water is organized under four major themes: Hydropower; Water supply & sanitation; Water resources management in rural development (including agricultural irrigation and drainage); and Environmental dimensions of water resources management (such as freshwater, coastal and marine resource management). Combined, these four main themes are part of an integrated water resources management approach to address the cross-cutting issues of water throughout the various sectors and regions of the Bank's work.

    The site of the World Bank GEF Unit gives you information in the World Bank GEF database about ongoing and completed projects, as well as on the Project Development Fund (PDF) List 4 and Bank-GEF Enabling Activities.

  • UNDP/ World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme
    Unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation are among the most serious problems facing the developing world today. More than a billion people in rural and urban areas lack access to the most basic water and sanitation services. The environmental and social costs especially to women and children are enormous. The UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Program is a partnership that directly addresses these problems.

    Other international organizations

  • European Environment Agency, EEA
    "The goal of the EEA and its wider network, EIONET (the European Environment Information and Observation Network) is to provide the European Union and the member states with high-quality information for policy-making and assessment of the environment, to inform the public, and to provide scientific and technical support to these ends." EIONET gives, for example, further links to National Focal Points in EU states, National Focal Points in Phare states - including their State of the Environment Reports - and to the joint European Topic Centres and National References Centres (on air emissions; air quality; inland waters; land cover; marine and coastal environment; nature conservation; soil; waste. See EEA Topical Centre on the Marine and Coastal Environment and EEA Topical Centre on Inland Waters.

  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES
    ICES is the oldest intergovernmental organisation in the world concerned with marine and fisheries science. Since its establishment in Copenhagen in 1902, ICES has been a leading scientific forum for the exchange of information and ideas on the sea and its living resources, and for the promotion and coordination of marine research by scientists within its member countries. Since the 1970s, a major area of ICES work as an intergovernmental marine science organization is to provide information and advice to Member Country governments and international regulatory commissions (including the European Commission) for the protection of the marine environment and for fisheries conservation.

  • Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection, GESAMP
    GESAMP is a multidisciplinary body of independent experts nominated by the Sponsoring Organisations. Its mission is to provide advice to the Sponsoring Organisations, at their request, on pollution and other problems that face marine and coastal environments. Each Sponsoring Organisation nominates one to four experts according to its interests in the substantive work for the session. Experts appointed to the Group should act in their individual capacities.

    GESAMP activities include the preparation of an assessment report "The State of the Marine Environment: Current Major Issues and Emerging Problems". This considers the degradation of coastal ecosystems and habitats, over-fishing and fishing of so-called "under-utilised species", threats from alien species, aquaculture as a source of environmental problems, pressure from tourism and a reduction of marine bio-diversity. The final report will be published in 1999. Work is under way preparing a report on land-based sources and activities affecting the quality and use of marine, coastal and related freshwater environments. The report reviews, among others, available information on the input of nutrients, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the seas through the atmosphere. --- Preparations are also under way for a global report on the state of the marine environment to 2002.

  • U.S. National Oceanic and Atmoshperic Administration (NOAA)
    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmoshperic Administration (NOAA) is a multivaried environmental scientific agency composed of the National Ocean Service, National W eather Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Environmental Satellite Data, and Information Service, and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. The creation of NOAA in 1970 "was the result of a series of decisions which recognized the importance of the oceans and atmosphere to the nation's welfare and economy".

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD
    Information on, for example, OECD activities in CCET, the Centre for Co-operation with the Economies in Transition, including the Special Country Programme and the joint OECD and EU Phare SIGMA programme in Support of Good Governance in Central and Eastern Europe.Here you find also information on OECD work on environmental issues: OECD responsibility for the EAP Task Force for the Implementation of the Environmental Action Programme for Central and Eastern Europe (EAP) as part of the Environment for Europé Process. Information is also provided on OECD work on Sustainable Consumption and Production, projects on Environmental Health and Safety, and on Pollution Prevention and Control.

  • World Conservation Monitoring Centre, WCMC
    WCMC is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in the location and management of information on the conservation and sustainable use of the world's living resources. The WCMC site will guide you to global data on biodiversity and information relating to WCMC's activities in this field.
    • Freshwater Biodiversity: A Preliminary Global Assessment
      This document has been prepared on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its purpose is to provide useful information on inland waters and their biodiversity to a wide audience, ranging from those interested in the state of the world environment generally, to those needing an overview of the global and regional context in order to improve planning, management and investment decisions.
    • WCMC Marine Programme
      WCMC maintains a large amount of information relating to marine and coastal environments and their conservation. Particular attention is devoted to mapping sensitive coastal ecosystems.

  • World Conservation Union, IUCN
    The Union’s Mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The World Conservation Union today has over 900 governmental and non-governmental members from 138 countries. The Union is a global network of networks with over 8,000 scientists and field practitioners from government and non-governmental organisations working voluntarily and works with and through its members and strategic partners -- grassroots, governmental, intergovernmental, academic, research, corporate. See, for example, IUCN's Marine and Coastal Programme, and the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative with the Wetlands and Water Resources Programme.

    Global conventions, agreements and declarations

    Agenda 21Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, and the Forest Statement were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 1992.

    The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session. See also the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

    Water Security in the 21st Century
    The Ministerial Declaration of the Hague World Water Forum (March 2000).

  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD
    The CBD site provides information on Conference of the Parties; the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA); the Convention itself (History & Background, Articles of the Convention, Ratification List); Financial Resources and Mechanism; Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM); Key Thematic Areas (National Reports, the 1995 Jakarta Mandate on marine and coastal biodiversity, Biosafety etc.); Documents (Official CBD Documents), and COP Decisons; Database Events (Meetings and Events up to COP V); contact info, etc. See also the Global Biodiversity Assessment.

  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, FCCC
    The FCCC web site includes the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol (full text) and information on the issue of climate change. Here one also finds country information from the Contracting Parties, as well as scientific reports and reports from Conferences of the Parties. See also the web site of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS
    The Oceans and Law of the Sea site includes the full text of the Convention, as well as information on Marine Resources and Marine Environment. There is also information on Settlement of Disputes; links to Documents and Publications; Education and Training; and a search function to all Oceans and Law of the Sea documents.

  • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks
    According to the Convention, coastal states and states fishing on the high seas shall, inter alia, adopt measures to ensure long-term sustainability of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks and promote the objective of their optimum utilization.

  • Intenational Whaling Convention
    The site of the International Whaling Commission, IWC, gives information on history and purpose of the Convention; Membership; Secretariat; Meetings and Procedures; Conservation and Management; Scientific Research; Dolphins and Porpoises; and Scientific Publications.

  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL 73/78
    The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, was adopted in 1973. It covers all the technical aspects of pollution from ships, except the disposal of waste into the sea by dumping, and applies to ships of all types, although it does not apply to pollution arising out of the exploration and exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources. Five Annexes cover regulations for specific kinds of pollution.

  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
    There are some 1,000 wetland sites, totalling 71.3 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The Ramsar web site provides information on the Convention and Climate Change; Coral Reefs; Environmental Impact Assessment; Global Water Crisis; Mangrove Forests; Peatlands Coastal Ramsar sites; Toxic Chemicals; Wetland Biological Diversity; Wetland Loss and Degradation; Wetlands and Arid Zones. Regional wetland information is given about the Arab States, the Baltic States, the Mediterranean Region, and the Small Island Developing States.One also finds information on wetlands and the Pan-European Biological & Landscape Diversity Strategy; Man and the Biosphere Reserves, and a list of World Heritage Sites that are also Ramsar Sites. Country-specific wetland information is also available.

    Action programmes and initiatives

  • PEMSEA - Partnerships in environmental management for the Seas of East Asia
    Eleven countries in East Asia work together in the PEMSEA programme to protect the life support systems of the Seas of East Asia and to enable the sustainable use of resources through intergovernmental, interagency and intersectoral partnerships.

  • Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, GPA
    This web site of the Co-ordination Office of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). UNEP was designated GPA Secretariat, with the task to promote and facilitate implementation of the GPA at the national level; promote and facilitate implementation at the regional, including subregional, level through, in particular, a revitalization of the Regional Seas Programme; and play a catalytic role with other organizations and institutions in implementation of the GPA at the international level. See also, for example, the GPA Clearing-House Mechanism for regional seas and costal zone management, and the GPA News Forum.

  • Framework for Action
    The Global Water Partnership, GWP, is responsible for the development of this framework. "Concrete and realistic programmes of action will be needed. While the Vision will describe possible future scenarios and indicate where to go, the Framework for Action will be a route map of how to get there. It will identify the milestones in the process and the policy measures, management instruments, investment priorities and the implementation strategy required to reach those milestones". The Framework for Action is developed to translate the Vision in to practical action.

  • World Water Vision
    Guided by the World Commission on Water in the 21st Century and managed by the World Water Vision Unit hosted by of the UNESCO Division of Water Science. The World Water Vision "aims to develop a massive public awareness of the risks of major water problems as a result of inaction, as well as encourage innovative thinking on how these problems can be tackled. It should encourage and empower people to participate in devising and implementing solutions to these water problems. And it should generate the political commitment to turn this increased public awareness into effective action". See also the UN World Water Development Report (a combined effort by 24 UN organizations to create a biennial assessment of the worldÕs freshwater).

    Research institutes

  • International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management, ICLARM
    An international research organization "devoted to improving the productivity, management and conservation of aquatic resources for the benefit of users and consumers in developing countries". ICLARM is one of the research centres of CGIAR, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. ICLARM, in collaboration with the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners, and with support from the European Commission, has developed FishBase, a global information system on fishes for research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase contains full information on 23,500 species. ICLARM has also developed similar systems on coral reefs and their resources (ReefBase) and management of fish stocks in Asia (TrawlBase).

  • International Council for Science, ICSU
    ICSU is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1931 to bring together natural scientists in international scientific endeavour. It comprises 95 multidisciplinary National Scientific Members (scientific research councilsor science academies) and 25 international, single-discipline Scientific Unions to provide a wide spectrum of scientific expertise enabling members to address major international, interdisciplinary issues which none could handle alone.
  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, IGBP
    IGBP is an interdisciplinary scientific activity established and sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU). The Programme was instituted by ICSU in 1986. The IGBP is focused on acquiring basic scientific knowledge about the interactive processes of biology and chemistry of the earth as they relate to Global Change. The goal of the programme is to describe and understand the interactive physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the total Earth system, the unique environment that it provides for life, the changes that are occurring in this system, and the manner in which they are influenced by human actions. See also the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone International Project, LOICZ.

  • Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI
    The Stockholm International Water Institute is an umbrella organization for global water-related scientific activities initiated in Stockholm. SIWI activities include the organisation of the annual Stockholm Water Symposium and the Stockholm Water Prize which is an international environmental award presented by the Stockholm Water Foundation annually in honor of outstanding achievements in science, engineering, technology, education or public policy related to protection of the world´s water resources.

  • UN University: International Network on Water, Environment and Health
    "Marshalling global resources more effectively to solve water problems in the developing world". The U.N. General Assembly has called "for the highest priority to be given to freshwater problems facing many regions, especially in the developing world." The International Network on Water, Environment and Health is a new member of the U.N. University family of organizations. It was created by the U.N. University Governing Council in 1996 with core funding provided by the Government of Canada to strengthen water management capacity, particularly of developing countries, and to provide on-the-ground project support. It does so "with minimal overhead and the flexibility to assemble teams from different disciplines and countries with the precise skills and expertise required to meet a given need".

  • World Resources Institute, WRI
    Since its establishment in 1982 World Resources Institute has used information and knowledge as tools to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. WRI conducts policy research, publicize policy options, encourage adoption of innovative approaches and provide strong technical support to governments, corporations, international institutions, and environmental NGOs. WRI's areas of work include oceans and coasts and water resources (as well as economics, forests, biodiversity, climate change, governance, sustainable agriculture, world resources, business; and health. See also, for example:
    • the Global Marine Strategy with a focus on people and fishing communities, to be implemented between 2000 and 2003;
    • Watersheds of the World, an assessment of the ecological value and vulnerability of the world's watersheds.

  • Worldwatch Institute
    The Worldwatch Institute is dedicated to fostering the evolution of an environmentally sustainable society - one in which human needs are met in ways that do not threaten the health of the natural environment or the prospects of future generations. The Institute seeks to achieve this goal through the conduct of inter-disciplinary non-partisan research on emerging global environmental issues, the results of which are widely disseminated throughout the world.

    Water-related networks, NGOs and dedicated water information directories

  • Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea, ACOPS
    ACOPS is a private, independent, non-political organisation funded by a variety of foundations, governmental and intergovernmental institutions, and private individuals. Established in 1952 as one of the world's first environmental NGOs, ACOPS originally concentrated on encouraging international agreements to reduce marine oil pollution. Since then, ACOPS has expanded its interests to include land-based sources of marine pollution, as well as other aspects of degradation of the coastal and marine environment.

  • African Water Page
    This information service, published by Water Policy International ("an association of independent international consultants engaged in development throughout the world, primarily in the water sector") provides material on the water sector in Africa and elsewhere.

  • Clean Islands International, Inc
    Clean Islands International, Inc. is a non-profit non-governmental organization with international members who are dedicated to providing educational and technical assistance to island communities for the preservation and beautification of indigenous natural environments and the sustainable development of proper solid waste handling practices.

  • eSeFDee Marine Sciences Portal
    eSeFDee Marine Sciences Portal is offered as a free service to the marine scientific community, to managers and decision makers, and in general, to anyone interested in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

  • European Rivers Network, ERN
    ERN is a non profit NGO. The aim of ERN, is to unite associations and organisations working on rivers and to increase communication between these organisations in order to better preserve the natural rivers in Europe. See also International Rivers Network, IRN.

  • Global Rivers Environmental Education Network, Green
    GREEN represents an innovative and action-oriented approach to education based on an interdisciplinary watershed or catchment education model. GREEN's mission is to improve education through a global network that promotes watershed stewardship and sustainability.

  • Global Water Partnership
    The Partnership, founded in 1996, is an international network open to all parties involved in water resources management, e.g. governments of developing as well as developed countries, UN agencies, multilateral banks, professional associations, research organisations, the private sector and NGO's.

  • Greenpeace
    See international Greenpeace campaigns relating to the Oceans and Ocean Dumping.

  • International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
    Established 1950 as a scientific, technical and voluntary not-for-profit NGO in India. The Commission is "dedicated to enhancing the worldwide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands through appropriate management of water, environment and application of irrigation, drainage and flood management techniques. The ICID mission is to stimulate and promote the development and application of the arts, sciences and techniques of engineering, agriculture, economics, ecological and social sciences in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood management and river training applications, including research and development and capacity building for achieving sustainable irrigated agriculture.

  • International Commmission on Large Dams
    A non-governmental international organization "which provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering. Leads the profession in ensuring that dams are built safely, efficiently, economically, and without detrimental effects on the environment". Founded in 1928 and has National Committees from 80 countries (practising engineers, geologists and scientists from governmental and private organizations, consulting firms, universities, laboratories and construction companies).

  • International Coral Reef Initiative
    ICRI is an environmental partnership that brings stakeholders together with the objective of sustainable use and conservation of coral reefs for future generations. ICRI is an informal mechanism that allows representatives of over 80 developing countries with coral reefs to sit in equal partnership with major donor countries and development banks, international environmental and development agencies, scientific associations, the private sector and NGOs to decide on the best strategies to conserve the world's coral reef resources.

  • International Lake Environment Committee
    ILEC was established in 1986 with the objectives to: "promote environmentally sound management of lakes and reservoirs around the world; collect and provide information of the environments and management of the lakes of the world; promote research on the environmental management of lakes; support developing countries for their environmental management of lakes and for environmentally sound development planning of lake resources; organize training on the environment and managemental of lakes: support the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for its activities that contribute to the lake environment conservation in developing countries; promote interchange with governmental agencies, local organizations and research institutes in Japan and the world that are engaged in international cooperation for conservation of lake environments". ILEC is currently preparing a Survey of state of the World Lakes" (to be completed in 2001) and offers a World Lake Database. The ILEC Foundation has been designated as a supporting organization to the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (UNEP/IETC).

    See also the UNEP-sponsored MSSL (Mullard Space Science Laboratory) and WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Centre) Global Lake and Catchment Conservation Database, which can be searched alphabetically or through clickable maps.

  • International Office for Water
    IOW is a non-profit-making association with the objective "to gather public and private partners involved in water resources management and protection in France, Europe and in the world (bi- and multi-lateral cooperation organizations, ministries, water agencies, local communities, universities, engineering schools, research centers, land development companies, water suppliers and professionals, industrialists, professional associations, non governmental organizations) in order to set up a real partners' network". IOW now comprises 149 member organizations.

  • International Ocean Institute
    The IOI was founded in 1972 as an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. The IOI Network currently consists of ten Operational Centres spanning the globe. The IOI has prepared working papers for UNCLOS III (1973-1981); the Preparatory Commission for the International Seabed Authority; and for the International tribunal for the Law of the Sea (1982-1994), as well as for various governments. It has provided consultants to UNEP, the World Bank, UNIDO, and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee. The IOI mission is "to promote education, training and research to enhance the peaceful uses of ocean space and its resources, their management and regulation as well as the protection and conservation of the marine environment, guided by the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind".

  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
    The mission of the IISD is to promote sustainable development indecision-making internationally and within Canada. IISD contribute new knowledge and concepts, analyze policies, identify and disseminate information about best practices, demonstrate how to measure progress, and build partnerships to amplify these messages.

  • International Rivers Network
    IRN was established in 1985 as a non profit all-volunteer organization of activists experienced in fighting economically, environmentally, and socially unsound river intervention projects. IRN's mission is to halt and reverse the degradation of river systems; to support local communities in protecting and restoring the well-being of the people, cultures and ecosystems that depend on rivers; to promote sustainable, environmentally sound alternatives to damming and channeling rivers; to foster greater understanding, awareness and respect for rivers; to support the world wide struggle for environmental integrity, social justice and human rights; and to ensure that our work is exemplary of responsible and effective global action on environmental issues.

  • International Water Association, IWA
    The International Water Association (IWA) is an International membership organisation dedicated to the promotion of best practice in water supply,wastewater collection and treatment, water pollution control and water quality management. IWA has a diverse range of members that include engineers,scientists, managers,economists administrators working in water and wastewater utilities, consulting companies, academia and research, manfacturers and suppliers, government departments and agencies from over 130 countries.

  • International Water Law Project
    The management, regulation and conservation of transboundary water resources have become increasingly important subjects of international law. The International Water Law Project web site provides information and links on international water law and policy and related topics.

  • International Water Resources Association
    "IWRA has strived to improve water management worldwide through dialogue, education, and research for over 25 years. -- actively promoted the sustainable management of water resources around the globe. -- The belief that sustainability requires interdisciplinary action and international cooperation is a driving force behind the association. IWRA seeks to improve water resource outcomes by improving our collective understanding of the physical, biological, chemical, institutional, and socioeconomic aspects of water. -- IWRA is about networking people, information, and organizations that are vitally concerned with the global sustainability of water resources. IWRA is one of nine founding members of the World Water Council."

  • IW-Learn
    A network of "forward-looking project managers, educators, and government officials who are working to build a global knowledge community." The purpose of IW (International Waters)-Learn is "to improve the health of the earth's great transboundary water systems - its endangered oceans, river basins, and coasts. Through new technologies on the World Wide Web, IW-Learn supports transboundary conferencing, teaching, negotiation, and collaborative research." IW-Learn is financed primarily by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with participation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The GEF inter-agency International Waters Task Force will serve as the IW-Learn Steering Committee. IW-Learn is an NGO network operating through the Tides Center, a San Francisco- and Washington-based NGO that provides administrative and fiscal support services to social justice and environmental action programs.

  • LakeNet
    "A global network of people and organizations responsible for the conservation and sustainable development of lakes." LakeNet goals include: to promote a sustainable and integrated approach to managing lake watersheds, an approach that involves all stakeholders, including governments, business and industry, nongovernmental organizations, researchers and scientists, and citizens; to share lake and watershed management experience, practices and technologies; to strengthen the institutional capacity for managing lakes, particularly those considered to be among the "great lakes" of the world; to raise awareness about the values of and threats to lakes around the world; and to elevate the status of lakes in international, national, regional and local policy discussions and funding decisions.
    LakeNet is published by Monitor International, a US-based nonprofit organization working in partnership with others to conserve biological diversity, protect cultural heritage and promote sustainable development of marine and freshwater ecosystems throughout the world.

  • Marine Stewardship Council
    The MSC is a charitable, not for profit, non-governmental, international organisation set up to promote sustainable fisheries and responsible fishing practices worldwide, through developing long term, market based solutions, which meet the needs and objectives of both the environment and commerce. Central to the purpose of the MSC are its Principles and Criteria (i.e. Standard) for Sustainable Fishing, against which independent certification companies may certify fisheries, on a voluntary basis.

  • NetCoast
    NetCoast is an Online Guide to Intergrated Coastal Zone Management. The Dutch Coastal Zone Management Centre provides "worldwide support for proper coastal zone management planning and services for sustainable development in coastal zones. Among its tasks: information dissemination and exchange, including the development, implementation and maintenance of NetCoast.

  • RiverNet
    The aim of RiverNet is to provide world-wide information on river-basins, ecological projects on rivers, organisations working on rivers and on the threats, as dams and canal-projects. RiverNet is a service provided by ERN, the European Rivers Network (NGO).

  • Water Academy
    An organization with a vision "to foster the existence of a community of experts with the purpose of aiding in the management and use of water for the benefit of all mankind. The Academy's objectives are "to be a community of innovators and facilitators from science, business and government who address and assist key-decision makers world wide. to be involved in the making of tangible improvements in high impact water resource issues through communication, relationships, and co-operation in the search for common benefits and solutions".

  • Water Aid
    "The UK's specialist development charity working through partner organisations to help poor people in developing countries achieve sustainable improvements in their quality of life by improved domestic water supply, sanitation and associated hygiene practices".

  • Water for Food and Rural Development
    The objective of the Water for Food program is to develop a widely supported vision on the critical issues and trends or discontinuities affecting the water for food and rural development sector over the next 25 years together with strategic directions the sector should follow. The Water for Food and Rural Development program is a set of knowledge-building and consultative activities carried out by the Water for Food and Rural Development collaborating partner organizations. The program is a part of the World Water Vision exercise. The Water for Food and Rural Development Program is headquartered at the World Bank in Washington DC.

  • Water and Nature
    The Vision of Water and Nature is one of three Sector Visions (the others are Water for People, and Water for Food) that will be combined with Regional Visions for many parts of the world to form a common Vision for Water Life and the Environment (World Water Vision) for the 21st Century. Development of the World Water Vision is being led by the World Water Council. IUCN -- World Conservation Union has been asked to undertake the process of developing the Sector Vision for Water and Nature.

  • Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
    The WSSCC is "a cross between a professional association and an international NGO". Operates with a mandate from the UN General Assembly, but is not affiliated to the UN. Established in 1990 at the end of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade. Its purpose is to maintain the momentum of the Decade, by providing a regular way for water and sanitation sector professionals to exchange views and experiences and develop approaches which will mean faster achievement of the goal of universal coverage. The WSSCC missionis "to accelerate the achievement of sustainable water, sanitation and waste management services for all people, with special attention to the unserved poor, by enhancing collaboration among developing countries and external support agencies and through concerted action programmes".

  • Water Web
    The Water Web consortium housed at the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, has been created to promote the sharing of information concerning water and the earth's environment. Water Web's goals are to advance water related issues, promote the use of quality information, and share information with water use stakeholders and decision makers. The organization has a global focus with initial participants from North, Central & South America and Europe. See also the WaterWeb Ring, established to assist users in finding water related sites.

  • Wetlands International
    The mission of Wetlands International is to sustain and restore wetlands, their resources and biodiversity for future generations through research, information exchange and conservation activities. Wetlands International is the world's leading non-profit organisation concerned with the conservation of wetlands and wetland species. It comprises a global network of governmental and non-governmental experts working on wetlands. Activities are undertaken in more than120 countries world wide.

  • World Commission on Dams
    The WCD is an independent and international commission established in May 1998. Its objectives are to undertake a global review of the development effectiveness of large dams and to develop internationally acceptable criteria and guidelines for future decision–making on dams. The Commission is to review the development effectiveness of dams and assess alternatives for water resources and energy development, and to develop internationally-accepted standards, guidelines and criteria for decision-making in the planning, design, construction, monitoring operation and decommissioning of dams.

  • World Conservation Union
    IUCN was created in 1948, now "the world's largest conservation-related organisation, bringing together 76 states, 111 government agencies, 732 NGOs, 36 affiliates, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership". Its mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable". IUCN has promoted sustainability and helped over 50 countries to prepare and implement National Conservation Strategies. See IUCN Marine and Coastal Programme.


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.
    E-mail: info@giwa.net

    page last modified on zondag 4 december 2011