UNEP Announces First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations Mon, Aug 19, 2013

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Freshwater basins get boost from new forum. Image copyright International Network of Basin Organizations

Fortaleza, 16 August 2013 - The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today the first International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations, which is aimed at strengthening transboundary freshwater governance and ensuring the environmental sustainability of these vital resources, during the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) 9th General Assembly.

The Forum will create a global platform for basin organizations - as well as other relevant actors such as international financial institutions, secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements and other UN Agencies - to work together towards stronger governance and management of transboundary freshwater bodies through the adequate integration of environmental considerations and responses to challenges faced by freshwater basins.

The Forum is scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 26 to 28 November 2014 and will be organized in close cooperation with INBO and the Royal Thai Government.

"Through this Forum, UNEP, as the United Nation's leading authority in the field of the environment, is responding to calls from basin organizations from around the world," said Bakary Kante, Director of UNEP's Division of Environmental Law and Conventions. "The aim is to catalyze and facilitate improved responses to one of the world's most pressing environmental challenges of our time: to strengthen transboundary freshwater governance in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of these vital resources for present and future generations".

Basin organizations will have a unique opportunity to share experiences and best practices in meeting the environmental challenges they face and to discuss new approaches, build concrete partnerships and establish mechanisms for improving their capacities.

The expected outcomes of the Forum include:

  • The establishment of a regular platform for basin organizations to debate and work towards improving the governance and management of transboundary freshwater resources;

  • Strengthened legal, policy, financial and institutional mechanisms to support basin organizations in meeting environmental challenges for both surface and groundwater resources;

  • Priority actions to strengthen the ecosystems in transboundary basins applicable to both surface and groundwater resources identified by stakeholders; and

  • Increased political and institutional support to international cooperative frameworks for the sustainable management of transboundary basins.

For more information on the Forum, please contact:

Lara Ognibene, +254 20 762 3106, lara.ognibene@unep.org

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