Institutions for International Freshwater Management


This report describes selected bi- and multilateral institutions for the management of international river basins, lakes, and aquifers. It provides comparative information on various institutional aspects such as scope of authority, internal structure, decisionmaking procedures, and dispute settlement mechanisms. The aim of the report is to support and complement the PCCP Desk Study Conflict and Cooperation in the Management of International River Basins, Lakes, and Aquifers: A global Review, which identifies the state of the art concerning conflict and cooperation in managing international water resources.1 In addition, the information contained in this report may be a source of inspiration for policy makers, decision makers, legal advisors, and negotiators, and lead to a better understanding of institutions for international freshwater management in general.

The treaties, conventions, and agreements, which established and created the various institutions, have been the primary source of information for this report. In addition, other – mostly electronic – sources have been used to obtain information on the various institutional frameworks and their current basin development plans, programs, and policies. It should be noted, though, that there is no pretence to exhaustiveness. In fact, the Development Law Service will be grateful for suggestions on how to improve the accuracy and completeness of coverage.

M. Spreij, working under contract with the Development Law Service, has prepared this report. Overall supervision and final editing have been the responsibility of S. Burchi, Senior Legal Officer with this Service.

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