Inception Meeting for the UNESCO-IHP and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) multi-country cooperation in the Bug and Neman Transboundary River Basins and aquifer systems


UNESCO-IHP and UNECE are preparing a Full-Sized Project: “Fostering multi-country cooperation over conjunctive surface and groundwater management in the Bug and Neman Transboundary River Basins and the underlying aquifer systems”, funded by UNDP/GEF. They are organizing an inception meeting in Minsk, Belarus from 16 to 17 May 2018. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure a common understanding among Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland and to align the project objectives with national policies and priorities, review key stakeholders and agree on the preparation of the final Project Document. The final Project Document will be submitted to the Global Environmental Facilitiy (GEF) Secretariat for approval.

The proposed project aims to promote regional cooperation in order to better study and assess the regional surface and groundwater resources systems that support the high diversity of rich terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the four beneficiary countries. The transboundary water-bearing system forms the basis of the "Bug and Neman Basin" ecological corridor also related to UNESCO´s sites each: West Polesie Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Belarus, Poland or Ukraine) and Białowieża Forest Transboundary World Heritage site (Belarus and Poland).

This project shall improve the technical and scientific evaluation of the often underestimated dependence of aquatic ecosystems on groundwater. An important aspect of the project is the application of the UNESCO Ecohydrology studies, also considered in the UNESCO World Water Development Report 2018 "Nature Based Solution for Water" published this year.

The project proposed by UNESCO and UNECE to GEF will help the participating countries to achieve a better understanding of the ecological situation and enhance the management and protection of their water ecosystems. It shall have a duration of four years, starting in 2019.


Type of Event Working group
Start 16.05.2018 09:00 local time
End 17.05.2018 17:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Aureli, Alice
Country Belarus
City Minsk
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, Russian
Estimated number of participants 30
Official Website IHP
Link 1 Nature-based Solutions for Water
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4