Experience Note: The Dnipro Agreement: Negotiations and Technical Cooperation Surpassing Expectations
2007: The concept for the Dnipro Basin Environment Programme (DBEP) was approved in December 1999. The project was established by the three riparian countries to develop a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Basin and to achieve agreement on a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for protection and recovery of the river and its tributaries. The DBEP project was implemented during a time of considerable change in the region. In particular, the political and economic relationships between the three former Soviet republics changed dramatically. A decision was reached prior to project launch that the effort should proceed despite there being no legal basis in place for joint development and implementation of a Dnipro Strategic Action Plan. Even without a formal legal basis, the DBEP created and maintained strong country buy-in and ownership. The DBEP experience provides valuable lessons for managing transboundary projects in areas facing political upheaval and shifting alliances. The TDA/SAP development approach taken, including the gradual introduction of a legal framework, can be replicated in cases where agreements at project commencement are not achievable. The Dnipro project has demonstrated how GEF projects can proceed to build acceptance for TDA/SAP processes in the absence of a convention or other legal structures in place, enabling a common understanding to be forged concerning water quality issues, and paving the way towards negotiations on binding agreements.
27 Nov 2014