International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network
Abidjan Convention
“This Convention shall cover the marine environment, coastal zones and related inland waters falling within the jurisdictions of the States of the West, Central and Southern African region, from Mauritania to South Africa, which have become contracting parties to this convention.” Under Article 16 of the Abidjan Convention, the United Nations Environment Programme (“UNEP”) is designated as the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention. Furthermore, as the Contracting Parties are meant to cooperat...
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is governed by two multilateral conventions: The Amazon Cooperation Treaty, which was adopted in Brasilia, Brazil on 3 July 1978 and entered into force on 2 August 1980; According to Article XVI, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty shall not “be to the detriment of projects and undertakings executed within their respective territories, according to International Law and fair practice between neighboring and friendly countries.” In addition, under Article XIX, the Amazon Cooperation...
Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution
The Compliance Committee sees its role as “to facilitate implementation and compliance with obligations under the Barcelona Convention, taking into account the special situation of each of the Contracting Parties, in particular those which are developing countries.” The Compliance Committee will consider reports of non-compliance from one Contracting Party regarding another Contracting Party, inquiries from a Contracting Party regarding its own compliance efforts, and referrals from the Secre...
Bay of Bengal
After the Member States develop their National Plans of Actions for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (through the various national workshops), the countries are supposed to work together to develop a Regional Plan of Action that involves the management of transboundary species and specific management plans for major commercial species (such as the work that the BOBP-IGO has undertaken with regards to the hilsa and shark fisheries). In addition, the BOBP-IGO will disband if the number of M...
Black Sea
In 1992, the riparian states of the Black Sea participated in the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. The European Union is considered an “important partner of the Black Sea Commission, and provides substantial contribution to the protection of the Black Sea.” In 2008, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU countries and the countries of the wider Black Sea region issued a joint statement to initiate the Black Sea Synergy cooperation.
Cartagena Convention
The Cartagena Convention’s area of application comprises the Wider Caribbean Region, defined as “the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlantic Ocean adjacent thereto, south of 30 deg[rees] north latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic coasts of the [Contracting Parties]” (“Convention Area”). Unless specified in the Protocols, the Convention Area does not include the internal waters of the Contracting Parties.
Caspian Sea
The Tehran Convention applies to the “marine environment of the Caspian Sea, taking into account its water level fluctuations, and pollution from land based sources.” Pursuant to the Strategic Action Programme (“SAP”) originally drafted and approved at the Tehran Steering Committee Meeting where the Tehran Convention was adopted, the scope also extends, in addition to the Caspian Sea proper, to “the coastal areas up to 100 km inland.”
Columbia River Basin
The total area of the Columbia River Basin is 668,400 square kilometers. Approximately 101,900 square kilometers of the Basin (or 15.25%) is in Canada, while 566,500 square kilometers of the Basin (or 84.75%) is in the United States. The Columbia River Basin covers area in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah and the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Danube River Basin
The Danube River Basin is shared by nineteen countries, covering approximately 801,463 square kilometers. The Danube River Basin extends from the origination of the Danube River in Germany to the Romanian and Ukrainian shores along the Danube Delta and the Black Sea.
Franco-Swiss Genevese Aquifer
The Genevese Aquifer extends over 19 kilometers underneath the southern extremity of Lake Geneva and the Rhône River across the border between France and Switzerland. The width of the aquifer varies between 1 and 3.5 kilometers. An average of 15-17 million cubic meters of water are extracted annually from the subterranean aquifer by the Swiss and the French.
Guaraní Aquifer System
The Guaraní Aquifer System extends from the central-west region of Brazil into Paraguay and the southeastern and southern regions of Brazil, and into northeastern Argentina and central and western Uruguay…It has an estimated total surface area of approximately 1.2 million square kilometers (839,800 km2 in Brazil, 225,500 km2 in Argentina, 71,700 km2 in Paraguay, and 45,000 km2 in Uruguay). The portion within Brazil encompasses about two-thirds of the total areal extent of the System, and incl...
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
The Conservation and Management Measures Compliance Committee “reviews all aspects of compliance with ICCAT conservation and management measures in the ICCAT Convention Area, with particular reference to compliance with such measures by ICCAT Contracting Parties.” The Permanent Working Group for the Improvement of ICCAT Statistics and Conservation Measures “obtains, compiles and reviews all available information for the fishing activities of non-Contracting Parties, for species under the purv...
Joint (Fisheries) Development Zone between Jamaica and Colombia
The Maritime Delimitation Treaty between Jamaica and the Republic of Colombia (“Maritime Delimitation Treaty”) was signed on 12 November 1993 in Kingston, Jamaica and came into force on 14 March 1994 when Jamaica and Colombia exchanged the instruments of ratification.
Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is located in Africa’s Western Great Rift Valley. The lake is divided between the four Contracting States, with the DRC and Tanzania possessing the majority of the lake’s area. Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest lake, the second largest freshwater lake by volume (18,940 km3), and the second deepest (1,470 m).
Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization
The LVBC Protocol defines the Lake Victoria Basin as the “geographical area extending within the territories of the Partner States determined by the watershed limits of the system of waters, including surface and underground waters flowing into Lake Victoria.”
The Mekong River Basin is the land area surrounding all of the streams and rivers that flow into the Mekong River. The MRC governs the Lower Mekong River Basin—which includes parts of Vietnam, nearly one-third of Thailand, and most of Laos and Cambodia.
Niger Basin
The Niger River is the third longest river in Africa, running 4,200 km with an average annual flow of 180 km3. The basin itself covers an area of 2.2 million km2. The Niger River’s two main branches constitute its hydrological system, reinforced by tributaries from Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Benin. More than 100 million people currently reside in the Niger Basin.
Nile River Basin Initiative
The Nile River Basin encompasses ten countries, extending from its origination at Lake Victoria to where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The basin area covers about 3.3 million square kilometers. The countries it passes through are Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Kenya.
Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS)
The NSAS is one of the largest aquifers in the world and spans approximately 2 million square kilometers across Libya, Egypt, Chad and Sudan
Okavango River Basin
The Okavango River has its source in the Cuito and Cubango Rivers in Angola. The river flows uninterrupted through Namibia to Botswana and discharges an average of 10 billion cubic meters per year to the Okavango Delta. The area of the Okavango Delta fluctuates between 6,000 to 8,000 square kilometers during the dry season, swelling to 15,850 square kilometers during the flood season.
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)
The SDS-SEA defines the Seas of East Asia as those bordered by China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Of these, the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea, the Sulu-Celebes Sea, and the Indonesian Seas are of particular economic and ecological importance.
Rio Grande/Rio Bravo
The Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) has its origin at the Continental Divide in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado in the United States and cuts through the middle of New Mexico to the junction of Texas and Chihuahua, where it serves as the international boundary between Mexico and the United States. Article 4 of the Water Treaty allocates between the United States and Mexico the waters of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) between Fort Quitman, Texas, United States and the Gulf of Mexico.
Senegal River Basin
The Organization for the Development of the Senegal River (“OMVS”) has full legal capacity and the power to enter into contracts, acquire and dispose of property, receive donations, subsidies, legacies and other gifts, request loans, apply for technical assistance, and institute legal proceedings. The Council of Ministers (“Council”) is the legal representative of the OMVS and can delegate the legal authority needed to exercise the aforementioned powers to the High Commissioner.
South China Sea
The South China Sea is generally considered to comprise the portion of the Pacific Ocean that stretches from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca in the southwest to the Taiwan Strait in the northeast.
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
The SADC region contains fifteen major internationally shared river basins. The water basins include: the Buzi, Congo, Cuvelai, Incomati, Kunene, Limpopo, Maputo-Usutu-Pongola, Nile, Okavango, Orange-Senqu, Pungwe, Ruvuma, Save-Sabi, Umbeluzi, and the Zambezi. The water basins all vary in size, with the smallest being the Umbeluzi which covers 10,900 square kilometers, while the largest is the Congo Basin which covers 3,691,000 square kilometers.
The Rhine
There are also coordinated reports for the areas of operation in the Rhine international river basin district (the Alpenrhein/Bodensee, High Rhine, Upper Rhine, Neckar, Main, Middle Rhine, Mosel/Saar, Niederrhein, and the Delta Rhine), as well as national management plans for Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, France, Germany (broken down by different regions in the country), Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Under Article 5(6) of the Convention, the Contracting Parties must immedia...
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
In terms of the Commission’s CMMs, according to Article 10, the Commission is authorized to regulate the quantity and size of a species or stock that can be caught, the level of fishing effort, fishing capacity (such as limits on fishing vessel numbers, types and sizes), the areas and periods open for fishing, the fishing gear and technology that can be used, as well as fishing in particular subregions of the Convention Area. For example, any fishing vessel that is not on the Record of Fishin...
North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS)
The NWSAS covers over 1,000,000 square kilometers of which 700,000 are in Algeria, 80,000 in Tunisia, and 250,000 in Libya. It includes the two main aquifers in the region—the Intercalary Continental and the Terminal Complex.