International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Legal and Institutional Frameworks

31 May 2019
Coordinate by Ivan Zavadsky of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).

In just 20 years, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) has become a global role model for the transboundary management of shared river basins around the world. Since it was established in 1998 by the Danube River Protection Convention, the ICPDR has served its member countries as a highly successful platform for the integrated management of water resources across the Danube River Basin. It has enabled countries to work together to assess the health of the Danube river and develop basin wide plans to address priority issues such as pollution, climate change, flooding, impact of hydropower generation and navigation. The ICPDR serves as a vital learning hub and platform for the exchange of experiences and innovation between countries facing vastly different economic and environmental challenges. 

During the session, the participants working on projects in shared transboundary waters were provided with information to provide a case-study analysis and replicable examples in order to:

(a) Identify commonalities in challenges in successful projects;

(b) Identify solutions that work;

(c) Learn from shared lessons

The participants moved to the more interactive part of the workshop with the River Basin Organisation Game, providing them with a structure of facilitated activities in game format for them to work together to explore problems and solutions.

The players took on the roles of policymakers in ten countries that share the same river basin. They had to create the necessary setup to answer match the increasing multiple water uses. In order to achieve this goal, effective collaboration and information exchange must be established between stakeholders both within and across the borders. Since the goals of participating countries overlap, the game provides an opportunity for practicing the search for solutions and cooperation at international level.

The RBO Game gave participants a unique opportunity to get an insight into challenges of water resources management on transboundary level, building on the first part of the workshop. The aim of the game is thus to provide an opportunity for creating a fictive RBO based on their understanding of the needs of countries in a given river basin, focusing on specificities, commonalities and challenges, from legal, institutional and financial viewpoints but also in the current setup of a changing climate.

The game approach allowed the participants to work in an interactive setup with a structured set of facilitated activities for all participants to work together to explore problems and solutions while creating the institutional setup for an RBO.

Legal and institutional set up of the ICPDR   
Ivan Zavadsky (Executive Secretary) shared experience of the legal and institutional arrangements of the ICPDR
Legal and institutional principles for effective basin organisations   
The presentation delivered by Ivan Zavadsky (Executive Secretary, ICPDR) touched on basin-specific legal frameworks, the role of the secretariats and decision making in a river basin organisation. Experiences and key lessons learned from around th...