4.5 - Inter-ministerial Committees and Commissions
GEF IW project experiences in inter-ministerial committees and commissions is available here.
Responsibilities for water resources development and management are often fragmented over many sectors. Solutions should be cross-cutting throughout the decision-making process in different sectors and at different levels.
GWP describes such IMC committees as Apex bodies (http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=11). Apex bodies consist of a range of entities such as high level steering groups within national governments, inter-agency task forces (for specific purposes e.g. water pollution control), and international consortia for the management of water resources. The aim of such bodies is to provide structures for co-ordination between different organisations involved in water resource management. In some cases water policy and management is centred in a specific body of government but in many situations responsibility for water is shared between a number of bodies (e.g. ministries for irrigation, environment and public works) that may not be able to operate easily together. Here an apex body may provide a useful co-ordinating function.
The functions of these bodies vary considerably. As many governments endorse and seek to use IWRM, the intended outcomes include:
- Improved co-ordination of government functions through integrated plans of action
- Structural change within government agencies to facilitate better co-ordination
- Creation of new departments or commissions and authorities for natural resources management, aligned to river basins and/or ecological zones
The role of an apex body depends on the economic, social and encompassing political issues, even more than on the technical IWRM issues.
The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River has established guidance and FAQs on commissions (http://www.icpdr.org/main/icpdr/10-frequently-asked-questions-international-commission-protection-danube-river)
Nico Willemse, Project Manager of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (UNDP-GEF), provides some lessons on developing a transboundary basin commission.