International Workshop on Transboundary Water Management

August 17, 2005 | Helsinki, Finland

The primary objective of the workshop was to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the results and modalities of operation of international river and lake basins in a global perspective. Objective, scientifically-valid, and knowledgeable policy analyses of the experiences (both good and bad) of international freshwater bodies are surprisingly scarce at present.

The workshop considered comprehensive analyses of international rivers and lakes, and the institutions that are responsible for their management. Specific case studies were commissioned from developed and developing countries, as well as from countries in transition. The main objective was to identify best practices for managing international water bodies based on lessons learnt from managing such basins from different parts of the world.

The case studies included 12-14 major river and lake basins of the world. The case studies considered issues like:

  • Analyses of water regimes, political situations, social, political and environmental conditions, both past and present.
  • Mandates, modalities, histories, successes, failures and evolutions of the management practices in each basin.
  • What are likely to be the best management practices for specific cases, and how and why would do they work.
  • What could be learnt from the case studies so that successes could be duplicated but failures can be avoided.
  • What type of technical and management capacities are needed to replicate the best practices, and how these capacities can be developed.

Leading authorities, with first hand knowledge of the specific cases, were invited to prepare the case studies. These case studies were objectively and critically reviewed at the invitation-only workshop at Helsinki. The workshop was jointly organised with the Helsinki University of Technology.

Conference report