Sunday, 23 August 2015. PDF Print E-mail
Co-operative water governance in focus of OSCE seminar at World Water Week in Stockholm
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osce logoThe importance of co-operative water governance for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and its contribution for maintaining security and stability, were the focus of a seminar held today in Stockholm in the framework of the World Water Week.

The seminar was organized by the OSCE, Serbia's 2015 OSCE Chairmanship and the Government of Switzerland.

The 25th World Water Week, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, runs from 23 to 28 August 2015, gathering several thousand experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals.

"Co-operative governance, joint decision-making and co-ordination among different stakeholders in a transboundary river basin have many challenges, but these are outweighed by the long-term benefits that water co-operation has for increased resilience, socio-economic development, and political stability", said Desiree Schweitzer, Deputy Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, at the opening of the seminar.

Aleksandar Nikolic, Serbia's Interior Ministry State Secretary, said: "Uneven distribution, availability and the fact that water sources cannot be renewed, require fundamental changes in water usage. Water is managed according to the principles of unity of the water system and sustainable development, meeting the needs of current generations. At the same time, we must not jeopardise the right and the needs of future generations to do the same for themselves."

Experts from Serbia, Moldova, Switzerland and the UN Economic Commission for Europe discussed the interlinkages between water governance, disaster risk reduction, climate change, and security based on two regional examples: transboundary water co-operation in South-Eastern Europe and the lessons learnt during the response to the floods in May 2014; and bilateral water co-operation between Ukraine and Moldova with a focus on the recent development and endorsement of a strategic framework for adapting to climate change in the Dniester basin.

The discussions highlighted the need of a deeper understanding of the synergies of water and foreign policies and elaborated the roles of different stakeholders in contributing to joint efforts for sustainable development and stability in transboundary river basins.