Agreement On Transboundary Waters

An analysis of the legal architecture would not be complete without acknowledging that, in addition to the UN Convention on Waterways, there are many global conventions that concern, at least in part, cross-border waterways. For example, the Ramsar Convention was adopted in 1971 and currently has 168 contracting parties who are required to promote the judicious use of wetlands on their territory. With respect to international waterways, the Ramsar Convention provides that « the parties consult on the enforcement obligations arising from the convention, particularly in the case of a wetland that extends over a portion of the territory or where a water system is shared by the contracting parties. » About 30% of Ramsar`s sites are located in international river basins. Similarly, the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by 191 parties, aims to promote a sustainable use of biodiversity worldwide. With regard to international waterways, States are required to make themselves known, to exchange information and to hold consultations on activities under the jurisdiction or control of one state that could seriously affect the biological diversity of other states. It should be noted, however, that the legal architecture varies from region to region. Across Africa, there are 59 cross-border river basins, 2 Of these cross-border river basins, 16 are covered by agreements, three are partially covered by agreements and 40 do not have basin-specific agreements.3 In addition, Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland Zambia and Zimbabwe have ratified the revised Common Water Stream Protocol. which applies to the 15 international rivers throughout the southern African region and represents much of the content of the UN Convention on Waterways. The EEC-UN registers cross-border water agreements prior to the Water Convention: Convention on the Protection and Use of Cross-Border Waterways and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN-EEC).