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International legal Agreements - working together in the environment sphere Massimo Cozzone Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea 4th EU-Central.

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Presentation on theme: "International legal Agreements - working together in the environment sphere Massimo Cozzone Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea 4th EU-Central."— Presentation transcript:

1 International legal Agreements - working together in the environment sphere Massimo Cozzone Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea 4th EU-Central Asia High Level Conference: Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation Bishkek, 13-14 February 2013

2 Advantages for CA countries to work in the framework of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) MEAs allow improving national environmental governance, harmonization throughout the region and progressive approximation to EU legislation MEAs strengthen regional cooperation in Central Asia MEAs provide a sound legal framework coupled with action to support implementation

3 Advantages for CA countries to work in the framework of (MEAs) (cont.) MEAs offer a platform for cooperation between CA countries, EU countries and other actors (international organizations, NGOs, etc) MEAs provide a framework to assess and benchmark progress and impacts of different interventions Parties to MEAs have a strong ownership; also non-Parties actively participate

4 UNECE Environmental Conventions Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context Transboundary Waters Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents Public participation (Aarhus)

5 EXAMPLE: the Water Convention Signed on 17 March 1992 Entered into force on 6 October 1996 Protocol on Water and Health adopted in 1999, entered into force in 2005 Protocol on Civil Liability adopted in 2003

6 Status of ratification of the Convention 38 countries and the European Union Parties Countries in accession Non Parties. Status of ratification of the Convention

7 Main obligations under the Convention Protection of transboundary waters by preventing, controlling and reducing transboundary impacts Reasonable and equitable use of transboundary waters Obligation to cooperate through agreements and joint institutions

8 Two categories of obligations For all Parties => also benefit for national legislation For riparian Parties => the Convention does not replace river basin agreements

9 General obligations for all Parties Licensing of waste-water discharges by the competent national Authorities and monitoring of authorized discharges Best environmental practice for non-point pollution sources Minimization of the risk of accidental pollution Application of Environmental Impact Assessment

10 Cooperate on the basis of equality and reciprocity Enter into bilateral and multilateral agreements or revise existing ones Establish joint Bodies (e.g. river Commissions) Consult and exchange of information Joint monitoring and assessment Elaborate joint objectives and concerted action programmes for shared waters Provisions relating to riparian Parties

11 Holistic approach Transboundary impacts means significant adverse effect on human health and safety, flora, fauna, soil, air, water, climate, landscape and historical monuments or other physical structures, and socio-economic conditions => Looks at economic, social and environmental dimensions of water Covers surface and groundwaters, and links to the recipient seas Catchment area concept => IWRM

12 Not only rights and obligations Becoming a Party = joining an institutional framework Forum for bi/multilateral cooperation Sharing of experience and good practices Capacity building Projects on the ground Address requests on clarifications Assistance to Parties in dealings with riparian countries

13 Soft law tools to support implementation Guide to Implementing the Water Convention (adopted by Meeting of the Parties 2009) Other guidelines: monitoring and assessment, transboundary floods management, etc.

14 Responding to challenges Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change Recommendations on Payments for Ecosystem Services Model provisions on transboundary groundwaters

15 Responding to new challenges Guidance on Water Supply and Sanitation in Extreme Weather Events (under the Protocol on Water and Health)

16 Covers more than 140 rivers, 25 lakes, about 200 groundwaters and 25 Ramsar Sites Involved more than 250 experts from 50 countries Illustrates pressure factors, quantity and quality status, transboundary impacts, responses and future trends Future thematic assessment on the water/food/energy/ ecosystem nexus Assessing results

17 6th Meeting of the Parties ( Rome, 28-30 November 2012 ) Unanimous decision to grant the approval to all future requests for accession from non-UNECE countries Setting up of a Committee on Implementation Thematic assessment on food–water–energy nexus (pilot river basins needed) Decisions on cooperation with GEF & UNESCO

18 Support to implementation and accession EU Water Initiative and NPDs Quantifying the benefits of transboundary cooperation Adapting to climate change in transboundary basins Water-food-energy- ecosystems nexus Opening of the Convention Promotion of the Convention and establishment of strategic partnerships New Programme of Work 2013-2015

19 Amendment 2003: the Convention becomes global Opening up the Convention to countries beyond the UNECE region – accession possible in about a year (a few ratification by Parties still needed) Entered into force on 6 February 2013 Decision by MOP6 clarifies procedure for accession by countries outside UNECE = same process as for UNECE countries

20 Convention Bodies Meeting of the Parties Bureau Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment Task Force on Water and Climate Task Force on Water/Food/Energy Nexus Legal Board Implementation Committee Joint ad-hoc Expert Group on Water and Industrial Accidents UNECE secretariat

21 Achievements and strengths Crucial role in the UNECE region in supporting cooperation Model for many of the existing agreements (Danube, Sava, Bug, Kazakh-Russian, Lake Peipsi, also the Water Framework Directive) Influence on river Commissions Sound legal framework Strong ownership by Parties Extensive participation of non-Parties Continuously evolving Work in partnership: EU, UN agencies, NGOs, etc.

22 Food for thought Objectives coherent with the common priorities of the Platform Potential field of cooperation within this framework: implementation Possible synergies among different MEAs to be considered Partnerships with other stakeholders also to be taken into account for the implementation THANK YOU

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