How the communities consider the equity in the UN convention framework on climate change and on international watercourses and the Nile cooperative framework agreement through a human rights approach to ecosystems based capacity-building. A rights writing workshop by the communities during a mediation for the design of the management plan of transboundary biospheres: A tool for human rights and ecosystems-based climate governance?
Human rights, river ecosystems, capacity building, climate change, biodiversity, indigenous peoples, climate responses, indigenous rights,
Anthropology of law
Climate change impacts can be measured in terms of water ecosystems services rights, including a right to biospheres. Local governance of water rights by the communities along with other actors of transboundary biospheres is a key hopespot of the response to climate change. Water ecosystems services rights of transboundary biosphere projects can enhance through legal action national civil society movements for the harmonization of the frameworks for transboundary biospheres pilot projects, and financial cooperation at basin level.
The proposal builds on the current sub-project between GWP, NBI and UNEP ‘Adapting to climate related water induced stress in the Nile basin’.
Building capacities is a key principle and strategy for development assistance and UN reform along with the human rights mainstreaming for United Nations Development Group (UNDG). UNOHCHR has also developed a human rights based approach to governance strategies, including capacity-building. Significantly, capacity-building belongs to country programming as it is embedded in national development strategies. (153) Consultative processes for the regulatory framework formulation of transboundary biospheres would be key opportunities to align the UN development assistance framework and the MDGs as a measurement framework of water related development. The measurement framework can also serve transboundary cooperation through social mobilization for international and regional rights before the regional human rights court.
The aim of the solution is to develop inclusive stakeholders mediation for legal frameworks of water related ecosystems along with water engineering and indigenous knowledge management, in line with UNESCO led Seville strategy for biospheres. Legal mediation for the elaboration of the biosphere protection framework has to raise questions about the interactions between ecological and social indicators of sustainable development: Are the norms a constraint to the planned results? How about the collaboration between state frameworks of climate change responses and customary practices, and leading to coordinated legal frameworks?
 Human Rights Council resolution 2005/68 on the role of governance in the promotion and protection of human rights. ‘A government system marked by transparency, responsibility, accountability and participation, able to meet the needs and the aspirations of the population, including vulnerable and marginalized group members, is the foundation of a good governance, and that such a foundation is the requirement of the full fulfillment of human rights, including the right to development’. Governance mechanisms mean accountability mechanisms such as national human rights commissions, ombudsman, media agency, etc, which enable transparency and the mobilization of the means for service delivery and inclusive access to cross sectoral state services involved in climate change responses as well as citizen participation in decision-making processes. This definition refers to the rule of law components such as a public sensitization/information/education on the international and national legal and policy frameworks of human rights in the prospect of social and judicial reforms. In contrast, the definition of governance by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) emphasized the following components of sustainable development: The state, civil society, and the production sector. Once we combine UNDP meaning with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights definition of governance, a human rights based approach (HRBA) to governance mechanisms would refer to international and regional mechanisms such as a HRBA to Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), HRBA to a fair trade integrated framework, HRBA to the budgetary processes for the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC), HRBA to the administrative reform, the African governance architecture, e.g. the African Peer Review Mechanism and other mechanisms set up in 2010 by the African Union.
 For the international and regional organizations which have not yet adopted the UNOHCHR and UNDP approach of capacity-building as an issue of a human rights-based approach to governance, the notion of capacity-building already means societal transformation, and includes the creation of space for dialogues and partnerships, communities of practice, and incentives for accountability.
 Such as the ones which could be developed for Lakes Rweru, Cyohoha and Akanyaru marshlands as part of the Kagera river basin management project within NELSAP or Mount Elgon national parks as part of the Sio Malaba Malakisi river basin management project within NELSAP, as well as the Boma and Gambella national parks or Dinder parks to be developed for the Abbay river basin management project for ENSAP.
 Such as in the Integrated Management and Development Plan for Lakes Rweru, Cyohoha and Akanyeru marshlands developed by NELSAP, May 2011.
 Use indicators are mostly capacities indicators that enable to deicide about a use and that are linked to the institutions, which govern the response to climate variability and change.
In a key transboundary biosphere – hopespot for climate change adaptation and mitigation of GWP/NBI/UNEP project – where indigenous peoples as the most vulnerable population to climate change live or move, e.g. Mount Elgon national parks, which have been GIS analysed as one of the most vulnerable catchment areas (IUCN, 2011).
 and potentially the two other NBI transboundary protected areas of sub-basins mentioned in footnote 1 as well as other potential key transboundary ecosystems Boma/Gambella classified rainforest parks in Ethiopia and Sudan, and Dinder national parks as well as Rweru and Cyohoha Lakes and Akanyaru marshlands in Rwanda and Burundi, and the tripartite park between Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda which have an impact on environmental flows up to the delta. The environmental assessment of freshwater resources carried out by UNEP in the Africa Outlook Environment 2 raised a significant knowledge gap in the areas of climate variability and change, water pollution and environmental flow. The assessment raised the need for longer term data in areas which do not share transboundary information. As part of the missing data, the governance systems have also been pointed out, along with monitoring systems such as earth observation. The combined earth observation and governance system has not been proposed as part of a rights based approach to climate vulnerabilities assessments.
 A rights-based approach is needed to confirm it.
Who is currently developing this solution?
GWP, NBI & UNEP.
Who should initiate the project? Which actors will be strategic in the implementation?
GWP; IUCN; NBI; UNDP; UNEP; UNESCO; UNOHCHR; AMCOW; AMCEN; African court for human and people’s rights; parliamentarians; legal mediators; donors; social and natural scientists; agriculture, energy, environment, forest, water, wildlife, police, education, tribal health and welfare central authorities; carbon forestry developers; climate change governmental units; private park managers; CSOs.
The following initiatives involving these actors should guide the project:
- UNESCO cross units biodiversity initiative for the assessment of ecosystems services by traditional knowledge within an International Panel, and Seville strategy;
- UNEP Africa Environment Outlook 2 – improved governance system based on catchment units;
- AMCOW and NEPAD transboundary water basin management;
- GWP water and climate (WACDEP) programme.
Who should follow up of the solution at the local level?
Local water councils; customary institutions; legal mediators; donors; social and natural scientists; agriculture, energy, environment, forest, water, wildlife, police, tribal health and welfare local authorities; carbon forestry developers; climate change governmental unit; hydropower and irrigation developers; park managers; CSOs.
 and specifically to balance water uses such as socio-economic needs against ecosystems conservation. Governance systems are thus to be based on data which are known at the very local level, in governmental local agencies and in customary institutions, and are analysed at different levels, i.e. basin level, sub basin, national, sub national up to the lowest administrative level. Biosphere reserves are governance laboratories for the harmonization of the different levels
 The strategic areas of NEPAD short term action plan for transboundary water resources included capacity-building, and the Nile in Eastern Africa has been identified as one focus area. The Nile Basin Initiative is an example of transboundary cooperation through benefits brought about by operational activities. Institutional capacity-building has been identified by AMCOW as one challenge to reach the African Water Vision for 2025 during the Pan African Conference on Implementation and Parnership on Water (PANAFCON 2003).
 along with UNESCO –IHE, FAO, CGIAR, UNDP Cap Net, and the United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health.
What is the current development status of the solution (if relevant, please describe the steps already taken and on-going /planned activities leading to the full development and preliminary testing of the solution?
A legal framework has been endorsed for the NELSAP Sio Malaba Malakisi river basin management by the Nile Basin Council of Ministers, and Mount Elgon biosphere is part of the hydrological unit of Sio Malaba Malakisi sub basin of the Nile. The above mentioned approach could be part of the technical committee activities.
Preliminary testing: The history of norms coping with resource scarcity developed by traditional leaders has been identified as a foundation to develop by-laws during participatory workshops for the elaboration of a wetlands protection management plan, i.e. Sio Siteko in Mount Elgon vicinity, addressing trees and vegetation cover.
 However the approach is not one of ecosystems services assessments and cultural biodiversity based on the recognition and enforcement of the self determination right of the UN Declaration on indigenous peoples and other rights tools.
Key question your solution aims to answer and how does that fit with the target:
The question is as follows: How can the interpretation of equity in the equitable utilization principle of the UN Convention on international watercourses integrate all existing climate change responses approaches, i.e. ecosystems and rights-based adaptation and mitigation, water engineering and social behavioural change of indigenous knowledge through multi-stakeholders dialogue with the customary institutions for an inclusive spatialization of the protection of the ecosystem/catchment of Mount Elgon in the legal architecture of sub-basin and greater basin protection and management?
The political acceptance and implementation of the multi-leveled principle of equitable utilization will be increased through the self-determination and participation rights.
The solution is an emerging initiative for a joint project between the intergovernmental institution of the Nile Basin Initiative, and Global Water Partnership. It is a human rights based approach to capacity-building through the participation of multi-stakeholders in the design and implementation of management and development plans of key transboundary biospheres of sub river basins. The solution will inform the current debates of the joint GWP/NBI/ UNEP project on the social and environmental policy of the Nile Basin Initiative, as well as environmental protection guidelines for the interpretation of the equity principle in international climate change law for the set up of an International Panel on Biodiversity, i.e. indigenous knowledge for the assessment of water ecosystems services. In addition, the solution could inform the equitable utilization in international and regional watercourses law: Case study in a transboundary biosphere of a sub basin of the international Nile river – Mount Elgon water tower of the Sio Malaba Malakisi sub river basin. Governments of the Nile region are currently developing basin wide power and power trade projects through two programmes that are led by the Nile Basin Initiative for transboundary investments. The Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) is the mandated civil society platform by the intergovernmental organization NBI, which is authorized to discuss its policies and practices. As a result, NBD set up a range of national multistakholders platforms to discuss NBI comprehensive study on power options and facilitate the implementation of NBI projects. NBI transmission lines projects do not affect the transboundary districts of the Sio Siteko wetland, and the wetland is protected by NBI to provide ecosystems services through the implementation of a community-based management plan in partnership with the East African Community. Ecosystems services are important for small hydropower production and the linkages between water, food and energy security. The assessment framework of climate impacts on water in the Nile Basin has been produced by the joint project UNEP/GWP/NBI and first results will soon show flows modelling and scenarios of climate projections for the watershed of Mount Elgon vicinty. Results will show areas for further analysis on the interface between research and policy-making, based on a multistakeholder dialogue for climate resilience of government agencies, research institutions, NGOs and other social actors at local and national level to reduce basin wide vulnerability. For example, ICT-based education that will prepare youth local parliaments for options of transboundary climate adaptation is to be designed through a research project to better understand how the ability of indigenous youth can be enhanced through radio broadcasting on their phones to plan for and respond to climate-induced water challenges at a scale which is transboundary. Outputs: • Knowledge of adaptation strategies among peer groups, such as indigenous youth, will be conveyed during UNFCCC adaptation knowledge day, May 2013, and may inform the set up of an International Panel on biodiversity; • Communication strategy of the existing joint project fine tuned to target the most vulnerable ones, e.g. indigenous youth through radio broadcasting and other youth friendly media, i.e wireless phones for their participation in harmonised climate adaptation and mitigation in transboundary areas to test case harmonised frameworks of climate change/sustainable development policies at a national, sub regional, regional, and continental level, e.g. AU, East African Community and NBI frameworks, all equipped with ecosystems and human rights tools.
The solution is a monitoring framework. Therefore, it has long term impacts.
Next step: Mediation for the formulation of biospheres indicators, please see note 12. The indicators should inform the UNDAF indicators as a step for the harmonization of transboundary IWRM in national action plans for adaptation and mitigation. The indicators would focus on disaggregating data and specific indigenous rights, e.g. right to participation in public affairs of biospheres management. Sectoral public policies would then been informed for transboundary integrated water management responses, if aligned with rights-based monitoring mechanisms of development policies in the PRSPs according to UNOHCHR guidelines and UN -RCM aid effectiveness, to cross check GIS evaluations of water stress.
 during the capacity-building approach of ecosystems-based river basin adaptation, for a assessment of ecosystems services and cultural biodiversity. Please see footnote 12.
 As a remainder, the main methodological issue of the human rights implementation, hence monitoring and evaluation framework, which has been defined during a three years process accross all UN agencies, civil society and academia, is about a reliable date generation source: ’To be useful in monitoring the implementation of human rights treaties, quantitative indicators have to be explicitly and precisely defined, based on an acceptable methodology of data collection, processing and dissemination, and have to be available on a regular basis. The main methodological issue relates to the sources of data and data generating mechanisms.’ (HRI/MC/2003.3)
 Meta data on water have already been identified for the health and nutrition attribute of the right to life as well as all attributes of the right to adequate standard of living. They should be further informed by an analysis of the legal obligations of the States as to water ecosystems services, based on ratified conventions, constitutional guarantees, legislations, policies, strategies, NAPAs and NAMAs, and the stance with regards to the international declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and indigenous rights corpus, e.g. consultation. As part of the country level process, the report on indicators for promoting and monitoring the implementation of human rights, HRI/MC/2003/3, states a focus on non discrimination and accessibility indicators, rather than availability, cf paragraph 39, p.18. The report identified for the selected 12 human rights, and water is involved in the health and nutrition attribute of the right to life, some of the attributes of the right to health as well as the attributes of the right to adequate housing, and all attributes of the right to participate in public affairs. The report list of some of the structural, process and outcome indicators of the latter that can be found here, and some can be generated – the participation right has only one MDGs indicator. The alignment of the MDGs and thus poverty reduction strategy papers with the water ecosystems rights needs to be deepened according to the non discrimination principle for vulnerable populations affected by climate change responses, i.e. indigenous peoples.. The non discrimination principle is enshrined in the UN Declaration on indigenous peoples. The role of national human rights commissions has been included in the abovementioned report. They are the institutions to ensure emerging indigenous rights to ecosystems services assessments.
- List of illustrative indicators on the right to participate in public affairs (UDHR, Art. 21) (* MDG related indicators)
Right to participate attributes: Exercise of legislative, executive and administrative powers; access to public service positions
• International human rights treaties, relevant to the right to participate in public affairs, ratified by the State;
• Date of entry into force and coverage of the right to participate in public affairs in the Constitution or other forms of superior law;
• Date of entry into force and coverage of domestic laws for implementing the right to participate in public affairs, including freedom of opinion, expression, information, media, association and assembly;
• Quota, time frame and coverage of temporary and special measures for targeted populations in legislative, executive, judicial and appointed bodies;
• Type of accreditation of national human rights institutions by the rules of procedure of the international coordinating committee of national institutions;
• Number of registered and/or active non-governmental organisations (per 100,000 persons) involved in the promotion and protection of the structural right to participate;
• Date of entry into force and coverage of legal provisions guaranteeing access to public service positions without discrimination;
• Date of entry into force and coverage of administrative tribunals or dedicated judicial redress mechanism for public service matters;
• Proportion of received complaints on the right to participate in public affairs investigated and adjudicated by the national human rights institution, human rights ombudsperson or other mechanisms and the proportion of these responded to effectively by the government.
• Number of legislations adopted by national and sub-national legislatures during the reporting period;
• Proportion of cases filed in administrative tribunals and dedicated judicial redress mechanism for public service matters adjudicated and finally disposed during the reporting period;
• Proportion of seats in parliament*, elected and appointed bodies at sub-national and local level held by women and target groups;
• Reported cases of denial of access to public service or position on account of discrimination;
• Proportion of public service positions held by women and members of target groups.
24.04.08 All indicators should be disaggregated by prohibited grounds of discrimination, as applicable and reflected in metasheets’
Who should be most interested in the solution?
Youth initiatives of the Nile basin, research institutes on the role of youth as agents of change for transboundary cooperation, governments, media, wildlife and conservation authorities, buyers of carbon credits such as international organizations and investors as potential funding partners of the Nile Basin Initiative and future Nile river commission who are interested in climate mitigation to fund adaptation, indigenous peoples and governments would have to strengthen their collaboration capacity through mediation to adopt internalized norms for ecosystems services assessments in climate change responses, and to enforce them through community self-policing as the most dynamic method of norms enforcement
In what context do you think this solution could/would work best and why?
Where vulnerable people affected by climate change, i.e. indigenous peoples (UNOHCHR 2008) such as fisher groups, pastoralists and forest peoples, are concentrated at the borders within transboundary waterscapes whose ecosystems services they contribute to sustain through their knowledge to ensure their maintained spiritual, political, social, economic and cultural relationship to the resource. In addition, mobility corridors is an ancient climate resilience method to cross the borders for human and animals drinking water points as well as non timber and non poaching income generation, e.g. hunting, fishing and gathering.
To upscale the solution: Interparliamentary intiatives for young indigenous peoples’s parliaments for transboundary cooperation in water, land and ecosystems reform.
What is the minimum investment necessary (in terms of human resources, time, energy, infrastructure, financial resources, political will, etc) in order to effectively implement this solution?
Increased financial resources of UNEP/GWP Eastern Africa sub project within the whole programme ‘Adapting to climate change induced water stress in the Nile river basin’, i.e. US$ 374000 on US$ 3.2 Million.
What projects/programmes inspired this solution?
UNESCO biosphere reserves network, which has a few transboundary freshwater biospheres to ensure a transboundary experience sharing for environmental social mobilization towards litigation against illegal logging and environmental degradation of a UNESCO biosphere, as well as recently created transfrontier parks such as the Great Limpopo park in the Incomati basin. In the Incomati basin, a water sharing agreement has been signed to translate the equity principle into measurable and enforceable commitments, guided by the UN international watercourses convention and the SADC Protocol on shared watercourses.
A project is being developed between GWP, NBI and UNEP including the division for environmental policies implementation, and the division for early warning and assessments. The project has planned a mapping of hotspots and hopespots within the basin to define ecosystems-based adaptation options at all levels. As a second step, a dialogue for ecosystems-based adaptation and mitigation will be ensured.
In the four options proposed in the draft future design -September 2011 version- of the Nile river organization, protecting the ecosystems was not to be addressed in two options. Biospheres laboratories on the responsibilities between the international community and state management would however enable the funding of disasters prevention.
Nile Basin Initiative