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ECOLEX, the Gateway to Environmental Law

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ECOLEX is a comprehensive, internet-based information service on environmental law, including natural resources management. As a single site source of comprehensive information on environmental law, ECOLEX comprises four databases, namely international treaties, national legislation, court decisions and policy and law literature.  It provides bibliographic as well as analytical information (abstracts, key words), and links to the original full texts documents.

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The Water Project Toolkit – a guide for water resources management towards sustainable develoment

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The Water Project Toolkit addresses the sustainable development of the water sector and contributes to translating the international development policies on freshwater resources management into actual development cooperation activities. The Water Project Toolkit is intended to be used by sector stakeholders such as governments, private sector, civil society, development partners, Universities and other training institutions, international organisations and all other practitioners involved in the water sector.

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Water banking across regions over time

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The case study highlights collaborative sharing of river water through two different storage approaches:  underground storage across states and surface storage across countries. To address expected shortages of water due to climate variability/change Arizona (U.S.) has developed a water banking program that allows for storage of Colorado River water in aquifers for later recovery.  Also, Arizona has also developed agreements to store water on behalf of neighboring states to allow them to meet future water needs.

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Mutualizing Mediterranean water expertise through a Mediterranean Network of Resources on the water

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Future major water stakes in the Mediterranean have to incite water stakeholders to develop, as of today, a greater cooperation between each other. The proposed solution aims to foster coordination and synergy between the existing euro-Mediterranean water related networks and institutions by mutualizing their different fields of expertise through a “Mediterranean Network of resources on the water”.

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The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention): a legal framework to promote cooperation on transboundary surface and groundwaters and strengthen their protection and sustainable use.

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The Water Convention is the only international framework Convention addressing transboundary water management which is currently in force. Adopted in 1992 and into force since 1996, it aims to strengthen measures at the national and transboundary levels, to protect and ensure the quantity and quality of transboundary water resources — both surface waters and groundwaters, with the overarching objective of resources sustainability.

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The Albufeira Convention: a good example of bilateral cooperation in the management of shared river basins

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Portugal and Spain share five river basins – Minho, Lima, Douro, Tagus and Guadiana – and for this particular situation the two countries have developed cooperation mechanisms on water management. It was imperative to find an answer for coordinated actions in cases of droughts, and floods, and the definition of new criteria and actions for water use in order to guarantee its quality and sustainability. This institutional partnership was underpinned by the need for Member States to coordinate the necessary administrative arrangements within river basin districts regardless of having them within their national territory or not, as is now mandatory under the Water Framework Directive.

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OECD Multilevel Governance Framework:A tool for effective water governance

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In its report “Water governance in OECD Countries – A multi-level approach” OECD addressed the major co-ordination and capacity-building issues related to the design, regulation and implementation of water policies. It focused on three points: the role and responsibilities of public actors in water policy at central and sub-national levels, the governance challenges related to their interaction at horizontal and vertical levels, and the tools and strategies currently in use to enhance governance in the water sector. 

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Cooperation mechanisms for joint management of internationally shared karst groundwaters

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The DIKTAS project has four main goals:

1.    Improving the understanding of the resource and of its environmental status
2.    Establishing cooperation mechanisms among countries
3.    Facilitating the harmonization of policies and priority reforms.
4.    Stakeholders participation, dissemination and replication of activities.

In order to achieve these objectives various cooperation mechanisms are envisaged

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Sustainable and Continuous Cooperation and Collaboration for Mesopotamia Region in a Transboundary River Context

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The purpose :

- To show the importance of water for sustainable regional development (water as a focal point)

- To build continuous bridges between people and institutions across boundaries

- Building a regional water culture through the countries of the region Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria

(Name Mesopotamia, March 21 / Nevruz as a common day, form a regional identity to overcome barriers for exchange)

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International Drought Initiative (IDI)

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Droughts have several economical, social and environmental impacts, depending on their intensity and duration. Occurrence of droughts is a natural event and it is not specific to a region or climatic regime, and it can occur in different climatic and geographic situations. Unlike floods that have limited coverage areas, droughts usually affect vast regions, and this causes a more widespread and extensive range of impacts which last for a long time. Therefore, droughts affect a large number of populations in comparison with other natural disasters. The experiences in developed and developing countries on drought management has proved that besides the level of development, the impacts and consequences of this phenomenon is deep and considerable, even with different characteristics and nature.  With no doubt, the occurrence of this phenomenon is one of the important obstacles in the development process of the countries. As the impacts of this event lasts for a long period, the countries and people who have been affected by this phenomenon are forced to spend extensive financial resources to encounter it during and after the event.

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