Governance of climate and technological risks in transboundary water bodies
In the management and governance of both natural and technological hazards and risks, understanding of multi-hazard and multisector risks is becoming increasingly relevant – and challenging, as acknowledged in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and more recently, translated into the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) Roadmap 2021-2030, among other DRR-related strategies. Extreme weather-events, many of which are in turn hydro-meteorological events (floods, droughts, landslides or storms), are increasing due to the changing climate. More intense and more frequent extreme whether events may have cascading effects, triggering technological disasters. A clear governance response to climate change in the context of technological risks is still to be developed in many countries. This session will discuss challenges and good examples of how countries and organizations worldwide address the link between climate change, natural hazards and technological risk management in transboundary lakes and river basins, with a focus on governance.
The session aims to:
- Enhance understanding of how good practices and multi-hazard/multi-risk approaches can be mainstreamed into DRR strategies and governance structures, notably national platforms and river/lake basins organisations.
- Present examples on how governance can be enhanced through implementation of international legal instruments, notably the Water and Industrial Accidents Conventions.
- Discuss how the Sendai Framework and the EFDRR Roadmap 2021-2030 can inspire further actions to strengthen governance and risk management.
- Identify challenges and good practices in countries developing transboundary cooperation mechanisms.
- Highlight how actions strengthening governance and transboundary cooperation can support the cross-fertilization of SDGs.
Participate in this session
- Mr. Niels Vlaanderen- Co-chair of the Task Force on Water and Climate Change of the UNECE Water Convention, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands
- Ms. Armine Hayrapetyan - Co-chair of Intergovernmental Working Group on EFDRR Roadmap 2021-2030, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Armenia
- Mr. Laszlo Balatonyi - Priority Area Coordinator (PAC),EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), Environmental Risks Priority Area (PA5)
- Mr. Bountieng Sanaxonh - Director of Planning Division, Mekong River Commission
- Mr. Bob Alfa - Director, Water Resources Planning, Water Resources Commission, Ghana
Learn more about international legal instruments and policy guidance which can help countries develop comprehensive and integrated policies and governance to strengthen multi-hazard/multi-risks approaches to DRR.
Where do we stand
As the climate change adaptation and technological risks in transboundary water bodies become areas of particular importance for countries, the UNECE provides countries with policy guidance and needs-driven assistance. Timely action and decisions of the policy decision-makers are needed, and more than ever in a coordinated manner. The UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention; a global instrument with Parties beyond the UNECE region and significant engagement from focal points and stakeholders worldwide) offers mechanisms and guidance to coordinate measures to adapt water management practices, including related to river basins, to climate change across borders. The UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (Industrial Accidents Convention) assists countries in the identification of technological hazards and the management of related risks; it proposes viable guidance documents and technological risk management approaches, especially regarding industrial accident prevention, preparedness, and response. With a focus on enhancing transboundary cooperation, the UNECE Water Convention and Industrial Accidents Convention help countries worldwide progress towards the priorities and targets set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, working together on DRR and the prevention of accidental water through their Joint Expert Group on Water and Industrial Accidents. The EFDRR Roadmap also sets out the need to strengthen governance across multiple hazards and sectors as well as transboundary cooperation.
Session guiding questions
- How to build strong multi-sector, multi-risk policies and governance?
- Which type of policy and governance response to climate change could countries develop in the context of water-related and technological hazards/risks?
- How can multi-hazard risk management best be integrated into river basin management plans?
- How best to strengthen DRR and climate change adaptation to support implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement, while building on existing legal instruments, notably UNECE’s Water and Industrial Accidents Conventions?
BNDCC 2-Ground Floor