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Commission on Transboundary Aquifers – update and call for participation

Some news just in from IAH’s Commission on Transboundary Aquifers, who will be organising a workshop on 22nd Sept 2019 in Malaga, Spain, as a pre-conference event, ahead of the IAH 46th Congress.

This workshop will take stock of the whole question of “transboundary aquifers” that has evolved in the past twenty years, since the launch of the IAH Commission. The aim of the workshop is to take a good and a clear eyed look at the future – setting out “the way forward” on the required research, policy directions and effective management. This will guide the next phase of the work of the IAH Commission, as well as offer a framework for other partners (such as UNESCO, UN ECE, and others) to engage in the sustainability of these resources.

The proposed theme of the workshop is “The Future of Transboundary Aquifers: Research, Management, and Policy Directions. Discussion of the future requires taking stock of the current situation and past activities. Since the IAH Commission was launched in the late 1990’s, global inventories have been prepared, thorough legal framework guidance has been developed, significant recognition of their prevalence has been achieved and in a number of such aquifers cooperation between countries is advancing. Yet it may argued that together with national groundwater resources, transboundary resources still receive scant attention, despite these resources often having a critical role in the national socio – economics. The workshop will facilitate discussion on research, management and practice needed for their mainstreaming in the coming years. It remains unclear to what extent the now ratified UN Convention on International Water Courses, and the UN ECE Convention on Transboundary Water Courses provide a complete framework for transboundary aquifers, that enables countries to effectively utilise and manage these resources. It may be noted that the case of non recharging aquifers, which have in them storage of some of the largest resources, remain largely unregulated under international water law. The workshop will address these issues and will also formulate a work programme for the IAH Commission for the future (2020 to 2030).

Participation – the event is planned as an open event, and all IAH members, as well as non members are welcome to attend. No participation fees, additional to the IAH Congress fees, are required. However, for this workshop a registration form (available via the Commission’s LinkedIn group) should be completed and submitted.

In addition, a new Award has been set up by the IAH Commission. Calls will shortly be sent out to the transboundary aquifer community soliciting applications for the award. The first award will be made in the Malaga Transboundary Aquifers workshop, during the IAH Malaga Congress.

Find out more: (Commission LinkedIn group) (Congress website)

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