IUCN Annual Report 2016: Global Water Programme


Transboundary Water Governance 

Through the Building River Dialogues and Governance (BRIDGE) initiative, IUCN aims to strengthen institutions to improve water management in fourteen transboundary river and lake basins in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In the Mano River basin in West Africa, the initiative secured agreement among Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Guinea to cooperate on investment in pollution control caused by mining activities. The countries surrounding Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa (Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania) agreed for the first time to jointly explore three-way cooperation for management of the lake and freshwater biodiversity. In the Horn of Africa, the BRIDGE initiative is helping negotiators build a protocol on shared watercourses, which the international community has identified as a pillar for renewing peace and security in the region. 

In Honduras, the Goascorán Basin Council – set up with the support of BRIDGE – is strengthening democracy in vulnerable communities by bringing together local municipalities, businesses and national government for basin management. In the Lake Titicaca basin (Peru/Bolivia), IUCN, Agua Sustentable, and the BRIDGE leaders’ network have empowered women to advocate for ecosystem management in the basin. In the Mekong region, BRIDGE provided training in international water law to parliamentarians and in diplomatic academies to trigger support for the ratification of the United Nations Watercourses Convention. The Convention seeks to establish a governing framework for transboundary rivers.

Natural Water Infrastructure

IUCN, with a consortium of scientific partners in the WISE-UP to Climate project in the Tana (Kenya) and Volta (Burkina Faso, Ghana) river basins, brought together governments and investors to begin using data on hydrology and ecosystem values to plan investments in natural infrastructure such as wetlands, floodplains, and watersheds. The aim is to generate benefits for people’s livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and water security.

Biodiversity Conservation and Agriculture

IUCN’s knowledge on sustainable basin management was applied in Tanzania and Mozambique in joint ventures between local and commercial farmers, incorporating forest restoration in watershed protection and small business development. The aim is to improve elephant transit between protected areas. This is part of the SUSTAIN-Africa initiative in which IUCN and partners aim to facilitate economic growth in African growth corridors that is inclusive and climate-resilient.

Sustainable Water Management

Water security plans in eight municipalities in Jordan and Tunisia were developed based on knowledge generated by the IUCN-led Regional Knowledge Network on Water (RKNOW), which aims to strengthen water management and governance in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco and Egypt.

In Asia, IUCN strengthened cooperation on wetland management through the launch of the Indo-Burma Ramsar Regional Initiative (IBRRI). This initiative will improve coordination between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam on the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands through, for example, improved sharing of wetland management outcomes, provision of technical trainings, and support for regional dialogues on wetland policies.

Major Publications


The Full IUCN Annual Report 2016 is available from the IUCN Library Portal here

Image top © Helio & Van Ingen, Niger Delta

Image bottom © IUCN/Maria Ana Borges, Kilombero, Tanzania