Managing shared waters: Treasury of papers helps capture 20 years of lessons

United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health, Canada

Global Environmental Facility IW:LEARN, Slovakia

25 July 2013

Sharing Nile’s vital flow through 11 nations, water in Arab region, spread of ‘world’s worst weed,’ changes in Atlantic fisheries, among topics in special collection of articles capturing decades of lessons in trans-boundary water management

355x255_2429The science-based management and governance of shared transboundary water systems is the focus of a wide-ranging collection of articles now published in a special edition of the Elsevier journal Environmental Development.

A collaboration of the Global Environmental Facility’s IW:LEARN project and the UN University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, the special open-access volume includes a treasury of articles available with open public access until the end of 2014 at

The volume builds on a 2012 study of the use of science in roughly 200 GEF-supported transboundary water projects involving public investments of more than US$7 billion over 20 years. GEF partnered with UNU and the UN Environment Programme to extract lessons from that huge project portfolio. The volume is highlighted by papers detailing innovations in science-based management and scientific research authored by past or present projects from the portfolio.

“This assembly of articles underlines the overarching lesson that science must play a central role in decisions and investments involving trans-boundary water issues,” says Zafar Adeel, director of UNU’s Canadian-based International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). “At the heart of this are concerns of cardinal importance: food and energy security, adaptation to climate variability and change, economic growth and human security.”

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