The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and ORASECOM have agreed to establish a long-term collaboration and co-operation between the two Commissions. The two Commissions showed an interest to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding cooperation on Technical assistance, capacity building, and information sharing on transboundary river basin management and other related issues at a meeting that was held in Vienna, Austria on the 13th of July 2008.
Areas of Co-operation
The areas of co-operation includes exchange of knowledge and experience on the following:
- Institutional and organisational development of RBOs including procedures and operations, and participation of key stakeholders such as NGOs and the business community in both operational activities and official meetings;
- Implementation of legal instruments that regulate the operations of a River Basin Organisation;
- Development of common policy framework in trans-boundary basin system;
- Balancing priorities among different stakeholders and interest groups as well as improving stakeholder participation in basin management; and
- Technical assistance in the development of basin wide management plans for – improving stakeholder participation in basin management; infrastructural development; water allocation; pollution control, monitoring and prevention/mitigation; and conflict management.
The following activities have thus far been undertaken to effect the cooperation between the two Commissions:-
- The ORASECOM Secretariat visited the ICPDR from the 30th of November to the 12th of December 2009. The purpose of the visit was to participate in the preparations and conducting of the 12th ordinary meeting of the ICPDR. The ORASECOM Secretariat also had an opportunity to learn about the different initiatives of the ICPDR with the possibility of adapdation of some of these in the Orange-Senqu River Basin. For more information on this visit click here for our 1st newsletter;
- From the 1st to the 13th of August 2010, The Information, Communications and Technology Expert of the ICPDR undertook an information communications needs assessment for ORASECOM and established a pilot Orange-Senqu Information sharing and management System (OSIS);
- On the 24th of May and 21st of August 2010, the Water Quality Expert of the ICPDR participated in the planning meetings for the 1st Orange-Senqu Joint Basin Water Resources Quality Survey (JBS1) planned for October and November 2010.
- ICPDR and ORASECOM also take advantage of standing international conferences and events such as the Australian International River Symposium, to jointly publicise the activities and cooperation initiatives that exist between the two Commissions, and also learn from the other River Basin Organisations. For instance, three sessions have been identified by the two Commissions during the upcoming 13th International River Symposium to be held in Perth, Australia from the 11th to the 14th of October 2010, which will provide an excellent opportunity for sharing relevant experiences on work being conducted by ORASECOM and ICPDR and other key river basins across the World. Two of these sessions which are part of the main program of the Symposium are as follows:- (i) Session A4D entitled “International Riverfoundation Twinning Session”; and (ii) Session C2B entitled “Sharing Experiences in Managing Transboundary Waters”. The third session which will be an independent side event will feature the ICPDR, the ORASECOM and the Murray Darling River Basin Organisations on conducting field surveys in large rivers. For more information on the 13th International River Symposium click or visit the following website address:- www.riversymposium.com
More initiatives in taking the cooperation between the two Commissions are expected.
For more information on ICPDR and its core activities, please click or visit their website at the following address:- www.icpdr.org.