Tunisia begins discussions for accession to UNECE Water Convention
21/09/2016 16:42, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – Tunisia, on Wednesday, started discussions with the Secretariat of The Water Convention on the possible accession to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) UNECE adopted in 1992.

The convention is a mechanism that promotes international co-operation and strengthens national actions for the sustainable protection and management of groundwater and trans-boundary surface water.

The agreement stipulates the prevention, control and reduction of trans-boundary impacts and guarantees an equitable and reasonable utilisation of trans-boundary waters through agreements between riparian States to ensure the sustainable management of water resources, said Francesca Bernardini, Secretary to the UNECE Water Convention.

Speaking at a national workshop held in Tunis on the theme "Benefits of Co-operation and UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes", she added that this agreement helps to build the capacity of member countries to sustainably manage water resources. It also allows the sharing of experiences and the opening of dialogue with the international community and donors.

Bernardini said she was motivated by the implementation of the Convention on trans-boundary waters which remains an effective tool, but "is not magic", hence the need to make the most of it, calling to adapt the convention to the specificities of the country and set in motion an effective process of co-operation with neighboring states.

Hassen Lotfi Frigui, general manager of water resources said the ratification of this convention is likely to reinforce the country's strategy for sustainable management of trans-boundary waters based on effective co-operation. Tunisia is already involved in a consultation process with its neighbours, Algeria and Libya for the management of shared water resources, as part of the Northern Sahara Aquifer System.

 The official added that the consultations on possible ratification of the Convention on trans-boundary waters will continue, notably with Algeria, since its accession to the Convention will always be more effective but is not essential.

 For her part, Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med) Senior Programme Officer Sarra Touzi said the Convention on Trans-boundary Water will strengthen the tools implemented by Tunisia to solve the problem of scarcity of water suffered by the country and promote better water resources management.

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