Water Diplomacy and Governance in key Transboundary Hot Spot

Progetto concluso

With growing water scarcity, collaboration in the management of transboundary waters becomes a building block of international security, regional stability and economic growth. Implemented in four synergistic partial actions, this programme contributes to an equitable, sustainable and inclusive management and governance of transboundary lakes, rivers and aquifers in Africa, Asia, Meso- and Southern America.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget

Diplomazia e sicurezza dell'acqua
Conservazione delle risorse idriche
Politica del settore idrico
01.01.2016 - 30.04.2019
CHF  10’576’680

Transboundary water bodies create hydrological, social and economic interdependencies between societies. While incorporating a potential for competition and conflict, they also provide opportunities for cooperation. Sound operational and legal frameworks and reliable data are essential for stable and reliable cooperation.


To enhance water governance and management in targeted basins (in Asia, Africa and America) in order to ensure that their users – especially the most vulnerable populations – have an equitable and sustainable access to the water resource, favoring social, economic and ecological development.

Gruppi target
  • Basin organisations and/or regional economic commissions,
  • National government institutions and agencies,
  • Municipal and provincial level governments,
  • Local communities and people living in the concerned basins.
Effetti a medio termine

Water Diplomacy: Global commitments, concepts and platforms on water & security lead to more cooperation and less conflicts over water resources,

Water Governance: Transboundary water management frameworks and cooperation are in place in hot spot regions,

Strategic projects: Data, information and knowledge management is effectual and backs evidence-based dialogue and decision-making in water resources management.


Risultati principali attesi:  

Water diplomacy:

  • At least five countries outside United Nations Economic Commission for Europe are taking steps to accede the Water Convention
  • Institutional and policy frameworks strengthened in twelve transboundary basins, of which in seven through specific water governance agreements, and in two through formation of river basin organisations
  • Management of transboundary aquifers becomes part of international hydro-diplomacy discourse

Water governance: 

  • At least seven political cooperation processes supported by analysing the benefits of cooperation or assessing the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus
  • Formation of at least nine inclusive water user associations

Strategic projects: 

  • Open-access databases with watershed and socio-economic date established in Ethiopia and Kenya
  • Payment for watershed services scheme developed for Blue Nile


Risultati fasi precedenti:  

Water governance change processes were conducted in nine transboundary river basins and three aquifers. These processes delivered short term benefits, enabled regional dialogue and cleared a pathway to formal transboundary water management and governance mechanisms. Among many more examples, the riparian countries of Lake Malawi agreed to new cooperative steps that should eventually lead to the establishment of a tripartite commission. In Ethiopia and Kenya rich and online accessible data and information repositories were established and serve as knowledge platforms for cross-scale policy dialogue and water user associations were strengthened.

Transboundary water cooperation is a complex and lengthy process. Standardised approaches are useful toolboxes, but need to be adapted to local conditions. The spill-over from technical to political water cooperation is not automatic but involves communication, advocacy, trust building and capacity development on technical and political levels. Targeted knowledge products for evidence-based dialogue and decision-making are essential to inform the policy processes.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Altre organizzazioni internazionali
Economia privata
Instituzione universitaria e di ricerca svizzera
Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite (ONU)
  • Unione internazionale per la conservazione della natura
  • Other UN Organisation
  • Settore privato straniero Nord
  • Commissione svizzera per l’UNESCO
  • Unversität Bern
  • University of Berne: Center for Development and Environment of the University of Berne (CDE) for the Water and Land Resources Centers project; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the Building River Dialogue and Governance project; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the Governance in Transboundary Aquifers project; United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for the 1992 Water Convention.

Altri partner

Basin organisations, national and local level government institutions and authorities, universities, research centers and networks, NGOs, local water users.

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

UN-Water; FAO/WB, ADB, GEF; UNEP, UNDP, GWP, INBO; SDC Regional Cooperation, Geneva Water Hub.

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    10’576’680 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    10’377’887 Progetto totale dalla prima fase Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF   28’096’650
Fasi del progetto Fase 4 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022   (Fase in corso)

Fase 3 01.01.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)

Fase 2 01.04.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed) Fase 1 01.02.2011 - 30.04.2013   (Completed)