The Contracting States shall undertake to adopt the measures necessary to ensure conservation, utilization and development of soil, water, flora and fauna resources in accordance with scientific principles and with due regard to the best interests of the people.
1. The Contracting States shall establish policies for conservation, utilization and development of underground and surface water, and shall endeavour to guarantee for their populations a sufficient and continuous supply of suitable water, taking appropriate measures with due regard to:
(i) the study of water cycles and the investigation of each catchment area;
(ii) the co-ordination and planning of water resources development projects;
(iii) the administration and control of all water utilization; and
(iv) prevention and control of water pollution.
2. Where surface or underground water resources are shared by two or more of the Contracting States, the latter shall act in consultation, and if the need arises, set up inter-State Commissions to study and resolve problems arising from the joint use of there resources, and for the joint development and conservation thereof.
The American States have co-operated for many generations in the realization of important common undertakings;
The utilization of waters in accordance with modern technological methods contributes decisively to the economic development of their peoples; and
It is the common desire of the Contracting Parties to ensure the development of those resources so that they may benefit the well-being of their peoples;
The Governments of the member States of the Organization of American States have agreed as follows:
This convention establishes the general standards concerning the utilization of the waters of international rivers and lakes for industrial and agricultural purposes.
The provisions of this convention shall not imply the total or partial revocation of regional or bilateral agreements in effect between the High Contracting Parties.
The terms mentioned below have the following meanings:
(a) an international river is one that flows through or separates two or more States. The former shall be called successive, and the latter contiguous;
(b) an international lake is one whose banks belong to more than one State;
(c) agricultural use is the utilization of the waters for irrigation or other agricultural uses;
(d) industrial use is the utilization of the water for the production of electric power or for other industrial purposes;
(e) a notification is written communication stating that it is planned to utilize the waters or to build works that may modify the existing regimen;
(f) an interested State is one that has jurisdiction over some part of an international river or lake.
The right of a State to industrial or agricultural utilization of the waters of an international river or lake that are under its sovereignty does not imply non-recognition of the eventual right of other riparian States.
The utilization of the waters of an international river or lake for industrial or agricultural purposes must not prejudice the free navigation thereof in accordance with the applicable legal rules, or cause substantial injury, according to international law, to the riparian States or alterations to their boundaries.
In cases in which the utilization of an international river or lake results or may result in damage or injury to another interested State, the consent of that interested State shall be required, as well as the payment or indemnification for any damage or harm done, when such is claimed.
No State may utilize or authorize the utilization of an international river under conditions that are less strict than those to which the utilization of domestic rivers is subjected by law, custom, or usage.
No State may, however, demand that greater precautions or requisites be adopted when those that govern in another of the interested States are inferior to those that are generally or prevalently in force for international waters.
A State that plans to build works for utilization of an international river or lake must first notify the other interested States. The notification shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by the necessary technical documents in order that the other interested States may have sufficient basis for determining and judging the scope of the works. Along with the notification, the names of the technical expert or experts who are to have charge of the first international phase of the matter should also be supplied.
The reply to the notification must be given within six months and no postponements of any kind may be allowed, unless the requested State asks for supplementary information in addition to the documents that were originally provided, which request may be made only within thirty days following the date of the said notification and must set forth in specific terms the background information that is desired. In such case, the term of six months shall be counted from the date on which the aforesaid supplementary information is provided.
I. If no reply is received within the aforesaid period, it shall be understood that the State or States that were notified have no objections to the work that is being planned and that, consequently, the notifying State may proceed to execute its plans in accordance with the project that was presented. No later claim by the notified State shall be valid.
II. If observations of a technical nature or relating to foreseeable damage or injury are made in the reply to the notification, this document should indicate the nature and estimate of these and the name of the technical expert or experts who together with those mentioned in the notification will form a Joint Commission that will proceed to study the matter. The reply should also include an indication of the place and the date for the meeting of the Joint Commission thus formed.
If the reply does not meet the foregoing requirements, it shall be considered that this procedure has not been executed.
The Joint Commission shall carry out its mandate of seeking a solution, both with respect to the best way of executing and taking advantage of the works that are planned in common benefit, and, when appropriate, with respect to indemnification for the damage and injury caused, all within the period of six months from the date of the reply to the notification.
For the purposes of this Convention, the High Contracting Parties shall settle the disputes that may arise with respect to the industrial or agricultural use of international rivers and lakes in accordance with the peaceful procedures established by the inter-American system.
This Convention shall be ratified in accordance with the constitutional procedures of the respective countries. It shall enter into force for them at the time that notification of ratification is communicated to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States.
This Convention may be denounced in writing to the Pan American Union by any of the High Contracting Parties.
The Pan American Union shall in each case inform the other Member States of the Organization of the denunciation received, which shall take effect six months after the parties have been informed.
Resolution No. 25
Declaration of Asunción on the Use of International Rivers
The Fourth Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the countries of the River Plate Basin,
To endorse all the resolutions so far adopted in this field and to express its particular satisfaction at the results of the Second Meeting of Experts on Water Resources, held at Brasilia (18-22 May 1970). They also wish to express their conviction that such an important subject will continue to be dealt with in the same spirit of frank and cordial collaboration at the third Meeting of this Group, convened for 29 June 1971;
The Foreign Ministers consider that it is of real value to record the fundamental points on which agreement has already been reached, on the basis of which the studies on this subject are to proceed:
1. In contiguous international rivers which are under dual sovereignty, there must be a prior bilateral agreement between the riparian States before any use is made of the waters.
2. In successive international rivers, where there is no dual sovereignty, each State may use the waters in accordance with its needs provided that it causes no appreciable damage to any other State of the Basin.
3. As to the exchange of hydrological meteorological data:
(a) processed data shall be disseminated and exchanged systematically through publications;
(b) unprocessed data, whether in the form of observations, instrument measurements or graphs, shall be exchanged or furnished at the discretion of the countries concerned.
4. The States shall try as far as possible gradually to exchange the cartographic and hydrographic results of their measurements in the River Plate Basin in order to facilitate the task of determining the characteristics of the flow system.
5. The States shall do their best to maintain the best possible conditions of navigability on the reaches of the rivers under their sovereignty and shall adopt for that purpose whatever measures may be necessary to ensure that any permanent works that are constructed do not interfere with the other present uses of the river system.
6. When executing permanent works for any purpose on the rivers of the Basin, the States shall take the necessary steps to ensure that navigability is not impaired.
7. When executing permanent works on the navigable waterways system, the States shall ensure the conservation of the living resources.
The member States of the Council of Europe, signatory hereto;
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unit between its Members;
Considering that protection of the environment, an important factor in the conditions of human life, demands closer co-operation between governments;
Considering that water resources are threatened by increasing pollution;
Convinced of the urgent need for general and simultaneous action on the part of States and for co-operation between them with a view to protecting all water resources against pollution, especially watercourses forming part of an international hydrographic basin;
Being of the opinion that the protection of international watercourses against pollution constitutes only one important step towards the achievement of that objective and that this action must be complemented by the conclusion of conventions for the prevention of marine pollution from land-based sources, in order to ensure that the present Convention is fully effective;
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) international watercourse means any watercourse, canal or lake which separates or passes through the territories of two or more States;
(b) estuary means the part of a watercourse between the freshwater limit and the baseline of the territorial sea;
(c) freshwater limit means the place in the watercourse where, at low tide and in a period of low freshwater flow, there is an appreciable increase in salinity due to the presence of sea water;
(d) water pollution means any impairment of the composition or state of water, resulting directly or indirectly from human agency, in particular to the detriment of:
its use for human and animal consumption;
its use in industry and agriculture;
the conservation of the natural environment, particularly of aquatic flora and fauna.
Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to take, in respect of all surface waters in its territory, all measures appropriate for he reduction of existing water pollution and for the prevention or new forms of such pollution.
1. Each Contracting Party undertakes, with regard to international watercourses, to take:
(a) all measures required to prevent new forms of water pollution or any increase in the degree of existing water pollution;
(b) measures aiming at the gradual reduction of existing water pollution.
2. This Convention is not to lead to the replacement of existing measures by measures giving rise to increased pollution.
1. Each Contracting Party shall take all measures appropriate for maintaining the quality of the waters of international watercourses at, or for raising it to, a level not lower than:
(a) the specific standards referred to in Article 15, paragraph 2; or
(b) in the absence of such specific standards, the minimum standards laid down in Appendix I to this Convention, subject to any derogation provided for in paragraph 2 of the present Article.
2. The minimum standards laid down in Appendix I shall be applied:
(a) in the case of freshwater standards, at the freshwater limit and at each point upstream from this limit where the watercourse is crossed by a frontier between States;
(b) in the case of brackish water standards, at the baseline of the territorial sea and at the points where the estuary is crossed by a frontier between States.
3. Derogations to the application of Appendix I at the points fixed by the previous paragraph are authorized for the watercourses and the parameters listed in Appendix IV to this Convention. The Contracting Parties riparian to such a watercourse shall co-operate with each other in accordance with the provisions of Article 10.
1. The discharge into the waters of international hydrographic basins of any of the dangerous or harmful substances listed in Appendix II to this Convention shall be prohibited or restricted under the conditions provided for in that Appendix.
2. Insofar as a Contracting Party cannot immediately give effect to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, it shall take steps to comply with them in a reasonable time.
1. The provision of Articles 3 and 4 may not be involved against a Contracting Party to the extent that this latter is prevented, as a result of water pollution having its origin in the territory of a non-contracting state, from ensuring their full application.
2. However, the said Contracting Party shall endeavour to co-operate with the non-Contracting State so as to make possible the full application of these provisions.
1. Each Contracting Party shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe every five years a written statement of the measures which it has taken to implement Articles 2 to 5 inclusive and of the results achieved.
2. The Secretary-General shall notify the other Contracting Parties of the information received from each of them and shall forward such information to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The Contracting Parties undertake to co-operate with each other with a view to achieving the aims of this Convention.
The Contracting Parties riparian to an international watercourse to which the minimum standards laid down in Appendix I to this Convention are to be applied and the waters of which do not yet meet the level of these standards shall advise each other of the measures they have taken with a view to reaching, within a fixed time-limit, this level at the points fixed by Article 4, paragraph 2.
1. The Contracting Parties situated either upstream or downstream of a point on an international watercourse at which the derogations provided for in Article 4, paragraph 3, apply shall carry out, in consultation with each other and before the end of the first year after this Convention enters into force in respect of them, an inquiry with a view to establishing the quality of the waters at this point as regards the parameters covered by the derogation.
2. The Contracting Parties riparian to such a watercourse shall jointly establish a programme designed to achieve, within a fixed time-limit, certain objectives for reducing pollution at the point referred to in the preceding paragraph. This programme may envisage various stages each reaching intermediate objectives. A comparison shall be effected between the objectives envisaged and the results obtained at the expiration of the fixed time-limits.
3. If the inquiry the results mentioned in the preceding paragraphs show that it is no longer necessary to maintain the derogation as regards one of the parameters, the Contracting Party which requested the derogation shall notify the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe of its suppression as regards that parameter.
As soon as a sudden increase in pollution is recorded, the Contracting Parties riparian to the same watercourse shall immediately warn each other, and shall take unilaterally or jointly all measures in their power to avert injurious consequences or to limit the extent thereof, having recourse to the early warning system envisaged in Article 15, paragraph 1(c), if any.
1. The Contracting Parties whose territories the same international watercourse separates or passes through, hereinafter called the interested Contracting Parties, undertake to enter into negotiations with each other, if one of them so requests, with a view to concluding a co-operation agreement or to adapting existing co-operation agreements to the provisions of this Convention.
2. When the interested Contracting Parties admit expressly or tacitly that the contribution of one of them to the pollution of the international watercourse car be deemed negligible, the latter Contracting Party is not bound to enter into negotiations in conformity with the preceding paragraph. Likewise, when the pollution of one section of an international watercourse by another section situated upstream on the same watercourse can be deemed negligible, the Contracting Parties riparian to one or the other of these two sections are not bound to enter into negotiations with regard to the watercourse as a whole.
If an interested Contracting Party does not enter into negotiations within a reasonable time, any interested Contracting Party may inform the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which shall then hold itself at the disposal of the interested Contracting Parties in order to find a procedure for reaching a satisfactory solution. The same shall apply if the negotiations, once begun, do not reach a positive conclusion within a reasonable time.
1. The co-operation agreement referred to in Article 12 of this Convention shall, unless the interested Contracting Parties decide otherwise, provide for the establishment of an international commission and lay down its organization, its modes of operating and, if necessary, the rules for financing it.
2. The co-operation agreement shall, where appropriate, provide that any existing commission or commissions shall be assigned the functions provided for in Article 15.
3. Where two or more international commissions exist for the protection against pollution of the waters of the international watercourses of the same hydrographic basin, the interested Contracting Parties undertake to co-ordinate their activities in order to improve the protection of the waters of this basin.
1. Each international commission for water protection shall have inter alia the following functions:
(a) to collect and to verity at regular intervals data concerning the quality of the water of the international watercourse;
(b) to propose, if necessary, that the interested Contracting Parties carry out or have carried out any additional investigation to establish the nature, degree and source of pollution; the commission may also decide to undertake certain studies itself;
(c) to propose to the interested Contracting Parties that an early warning system be set up for serious accidental pollution;
(d) to propose to the interested Contracting Parties any additional measures that it considers useful;
(e) to study, at the request of the interested Contracting Parties, the advisability and, if necessary, the methods of jointly financing large-scale projects concerning water pollution control;
(f) to propose to the interested Contracting Parties the inquiries and the programmes and objectives for reducing pollution mentioned in Article 10 concerning the international watercourses for which a derogation has been made pursuant to Article 4, paragraph 3.
2. In compliance with the general aims defined in Articles 2, 3, 4 and 5, each international commission shall, if it deems it necessary, propose to the interested Contracting Parties the assignment of the international watercourse under its authority, or one or more of its sections, to one or more of the possible uses of the watercourse. According to these uses and in conformity with the provisions of Article 17, the commission shall elaborate specific standards of water quality as well as the ways and means of applying them, and shall propose these for adoption by the interested Contracting Parties.
1. Each interested Contracting Party shall have one vote in any international commission of which it is a member, unless the co-operation agreement provides otherwise.
2. The co-operation agreement may provide that a proposal adopted by a unanimous decision of the commission shall be binding on each member State, unless it informs the commission within a period to be fixed by the latter that it does not approve of the proposal or is unable to express an opinion thereon.
1. The specific standards referred to in Article 15, paragraph 2 shall be adapted to the various possible uses of the international watercourse, such as:
(a) production of drinking water for human consumption;
(b) consumption by domestic and wild animals;
(c) conservation of wild life, both flora and fauna, and securing conditions in which they thrive, and the conservation of the self-purifying capacity of water;
(e) recreational amenities with due regard to health and aesthetic requirements;
(f) the application of freshwater directly or indirectly to land for agricultural purposes;
(g) production of water for industrial purposes;
(h) the need to preserve an acceptable quality of sea water.
2. These specific standards shall be determined taking into account the quality limits for each use as set out in Appendix III to this Convention, and in particular must be at a level which ensures that the quality of the water of the watercourse or of the section thereof which has been assigned to the use is of a level at least equal to that of those quality limits in Appendix III which are of an imperative nature.
Each interested Contracting Party undertakes to furnish to the international commissions of which it is a member the necessary facilities for the accomplishment of their tasks.
1. Each interested Contracting Party shall take all legislative and administrative measures necessary for the implementation of the undertakings which it has accepted under co-operation agreements.
2. Such undertakings may in no case be interpreted to prevent a Contracting Party from taking, as far as it is concerned, stricter or more effective measures.
The co-operation agreement may make provision for a procedure which, set in motion at the request of any Contracting State, would permit a satisfactory solution to be reached when:
(a) the international commission has not reached agreement on the adoption of a proposal;
(b) a Contracting State has not approved, within a reasonable time, a proposal submitted to it by the international commission of which it is a member.
The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the rules applicable under general international law to any liability of States for damage caused by water pollution.
1. Any dispute between Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention or of a co-operation agreement referred to in Articles 12 to 20 thereof, including an act made in execution of such an agreement and binding upon the Parties, shall, if it has not been possible to settle it through negotiations between the parties to the dispute and unless these parties decide otherwise, be submitted, on the application of one of them, to arbitration as provided for in Appendix A to this Convention
2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not affect the undertakings by which the parties to the dispute have agreed or may agree, under a co-operation agreement, upon another procedure for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this agreement or of acts made in execution of it and binding upon the parties. However, if provision is not made in such procedure for a binding decision and if, once set in motion, such procedure does not lead to the settlement of the dispute within nine months, one or other of the parties to the dispute may have recourse to the arbitral procedure provided for in Appendix A to this Convention.
Minimum standards for international watercourses referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1 (b).
Dangerous or harmful substances referred to in Article 5.
Quality limits for international watercourses according to their possible uses, as referred to in Article 17, paragraph 2.
List of watercourses for which derogations to the undertakings under Article 4, paragraph 1(b) are permissible.
Unless the parties to the dispute decide otherwise, the arbitral procedure shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Appendix.
1. Upon an application addressed by one Contracting Party to another Contracting Party in accordance with Article 22 of the Convention, an arbitral tribunal shall be set up. The application for arbitration shall state the subject-matter of the application and shall be accompanied by proposals for the settlement of the dispute as well as any supporting documents.
2. If the dispute relates to the Convention, the party making the application shall inform the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe of the fact that it has asked for an arbitral tribunal to be set up, of the name of the other party to the dispute and of the articles of the Convention the interpretation or application of which are, in its opinion, the subject-matter of the dispute. The Secretary-General shall transmit the information so received to all the Contracting Parties to the Convention.
The arbitral tribunal shall consist of three members each of the parties to the dispute shall appoint one arbitrator; the two arbitrators so appointed shall designate by common agreement the third arbitrator who shall be the chairman of the tribunal. The latter shall not be a national of one of the parties to the dispute, nor have his usual place of residence in the territory of one of these parties, nor be employed by one of them, nor have dealt with the case in another capacity.
1. If the chairman of the arbitral tribunal has not been designated within two months of the appointment of the second arbitrator, the President of the European Court of Human Rights shall, at the request of either party, designate him within a further two months' period.
If one of the parties to the dispute does not appoint an arbitrator within two months of receipt of the application, the other party may refer the matter to the President of the European Court of Human Rights, who shall designate the chairman of the arbitral tribunal within a further two months' period. As soon as designated, the chairman of the arbitral tribunal shall request the party which has not appointed an arbitrator to do so within two months. After this period has expired, he shall refer the matter to the President of the European Court of Human Rights, who shall make his appointment within a further two months' period.
3. If in the cases envisaged in the preceding, paragraphs, the President of the European Court of Human Rights is unable to act or is a national of one of the parties to the dispute, the chairman of the arbitral tribunal shall be designated or the arbitrator appointed by the Vice-President of the Court or by the most senior member of the Court who is not unable to act and is not a national of one of the parties to the dispute.
4. The above provisions shall apply, as the case may be, in order to fill any vacancy.
1. The arbitral tribunal shall decide according to the rules of international law and, in particular, those of this Convention and of the co-operation agreement binding upon the parties to the dispute, including the acts made in execution of this agreement and binding upon these parties.
2. Any arbitral tribunal constituted under the provisions of this Appendix shall draw up its own rules of procedure.
1. The decisions of the arbitral tribunal, both on questions of procedure and of substance, shall be taken by majority vote of its members; the absence or abstention of a member for whose appointment one of the parties to the dispute was responsible shall not prevent the tribunal from reaching a decision.
2. The tribunal may take all appropriate measures in order to establish the facts. If two or more arbitral tribunals set up under the provisions of this Appendix are seized of applications with identical or analogous subject-matter, they may inform themselves of the proceedings relating to the establishment of the facts and take them into account as far as possible.
3. The parties to the dispute shall provide all facilities necessary for the effective conduct of the proceedings.
4. The absence or default of a party to the dispute shall not prevent the operation of the proceedings.
1. The award of the arbitral tribunal shall be supported by a statement of reasons. It shall be final and binding upon the parties to the dispute.
2. Any dispute which may arise between the parties concerning the interpretation or execution of the award may be submitted by either party to the arbitral tribunal which made the award or, if the latter cannot be seized thereof, to another arbitral tribunal set up for this purpose in the same manner as the first.
1. The Parties shall, either individually or jointly, take all appropriate and effective measures to prevent, reduce and control significant adverse transboundary environmental impact from proposed activities.
2. Each Party shall take the necessary legal, administrative or other measures to implement the provisions of this Convention, including, with respect to proposed activities listed in Appendix I that are likely to cause significant adverse transboundary impact, the establishment of an environmental impact assessment procedure that permits public participation and preparation of the environmental impact assessment documentation described in Appendix II.
3. The Party of origin shall ensure that in accordance with the provisions of this Convention an environmental impact assessment is undertaken prior to a decision to authorize or undertake a proposed activity listed in Appendix I that is likely to cause a significant adverse transboundary impact.
4. The Party of origin shall, consistent with the provisions of this Convention, ensure that affected Parties are notified of a proposed activity listed in Appendix I that is likely to cause a significant adverse transboundary impact.
5. Concerned Parties shall, at the initiative of any such Party, enter into discussions on whether one or more proposed activities not listed in Appendix I is or are likely to cause a significant adverse transboundary impact and thus should be treated as if it or they were so listed. Where those Parties so agree, the activity or activities shall be thus treated. General guidance for identifying criteria to determine significant adverse impact is set forth in Appendix III.
6. The Party of origin shall provide, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, an opportunity to the public in the areas likely to be affected to participate in relevant environmental impact assessment procedures regarding proposed activities and shall ensure that the opportunity provided to the public of the affected Party is equivalent to that provided to the public of the Party of origin.
7. Environmental impact assessments as required by this Convention shall, as a minimum requirement, be undertaken at the project level of the proposed activity. To the extent appropriate, the Parties shall endeavour to apply the principles of environmental impact assessment to policies, plans and programmes.
8. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the right of Parties to implement national laws, regulations, administrative provisions or accepted legal practices protecting information the supply of which would be prejudicial to industrial and commercial secrecy or national security.
9. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the right of particular Parties to implement, by bilateral or multilateral agreement where appropriate, more stringent measures than those of this Convention.
10. The provisions of this Convention shall not prejudice any obligations of the Parties under international law with regard to activities having or likely to have a transboundary impact.
List of activities
9. Trading ports and also inland waterways and ports for inland-waterway traffic which permit the passage of vessels of over 1,350 tonnes.
11. Large dams and reservoirs.
12. Groundwater abstraction activities in cases where the annual volume of water to be abstracted amounts to 10 million cubic metres or more.
The Parties to this Convention,
Mindful that the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes are important and urgent tasks, the effective accomplishment of which can only be ensured by enhanced co-operation,
Concerned over the existence and threats of adverse effects, in the short or long term, of changes in the conditions of transboundary watercourses and international lakes on the environment, economies and well-being of the member countries of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE),
Emphasizing the need for strengthened national and international measures to prevent, control and reduce the release of hazardous substances into the aquatic environment and to abate eutrophication and acidification, as well as pollution of the marine environment, in particular coastal areas, from land-based sources,
Commending the efforts already undertaken by the ECE Governments to strengthen co-operation, on bilateral and multilateral levels, for the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary pollution, sustainable water management, conservation of water resources and environmental protection,
Recalling the pertinent provisions and principles of the Declaration of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), the Concluding Documents of the Madrid and Vienna Meetings of Representatives of the Participating States of the CSCE, and the Regional Strategy for Environmental Protection and Rational Use of Natural Resources in ECE Member Countries covering the Period up to the Year 2000 and Beyond,
Conscious of the role of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in promoting international co-operation for the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary water pollution and sustainable use of transboundary waters, and in this regard recalling the ECE Declaration of Policy on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, including Transboundary Pollution; the ECE Declaration of Policy on the Rational Use of Water; the ECE Principles Regarding Co-operation in the Field of Transboundary Waters; the ECE Charter on Groundwater Management; and the Code of Conduct on Accidental Pollution of Transboundary Inland Waters,
Referring to decisions I (42) and I (44) adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe at its forty-second and forty-fourth sessions, respectively, and the outcome of the CSCE Meeting on the Protection of the Environment (Sofia, Bulgaria, 16 October - 3 November 1989),
Emphasizing that co-operation between member countries in regard to the protection and use of transboundary waters shall be implemented primarily through the elaboration of agreements between countries bordering the same waters, especially where no such agreements have yet been reached,
have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention,
1. Transboundary waters means any surface or ground waters which mark, cross or are located on boundaries between two or more States; wherever transboundary waters flow directly into the sea, these transboundary waters end at a straight line across their respective mouths between points on the low-water line of their banks;
2. Transboundary impact means any significant adverse effect on the environment resulting from a change in the conditions of transboundary waters caused by a human activity, the physical origin of which is situated wholly or in part within an area under the jurisdiction of a Party, within an area under the jurisdiction of another Party. Such effects on the environment include effects on human health and safety, flora, fauna, soil, air, water, climate, landscape and historical monuments or other physical structures or the interaction among these factors; they also include effects on the cultural heritage or socio-economic conditions resulting from alterations to those factors;
3. Party means, unless the text otherwise indicates, a Contracting Party to this Convention;
4. Riparian Parties means the Parties bordering the same transboundary waters;
5. Joint body means any bilateral or multilateral commission or other appropriate institutional arrangements for co-operation between the Riparian Parties;
6. Hazardous substances means substances which are toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or bio-accumulative, especially when they are persistent;
7. Best available technology (the definition is contained in Annex I to this Convention).
Provisions relating to all parties
1. The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, control and reduce any transboundary impact.
2. The Parties shall, in particular, take all appropriate measures:
(a) to prevent, control and reduce pollution of waters causing or likely to cause transboundary impact;
(b) to ensure that transboundary waters are used with the aim of ecologically sound and rational water management, conservation of water resources and environmental protection;
(c) to ensure that transboundary waters are used in a reasonable and equitable way, taking into particular account their transboundary character, in the case of activities which cause or are likely to cause transboundary impact;
(d) to ensure conservation and, where necessary, restoration of ecosystems.
3. Measures for the prevention, control and reduction of water pollution shall be taken, where possible, at source.
4. These measures shall not directly or indirectly result in a transfer of pollution to other parts of the environment.
5. In taking the measures referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the Parties shall be guided by the following principles:
(a) the precautionary principle, by virtue of which action to avoid the potential transboundary impact of the release of hazardous substances shall not be postponed on the ground that scientific research has not fully proved a causal link between those substances, on the one hand, and the potential transboundary impact, on the other hand;
(b) the polluter-pays principle, by virtue of which costs of pollution prevention, control and reduction measures shall be borne by the polluter;
(c) water resources shall be managed so that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
6. The Riparian Parties shall cooperate on the basis of equality and reciprocity, in particular through bilateral and multilateral agreements, in order to develop harmonized policies, programmes and strategies covering the relevant catchment areas, or parts thereof, aimed at the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact and aimed at the protection of the environment of transboundary waters or the environment influenced by such waters, including the marine environment.
7. The application of this Convention shall not lead to the deterioration of environmental conditions nor lead to increased transboundary impact.
8. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the right of Parties individually or jointly to adopt and implement more stringent measures than those set down in this Convention.
Prevention, control and reduction
1. To prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact, the Parties shall develop, adopt, implement and, as far as possible, render compatible relevant legal, administrative, economic, financial and technical measures, in order to ensure, inter alia that:
(a) the emission of pollutants is prevented, controlled and reduced at source through the application of, inter alia, low- and non-waste technology;
(b) transboundary waters are protected against pollution from point sources through the prior licensing of waste-water discharges by the competent national authorities, and that the authorized discharges are monitored and controlled;
(c) limits for waste-water discharges stated in permits are based on the best available technology for discharges of hazardous substances;
(d) stricter requirements, even leading to prohibition in individual cases, are imposed when the quality of the receiving water or the ecosystem so requires;
(e) at least biological treatment or equivalent processes are applied to municipal waste water, where necessary in a step-by-step approach;
(f) appropriate measures are taken, such as the application of the best available technology, in order to reduce nutrient inputs from industrial and municipal sources;
(g) appropriate measures and best environmental practices are developed and implemented for the reduction of inputs of nutrients and hazardous substances from diffuse sources, especially where the main sources are from agriculture (guidelines for developing best environmental practices are given in Annex II to this Convention);
(h) environmental impact assessment and other means of assessment are applied;
(i) sustainable water-resources management, including the application of the ecosystems approach, is promoted;
(j) contingency planning is developed;
(k) additional specific measures are taken to prevent the pollution of groundwaters;
(l) the risk of accidental pollution is minimized.
2. To this end, each Party shall set emission limits for discharges from point sources into surface waters based on the best available technology, which are specifically applicable to individual industrial sectors or industries from which hazardous substances derive. The appropriate measures mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article to prevent, control and reduce the input of hazardous substances from point and diffuse sources into waters, may, inter alia, include total or partial prohibition of the production or use of such substances. Existing lists of such industrial sectors or industries and of such hazardous substances in international conventions or regulations, which are applicable in the area covered by this Convention, shall be taken into account.
3. In addition, each Party shall define, where appropriate, water-quality objectives and adopt water-quality criteria for the purpose of preventing, controlling and reducing transboundary impact. General guidance for developing such objectives and criteria is given in Annex III to this Convention. When necessary, the Parties shall endeavour to update this Annex.
The Parties shall establish programmes for monitoring the conditions of transboundary waters.
Research and development
The Parties shall cooperate in the conduct of research into and development of effective techniques for the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact. To this effect, the Parties shall, on a bilateral and/or multilateral basis, taking into account research activities pursued in relevant international forums, endeavour to initiate or intensify specific research programmes, where necessary, aimed, inter alia, at:
(a) methods for the assessment of the toxicity of hazardous substances and the noxiousness of pollutants;
(b) improved knowledge on the occurrence, distribution and environmental effects of pollutants and the processes involved;
(c) the development and application of environmentally sound technologies, production and consumption patterns;
(d) the phasing out and/or substitution of substances likely to have transboundary impact;
(e) environmentally sound methods of disposal of hazardous substances;
(f) special methods for improving the conditions of transboundary waters;
(g) she development of environmentally sound water-construction works and water-regulation techniques;
(h) the physical and financial assessment of damage resulting from transboundary impact.
The results of these research programmes shall be exchanged among the Parties in accordance with article 6 of this Convention.
Exchange of information
The Parties shall provide for the widest exchange of information, as early as possible, on issues covered by the provisions of this Convention.
Responsibility and liability
The Parties shall support appropriate international efforts to elaborate rules, criteria and procedures in the field of responsibility and liability.
Protection of information
The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the rights or the obligations of Parties in accordance with their national legal systems and applicable supranational regulations to protect information related to industrial and commercial secrecy, including intellectual property, or national security.
Provisions relating to riparian parties
Bilateral and multilateral co-operation
1. The Riparian Parties shall on the basis of equality and reciprocity enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements or other arrangements, where these do not yet exist, or adapt existing ones, where necessary to eliminate the contradictions with the basic principles of this Convention, in order to define their mutual relations and conduct regarding the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact. The Riparian Parties shall specify the catchment area, or part(s) thereof, subject to co-operation. These agreements or arrangements shall embrace relevant issues covered by this Convention, as well as any other issues on which the Riparian Parties may deem it necessary to cooperate.
2. The agreements or arrangements mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article shall provide for the establishment of joint bodies. The tasks of these joint bodies shall be, inter alia, and without prejudice to relevant existing agreements or arrangements, the following:
(a) to collect, compile and evaluate data in order to identify pollution sources likely to cause transboundary impact;
(b) to elaborate joint monitoring programmes concerning water quality and quantity;
(c) to draw up inventories and exchange information on the pollution sources mentioned in paragraph 2 (a) of this article;
(d) to elaborate emission limits for waste water and evaluate the effectiveness of control programmes;
(e) to elaborate joint water-quality objectives and criteria having regard to the provisions of article 3, paragraph 3 of this Convention, and to propose relevant measures for maintaining and, where necessary, improving the existing water quality;
(f) to develop concerted action programmes for the reduction of pollution loads from both point sources (e.g. municipal and industrial sources) and diffuse sources (particularly from agriculture);
(g) to establish warning and alarm procedures;
(h) to serve as a forum for the exchange of information on existing and planned uses of water and related installations that are likely to cause transboundary impact;
(i) to promote co-operation and exchange of information on the best available technology in accordance with the provisions of article 13 of this Convention, as well as to encourage co-operation in scientific research programmes;
(j) to participate in the implementation of environmental impact assessments relating to transboundary waters, in accordance with appropriate international regulations.
3. In cases where a coastal State, being Party to this Convention, is directly and significantly affected by transboundary impact, the Riparian Parties can, if they all so agree, invite that coastal State to be involved in an appropriate manner in the activities of multilateral joint bodies established by Parties riparian to such transboundary waters.
4. Joint bodies according to this Convention shall invite joint bodies, established by coastal States for the protection of the marine environment directly affected by transboundary impact, to cooperate in order to harmonize their work and to prevent, control and reduce the transboundary impact.
5. Where two or more joint bodies exist in the same catchment area, they shall endeavour to co-ordinate their activities in order to strengthen the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact within that catchment area.
Consultations shall be held between the Riparian Parties on the basis of reciprocity, good faith and good-neighbourliness, at the request of any such Party. Such consultations shall aim at co-operation regarding the issues covered by the provisions of this Convention. Any such consultations shall be conducted through a joint body established under article 9 of this Convention, where one exists.
Joint monitoring and assessment
1. In the framework of general co-operation mentioned in article 9 of this Convention, or specific arrangements, the Riparian Parties shall establish and implement joint programmes for monitoring the conditions of transboundary waters, including floods and ice drifts, as well as transboundary impact.
2. The Riparian Parties shall agree upon pollution parameters and pollutants whose discharges and concentration in transboundary waters shall be regularly monitored.
3. The Riparian Parties shall, at regular intervals, carry out joint or co-ordinated assessments of the conditions of transboundary waters and the effectiveness of measures taken for the prevention, control and reduction of transboundary impact. The results of these assessments shall be made available to the public in accordance with the provisions set out in article 16 of this Convention.
4. For these purposes, the Riparian Parties shall harmonize rules for the setting up and operation of monitoring programmes, measurement systems, devices, analytical techniques, data processing and evaluation procedures, and methods for the registration of pollutants discharged.
Common research and development
In the framework of general co-operation mentioned in article 9 of this Convention, or specific arrangements, the Riparian Parties shall undertake specific research and development activities in support of achieving and maintaining the water-quality objectives and criteria which they have agreed to set and adopt.
Exchange of information between riparian parties
1. The Riparian Parties shall, within the framework of relevant agreements or other arrangements according to article 9 of this Convention, exchange reasonably available data, inter alia, on:
(a) environmental conditions of transboundary waters;
(b) experience gained in the application and operation of best available technology and results of research and development;
(c) emission and monitoring data;
(d) measures taken and planned to be taken to prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact;
(e) permits or regulations for waste-water discharges issued by the competent authority or appropriate body.
2. In order to harmonize emission limits, the Riparian Parties shall undertake the exchange of information on their national regulations.
3. If a Riparian Party is requested by another Riparian Party to provide data or information that is not available, the former shall endeavour to comply with the request but may condition its compliance upon the payment, by the requesting Party, of reasonable charges for collecting and, where appropriate, processing such data or information.
4. For the purposes of the implementation of this Convention, the Riparian Parties shall facilitate the exchange of best available technology, particularly through the promotion of: the commercial exchange of available technology; direct industrial contacts and co-operation, including joint ventures; the exchange of information and experience; and the provision of technical assistance. The Riparian Parties shall also undertake joint training programmes and the organization of relevant seminars and meetings.
Warning and alarm systems
The Riparian Parties shall without delay inform each other about any critical situation that may have transboundary impact. The Riparian Parties shall set up, where appropriate, and operate co-ordinated or joint communication, warning and alarm systems with the aim of obtaining and transmitting information. These systems shall operate on the basis of compatible data transmission and treatment procedures and facilities to be agreed upon by the Riparian Parties. The Riparian Parties shall inform each other about competent authorities or points of contact designated for this purpose.
1. If a critical situation should arise, the Riparian Parties shall provide mutual assistance upon request, following procedures to be established in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article.
2. The Riparian Parties shall elaborate and agree upon procedures for mutual assistance addressing, inter alia, the following issues:
(a) the direction, control, co-ordination and supervision of assistance;
(b) local facilities and services to be rendered by the Party requesting assistance, including, where necessary, the facilitation of border-crossing formalities;
(c) arrangements for holding harmless, indemnifying and/or compensating the assisting Party and/or its personnel, as well as for transit through territories of third Parties, where necessary;
(d) methods of reimbursing assistance services.
1. The Riparian Parties shall ensure that information on the conditions of transboundary waters, measures taken or planned to be taken to prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact, and the effectiveness of those measures, is made available to the public. For this purpose, the Riparian Parties shall ensure that the following information is made available to the public:
(a) water-quality objectives;
(b) permits issued and the conditions required to be met;
(c) results of water and effluent sampling carried out for the purposes of monitoring and assessment, as well as results of checking compliance with the water-quality objectives or the permit conditions.
2. The Riparian Parties shall ensure that this information shall be available to the public at all reasonable times for inspection free of charge, and shall provide members of the public with reasonable facilities for obtaining from the Riparian Parties, on payment of reasonable charges, copies of such information.
Institutional and final provisions
Meeting of parties
1. The first meeting of the Parties shall be convened no later than one year after the date of the entry into force of this Convention. Thereafter, ordinary meetings shall be held every three years, or at shorter intervals as laid down in the rules of procedure. The Parties shall hold an extraordinary meeting if they so decide in the course of an ordinary meeting or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within six months of it being communicated to all Parties, the said request is supported by at least one third of the Parties.
2. At their meetings, the Parties shall keep under continuous review the implementation of this Convention, and, with this purpose in mind, shall:
(a) review the policies for and methodological approaches to the protection and use of transboundary waters of the Parties with a view to further improving the protection and use of transboundary waters;
(b) exchange information regarding experience gained in concluding and implementing bilateral and multilateral agreements or other arrangements regarding the protection and use of transboundary waters to which one or more of the Parties are party;
(c) seek, where appropriate, the services of relevant ECE bodies as well as other competent international bodies and specific committees in all aspects pertinent to the achievement of the purposes of this Convention;
(d) at their first meeting, consider and by consensus adopt rules of procedure for their meetings;
(e) consider and adopt proposals for amendments to this Convention;
(f) consider and undertake any additional action that may be required for the achievement of the purposes of this Convention.
Right to vote
1. Except as provided for in paragraph 2 of this article, each Party to this Convention shall have one vote.
2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States which are Parties to this Convention. Such organizations shall not exercise their right to vote if their member States exercise theirs, and vice versa.
The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe shall carry out the following secretariat functions:
(a) the convening and preparing of meetings of the Parties;
(b) the transmission to the Parties of reports and other information received in accordance with the provisions of this Convention;
(c) the performance of such other functions as may be determined by the Parties.
Annexes to this Convention shall constitute an integral part thereof.
Amendments to the convention
1. Any Party may propose amendments to this Convention.
2. Proposals for amendments to this Convention shall be considered at a meeting of the Parties.
3. The text of any proposed amendment to this Convention shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, who shall communicate it to all Parties at least ninety days before the meeting at which it is proposed for adoption.
4. An amendment to the present Convention shall be adopted by consensus of the representatives of the Parties to this Convention present at a meeting of the Parties, and shall enter into force for the Parties to the Convention which have accepted it on the ninetieth day after the date on which two thirds of those Parties have deposited with the Depositary their instruments of acceptance of the amendment. The amendment shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after the date on which that Party deposits its instrument of acceptance of the amendment.
Settlement of disputes
1. If a dispute arises between two or more Parties about the interpretation or application of this Convention, they shall seek a solution by negotiation or by any other means of dispute settlement acceptable to the parties to the dispute.
2. When signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Convention, or at any time thereafter, a Party may declare in writing to the Depositary that, for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, it accepts one or both of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:
(a) submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice;
(b) arbitration in accordance with the procedure set out in Annex IV.
3. If the parties to the dispute have accepted both means of dispute settlement referred to in paragraph 2 of this article, the dispute may be submitted only to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree otherwise.
This Convention shall be open for signature at Helsinki from 17 to 18 March 1992 inclusive, and thereafter at United Nations Headquarters in New York until 18 September 1992, by States members of the Economic Commission for Europe as well as States having consultative status with the Economic Commission for Europe pursuant to paragraph 8 of Economic and Social Council resolution 36 (IV) of 28 March 1947, and by regional economic integration organizations constituted by sovereign States members of the Economic Commission for Europe to which their member States have transferred competence over matters governed by this Convention, including the competence to enter into treaties in respect of these matters.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall act as the Depositary of this Convention.
Ratification, acceptance, approval and accession
1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by signatory States and regional economic integration organizations.
2. This Convention shall be open for accession by the States and organizations referred to in article 23.
3. Any organization referred to in article 23 which becomes a Party to this Convention without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under this Convention. In the case of such organizations, one or more of whose member States is a Party to this Convention, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under this Convention. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under this Convention concurrently.
4. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the regional economic integration organizations referred to in article 23 shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by this Convention. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any substantial modification to the extent of their competence.
Entry into force
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the sixteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this article, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by States members of such an organization.
3. For each State or organization referred to in article 23 which ratifies, accepts or approves this Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of the sixteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit by such State or organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
At any time after three years from the date on which this Convention has come into force with respect to a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Convention by giving written notification to the Depositary. Any such withdrawal shall take effect on the ninetieth day after the date of its receipt by the Depositary.
The original of this Convention, of which the English, French and Russian texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Convention.
DONE at Helsinki, this seventeenth day of March one thousand nine hundred and ninety-two.
Definition of the term best available technology
1. The term best available technology is taken to mean the latest stage of development of processes, facilities or methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting discharges, emissions and waste. In determining whether a set of processes, facilities and methods of operation constitute the best available technology in general or individual cases, special consideration is given to:
(a) comparable processes, facilities or methods of operation which have recently been successfully tried out;
(b) technological advances and changes in scientific knowledge and understanding;
(c) the economic feasibility of such technology;
(d) time limits for installation in both new and existing plants;
(e) the nature and volume of the discharges and effluents concerned;
(f) low- and non-waste technology.
2. It therefore follows that what is best available technology for a particular process will change with time in the light of technological advances, economic and social factors, as well as in the light of changes in scientific knowledge and understanding.
Guidelines for developing best environmental practices
1. In selecting for individual cases the most appropriate combination of measures which may constitute the best environmental practice, the following graduated range of measures should be considered:
(a) provision of information and education to the public and to users about the environmental consequences of the choice of particular activities and products, their use and ultimate disposal
(b) the development and application of codes of good environmental practice which cover all aspects of the product's life;
(c) labels informing users of environmental risks related to a product, its use and ultimate disposal;
(d) collection and disposal systems available to the public;
(e) recycling, recovery and reuse;
(f) application of economic instruments to activities, products or groups of products;
(g) a system of licensing, which involves a range of restrictions or a ban.
2. In determining what combination of measures constitute best environmental practices, in general or in individual cases, particular consideration should be given to:
(a) the environmental hazard of:
(i) the product;
(ii) the product's production;
(iii) the product's use;
(iv) the product's ultimate disposal;
(b) substitution by less polluting processes or substances;
(c) scale of use;
(d) potential environmental benefit or penalty of substitute materials or activities;
(e) advances and changes in scientific knowledge and understanding;
(f) time limits for implementation;
(g) social and economic implications.
3. It therefore follows that best environmental practices for a particular source will change with time in the light of technological advances, economic and social factors, as well as in the light of changes in scientific knowledge and understanding.
Guidelines for developing water-quality
Objectives and criteria
Water-quality objectives and criteria shall:
(a) take into account the aim of maintaining and, where necessary, improving the existing water quality;
(b) aim at the reduction of average pollution loads (in particular hazardous substances) to a certain degree within a certain period of time;
(c) take into account specific water-quality requirements (raw water for drinking-water purposes, irrigation, etc.);
(d) take into account specific requirements regarding sensitive and specially protected waters and their environment, e.g. lakes and groundwater resources;
(e) be based on the application of ecological classification methods and chemical indices for the medium- and long-term review of water-quality maintenance and improvement;
(f) take into account the degree to which objectives are reached and the additional protective measures, based on emission limits, which may be required in individual cases.
1. In the event of a dispute being submitted for arbitration pursuant to article 22, paragraph 2 of this Convention, a party or parties shall notify the secretariat of the subject-matter of arbitration and indicate, in particular, the articles of this Convention whose interpretation or application is at issue. The secretariat shall forward the information received to all Parties to this Convention.
2. The arbitral tribunal shall consist of three members. Both the claimant party or parties and the other party or parties to the dispute shall appoint an arbitrator, and the two arbitrators so appointed shall designate by common agreement the third arbitrator, who shall be the president of the arbitral tribunal. The latter shall not be a national of one of the parties to the dispute, nor have his or her usual place of residence in the territory of one of these parties, nor be employed by any of them, nor have dealt with the case in any other capacity.
3. If the president of the arbitral tribunal has not been designated within two months of the appointment of the second arbitrator, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe shall, at the request of either party to the dispute, designate the president within a further two-month period.
4. If one of the parties to the dispute does not appoint an arbitrator within two months of the receipt of the request, the other party may so inform the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, who shall designate the president of the arbitral tribunal within a further two-month period. Upon designation, the president of the arbitral tribunal shall request the party which has not appointed an arbitrator to do so within two months. If it fails to do so within that period, the president shall so inform the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, who shall make this appointment within a further two-month period.
5. The arbitral tribunal shall render its decision in accordance with international law and the provisions of this Convention.
6. Any arbitral tribunal constituted under the provisions set out in this Annex shall draw up its own rules of procedure.
7. The decisions of the arbitral tribunal, both on procedure and on substance, shall be taken by majority vote of its members.
8. The tribunal may take all appropriate measures to establish the facts.
9. The parties to the dispute shall facilitate the work of the arbitral tribunal and, in particular, using all means at their disposal, shall:
(a) provide it with all relevant documents, facilities and information;
(b) enable it, where necessary, to call witnesses or experts and receive their evidence.
10. The parties and the arbitrators shall protect the confidentiality of any information they receive in confidence during the proceedings of the arbitral tribunal.
11. The arbitral tribunal may, at the request of one of the parties, recommend interim measures of protection.
12. If one of the parties to the dispute does not appear before the arbitral tribunal or fails to defend its case, the other party may request the tribunal to continue the proceedings and to render its final decision. Absence of a party or failure of a party to defend its case shall not constitute a bar to the proceedings.
13. The arbitral tribunal may hear and determine counter-claims arising directly out of the subject-matter of the dispute.
14. Unless the arbitral tribunal determines otherwise because of the particular circumstances of the case, the expenses of the tribunal, including the remuneration of its members, shall be borne by the parties to the dispute in equal shares. The tribunal shall keep a record of all its expenses, and shall furnish a final statement thereof to the parties.
15. Any Party to this Convention which has an interest of a legal nature in the subject-matter of the dispute, and which may be affected by a decision in the case, may intervene in the proceedings with the consent of the tribunal.
16. The arbitral tribunal shall render its award within five months of the date on which it is established, unless it finds it necessary to extend the time limit for a period which should not exceed five months.
17. The award of the arbitral tribunal shall be accompanied by a statement of reasons. It shall be final and binding upon all parties to the dispute. The award will be transmitted by the arbitral tribunal to the parties to the dispute and to the secretariat. The secretariat will forward the information received to all Parties to this Convention.
18. Any dispute which may arise between the parties concerning the interpretation or execution of the award may be submitted by either party to the arbitral tribunal which made the award or, if the latter cannot be seized thereof, to another tribunal constituted for this purpose in the same manner as the first.
 Text in: African
Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, published by
the Organization of African Unity - General Secretariat OAU, CM/232.
Entry into force on 9 October 1969.
 Text in: Report of the Inter-American Juridical Committee on the work accomplished during its 1965 meeting, (OEA/Ser. 1/VI.1, CIJ-83) (Washington, D.C. Pan-American Union, 1966), pp. 7-10.
 Text in: Rios y lagos internacionales (Utilización pare fines agricolas e industriales) 4 ed. rev., OEA/Ser. I/VI, CIJ-75 rev. 2 (Wash., D.C., Organization of American States), 1971 pp. 183-186. English version in Legal Problems relating to the non-navigational uses of international watercourses, A/CN.4/274 - Supplementary Report by the Secretary-General, United Nations Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1974, Vol. II (Part two), p. 324. Parties: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay.
 Text in: Legal Problems relating to the non-navigational uses of international watercourses, Supplementary Report by the Secretary General, doc. A/CN. 4/274, United Nations, Yearbook of International Law Commission, 1974, Vol. II (part two), pp. 346-349.
 Text in: ECE Web Page, Internet. The Convention has not yet entered into force.
 Text in: Separate Publication of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE). The Convention came into force on 6 October 1996