Increased awareness by decision makers with a technical
background of the role of international water law in achieving
collaborative ways to sharing a joint resource;
- Strengthened skills of decision makers in interest-based
- Enhanced understanding of how customary law could support
formal law in local dispute resolution.
is broad consensus that sustained Nile Basin cooperation
requires a permanent institution and agreement on core legal
principles for management of transboundary waters. Two international
conventions are concerned with fresh water:
The Helsinki Convention (1992) on the protection and use
of transboundary watercourses and international lakes;
- The UN Convention (1997) on the non-navigational uses
of international water courses.
international water law, embodied in these conventions,
includes a list of considerations and some criteria according
to which international waters are to be managed jointly
by the riparians. However, these provide only a framework,
and the specifics have to be worked out in each case by
shows that riparian countries often emphasize their shared
interests and choose collaborative ways to manage a shared
resource. Agreement is reached through negotiation in which
parties discuss possible outcomes directly with each other
and search for win-win solutions. Interest-based negotiations
shift the focus of the discussion from position to interests.
Water managers involved in the negotiation process need
to understand the legal aspects of managing a shared resource,
and, more in particular, the role of international water
growing stress on the scarce water resource due to ongoing
population growth, national water departments will play
an increasing role in dispute resolution and mediation at
local and national level. Conflict resolution mechanisms
can be strengthened by synthesizing traditional and customary
practices with formal law. Building on indigenous practices
could increase support for an allocation regime. Without
being perceived as fair and equitable by local stakeholders,
it is doubtful that an agreement can be implemented.
implementing the legal and institutional component of the
project, cooperation will be sought with other projects
and programs under the umbrella of the NBI.
on Negotiation Skills
a joint activity with the Shared Vision Program (SVP) Coordination
Project, a workshop on negotiation skills was organized
from 12 to 16 February 2006 in Bujumbura, Burundi. Emphasis
was put on the negotiation approach developed by the Harvard
Negotiation Project to focus on interests instead of positions.
total of 38 individuals participated in the workshop, including
the members of the project steering committee, the Nile
Technical Advisory Committee (Nile TAC), and a number of
legal advisors to the respective ministries responsible
for water affairs in the 10 Nile Basin states.
visit the Events Archive for more information on the workshop.