The Economic Commission for Europe,
Mindful of the special importance of solving the problems of the protection of water against pollution and its rational utilization in ECE member countries as an integral part of the environmental protection policy in the interests of present and future generations,
Appreciating the important role of the ECE Declaration of policy on water pollution control of 29 April 1966, which has contributed to the substantial progress made in this field by ECE member countries, the Committee on Water Problems and its subsidiary bodies,
Taking note of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Mar del Plata Action Plan adopted by the United Nations Water Conference, in particular resolutions VII and VIII and the recommendations applying more specifically to Europe,
Bearing in mind the recent international conventions aimed at the protection of the marine environment; the Convention for the prevention of marine pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft (Oslo, 1972); the Convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area (Helsinki, 1974); the Convention for the prevention of marine pollution from land-based sources (Paris, 1974); the Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution (Barcelona, 1976); the Convention on civil liability for oil pollution damage resulting from exploration and exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources (London, 1976); and the international conventions applicable to marine pollution due to vessel sources,
Considering that the efforts of individual countries in solving the problems of the protection of water against pollution, including transboundary pollution, should be supplemented and supported, as appropriate, by bilateral and multilateral international co-operation,
Aware of the responsibilities and activities of different United Nations bodies and other relevant international organizations in this field,
Recognizing the need for further development and strengthening of international co-operation and improvement in the co-ordination of efforts by ECE member countries in water pollution control matters, including transboundary pollution, in the light of the experience acquired during the past few years in the management and integrated use of water resources,
1. Decides to adopt the Principles on prevention and control of water pollution, including transboundary pollution set forth in the appendix to this Decision, which complete and develop the Principles contained in the 1966 Declaration;
2. Recommends to ECE Governments that they consider the possibility of applying these Principles in formulating and carrying out their water policies and in their international co-operation;
3. Invites the member Governments to report in depth to the Commission at three year intervals, through the Committee on Water Problems, on the action taken by them in this regard;
4. Requests the Executive Secretary to transmit this decision to the member Governments as a Declaration of policy on prevention and control of water pollution, including transboundary pollution;
5. Requests the Executive Secretary to transmit this decision to the organizations concerned with a view to extending international co-operation in this field.
1. The conservation of water resources and the prevention and control of water pollution are integral parts of a comprehensive national policy in environmental protection and call for active participation of national and local public authorities and water users as well as close international co-operation. The rational utilization of water resources, both surface and underground, as a basic element in the framework of long-term water management, should be viewed as an effective support to the policy of prevention and control of water pollution, taking into account the special features of each drainage basin.
2. Water pollution control should be handled taking account of possible interactions of pollutants on air, land and water.
3. The aim of water pollution control is to preserve, as far as possible, the natural quality of surface and ground water, to protect the environment which depends on such water, and to decrease existing levels of water pollution in order to protect public health and to allow the satisfaction of the needs of such water, under the best economic conditions and in sufficient quantity, in particular for:
- providing drinking water of sufficiently good quality for human health;
- preserving the aquatic flora and fauna;
- providing water for industry;
- providing water for agriculture, in particular irrigation and animal consumption;
- recreation (sports and leisure) with due regard to sanitary and aesthetic requirements.
4. Governments should adopt a long-term policy directed towards the reduction of existing water pollution and its prevention in the future. To this end a series of interrelated measures should be developed including, so far as necessary, the improvement of water legislation and its implementation, the use of all legal and administrative measures, integrated land-use planning, and the application of suitable economic incentives to encourage, inter alia, the conservation of water, the optimization of water resources management, the elimination of pollutants, in particular, at source the development of low- and non-waste technology, including recycling of water, and research and development.
5. Important tools in water pollution control are standardization and monitoring of water quality in rivers and lakes or standardization and monitoring of effluents, or an appropriate combination of both; the quantitative and qualitative assessment of waste water and its treatment with due regard to the interests of water users and environmental protection. In setting criteria and standards, all types of water resources (surface, ground and sea water) and/or effluents should be covered. The criteria and standards themselves should, as far as possible, reflect public health, drinking water supply and environmental protection requirements and should also satisfy the demand for water in the industrial, agricultural, fisheries and other sectors of the economy.
6. Pollution of the aquatic environment by dangerous substances that are toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative should be prevented by using the best available technology and eliminated within a reasonable period of time.
7. Governments should organize the implementation of water pollution control measures as part of their national policy of environmental protection, within the framework of their institutions and taking into account the nature of the problems to be solved. In this connection, it may be desirable that States, within the limits of their constitutional and legislative competence, have at their disposal appropriate organs at the central or regional levels or at the level of the various hydrographic basins. It may be desirable that the central responsibility for water pollution control be vested in one authority or co-ordinating body on a sufficiently high level. This authority or body should carry out its work in collaboration with other authorities and within the framework of water resources, water utilization and public health policies in general. Furthermore, bodies such as committees, commissions, etc., composed of representatives of the public authorities, of representatives of users and independent experts may be entrusted with the task of helping and advising the above-mentioned organs.
8. To promote water pollution control and to protect both surface and underground water, it is essential to establish laws which prohibit all discharges of liquid and solid wastes from domestic, industrial and agricultural activities to surface waters and aquifers unless they have been authorized by the competent authority in charge of water pollution control. However, regulations for discharges of limited importance and special derogations, if appropriate, could be implemented in particular cases. In deciding whether to permit these discharges, the appropriate competent authority should ensure that the effluents are treated at least by the best practicable technology possible and that they will not endanger public health or life in general and should take particular account of the following factors:
(a) the capacity of the receiving water to assimilate materials being discharged, taking into account the physical, chemical, biological, microbiological and radio-active characteristics of these materials;
(b) the evaluation of the environmental, social and economic advantages and disadvantages of possible methods of treatment and disposal.
9. Each country should take all appropriate steps to prevent pollution of the sea, namely by the direct or indirect introduction by man into the marine environment - including estuaries - of substances or energy which may endanger human health, harm living resources and the marine ecosystem, affect amenities or interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea. Governments should therefore seek: to reduce progressively land-based pollution provoked by toxic, non-degradable and bioaccumulative substances enumerated in the appropriate supplements to different international conventions; to prohibit or to set up controls by specific permits, according to the different international conventions, of the discharge of these substances from their territories into the sea; and to carry out the principles set out in the convention pertaining to the reduction and prohibition of pollution caused in coastal areas and estuaries by exploration and exploitation of the resources of the sea.
10. It is essential that legislation on water use and pollution control should be drawn up and applied in such a way that if violations occur effective sanctions can be imposed. The competent authorities should be authorized to take immediate action in case of need.
11. The general principle should be adopted that, as far as possible, the direct or indirect costs attributable to pollution should be borne by the polluter. Each State should use the most suitable economic incentives in order to discourage pollution and encourage the reduction of polluting discharges and the development of new technologies which are less polluting. Strategies for water pollution control should include, in addition to the installation of effluent treatment plants, the adoption of preventive measures at the earliest possible stage in the production processes, especially through the incorporation of low- and non-waste technology, water recycling and the rational use of chemicals and fertilizers in agriculture and forestry, as well as the implementation of land-use policies.
12. States should establish information and educational programmes in order to influence individual behaviour in relation to water utilization and pollution and to promote the acceptance of responsibility for dealing with water problems.
13. States sharing water resources should undertake, on the basis of their national policies, concerted action to improve the quality of surface and ground water, to control pollution and to guard against accidental pollution. These States should, by means of bilateral or multilateral agreements define their mutual relations on water pollution control, especially through the widest possible exchange of information and through consultations at an early stage in regard to activities likely to have significant adverse effects on water quality in the territory of the other States. In these agreements, water quality standards and/or emission standards for a particular water body should be established, where necessary. These agreements would also stipulate the obligations of the States in solving water pollution problems, including their scientific and technological aspects. Provision should be made in particular for the use of existing structures of co-operation and for seeking new ones, as appropriate, to meet fully the interests of expanding and intensifying international relations.
14. International co-operation on water problems, within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and other competent international organizations operating within the ECE region should facilitate the exchange of experience between countries and help them to find the most appropriate solutions through the exchange of available information, especially on ways of predicting and effectively avoiding adverse environmental consequences of economic activities and new technology. This co-operation should include: exchange of scientific and technical information including experience of structure, design and technology of waste water treatment plants, and on the development and introduction of low- and non-waste technology; exchange of researchers, specialists, trainees; carrying out joint studies; comparison of long-term national policies for rational water use and water protection; organization of scientific and technical meetings; and comparison of water quality criteria and standards as well as their methods of application.
The Economic Commission for Europe,
Recognizing the growing significance of economic, environmental and physical interrelationships between ECE countries, in particular where streams or lakes and related ground water aquifers cross or are located on international boundaries.
Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of States over their natural resources.
Mindful of the vital importance and special urgency to continue and stimulate efforts which promote international co-operation on shared water resources aiming at their development, use and conservation for the mutual benefit of present and future generations,
Believing that the intensification of concerted endeavours for a further strengthening of international co-operation on shared water resources will not only be of interest to countries involved but also to other ECE member countries, as firm co-operation between countries contributes fundamentally to promoting and deepening mutual understanding, confidence and trust in the region,
Conscious of the wish of participating States expressed in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe to develop such co-operation, inter alia, by promoting the progressive development, codification and implementation of international law as one means of preserving and enhancing the human environment, including principles and practices, as accepted by them, relating to pollution and other environmental damage caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of their States affecting other countries and regions,
Commending the efforts already undertaken by riparian countries to harmonize and co-ordinate their national policies in the field of management of shared water resources by bilateral and multilateral conventions and agreements or other legally binding arrangements,
Welcoming the substantive progress made in the development and formulation of principles and guidelines governing international co-operation on shared natural resources elaborated by the United Nations Environment Programme, with a view to placing such co-operation on a more systematic basis, and mindful of the principle recommended by the Mar del Plata Action Plan that in relation to the use, management and development of shared water resources, rational policies should take into consideration the right of each State sharing the resources to equitably utilize such resources as the means to promote bonds of solidarity and co-operation,
Underlining the importance of the ECE Declaration of Policy on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, including Transboundary Pollution, which invites States to define, by means of bilateral or multilateral agreements, their mutual relations on water pollution control, especially through the widest possible exchange of information and through consultations at an early stage in regard to activities likely to have significant adverse effects on water quality in the territories of the other States.
Recalling further that this ECE Declaration of Policy called on States to make provisions in particular for the use of existing structures of co-operation and for seeking new ones, as appropriate, to meet fully the interests of expanding and intensifying international relations,
Conscious of the role of ECE as an instrument for promoting bilateral and multilateral co-operation on shared water resources within the region,
1. Calls upon member Governments to pursue and if necessary to strengthen their efforts to co-operate in the elaboration of policy aims, programmes and planning regarding the development, use and conservation of shared water resources;
2. Notes with appreciation that the great majority of ECE countries have already entered into legal, binding arrangements, including treaties, conventions and agreements, with a view to better co-operation in their endeavours towards better protection and more equitable utilization and development of shared water resources;
3. Encourages member Governments to continue their efforts to extend already existing international arrangements in the light of changing socio-economic requirements or of changing priorities in the utilization of shared water resources and in particular to speed up procedures within international river commissions and competent governmental bodies to cope efficiently with emergency situations and/or to embody sufficient power to existing legal and administrative arrangements to deal with such situations;
4. Stresses the important and useful role that international river commissions play within the context of international co-operation on shared water resources and in this respect invites member Governments, inter alia:
(a) to make full use of international river commissions by providing them with all necessary means for the efficient and mutually beneficial implementation of those tasks they entrusted to them and in particular by facilitating periodical exchange of information between international river commissions and, where appropriate;
(b) to promote and strengthen international co-operation through international river commissions by improving their efficiency and by establishing new ones where they do not already exist, through regional conventions and through the harmonization of different long-term national plans of riparian States and of national monitoring systems, as well as, at a second stage, if necessary, to take steps for the possible elaboration of a joint plan for the entire basin;
5. Reiterates its previous decision to intensify its efforts in the water sector by, inter alia, strengthening the activities and responsibilities of the Committee on Water Problems with a view to providing a basis for co-operation among countries involved in the spirit of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe and to assist them at the request of all ECE member Governments concerned with a particular shared water resource;
6. Requests, therefore, the Committee on Water Problems to pay full attention to facilitating international co-operation on shared water resources and in this respect:
(a) to elaborate a report on international co-operation in the field of shared water resources development which may contain, inter alia, case studies prepared by concerned ECE countries on the principles and results achieved in bilateral and multilateral co-operation;
(b) to carry out projects relating to the collection and use of compatible statistical data; comparison of water quality norms; comparison of methods for analysing the composition and properties of water including waste water; review of measures taken in emergency cases (such as accidental pollution, floods) and those taken for the assessment of socio-economic impacts due to accidental pollution and floods;
7. Decides to convene under the auspices of the Committee on Water Problems, as and if required, meetings on international river commissions in order to promote and facilitate international co-operation on shared water resources in the ECE region.
The Economic Commission for Europe,
Recognizing the significance of the harmonious development, use and conservation of transboundary waters and aware that prevention and control of transboundary pollution in rivers and lakes crossing or forming frontiers between two or more countries, and in related groundwater aquifers, as well as prevention and control of floods are important and urgent tasks whose effective accomplishment can only be ensured by enhanced co-operation among riparian countries,
Recalling its decision B (XXXV) whereby it adopted the ECE Declaration of Policy on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, including Transboundary Pollution;
Taking into account the results of the Seminar on Co-operation in the Field of Transboundary Waters (Dusseldorf, Federal Republic of Germany in 1984),
Commending the efforts already undertaken by riparian countries to strengthen co-operation in the field of transboundary waters on a bilateral and multilateral level in particular regarding prevention and control of both transboundary water pollution including accidental pollution and transboundary flood episodes,
Conscious of the role of ECE as an instrument for promoting international co-operation regarding prevention and control of transboundary pollution, including accidental pollution as well as floods by, inter alia, elaborating international principles conducive to the achievement of those purposes as a means of placing or a firmer basis co-operation among riparian countries,
1. Decides to adopt the recommendations to ECE member Governments on Co-operation in the Field of Transboundary Waters, set forth hereunder;
2. Invites ECE member Governments to apply these recommendations in formulating and implementing water policies.
1. This Code is intended to guide Governments in the protection of transboundary inland waters against pollution resulting from hazardous activities in case of accidents or natural disasters and in mitigating their impacts on the aquatic environment. It deals, in particular, with the transboundary effects of such pollution. It is aimed at the harmonization of national measures to be taken in this field and at the formulation of basic frames of international co-operation.
2. The Code lays down those measures which countries concerned should take individually or jointly to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. Its objective is also to increase the state of preparedness to respond efficiently to such incidents, to mitigate and contain the damage resulting therefrom, to provide a common basis for, and establish standards of, conduct relating to hazardous activities that might affect transboundary inland waters.
3. One of the basic functions of the Code is to serve as a point of reference, particularly until such time as countries have entered into relevant bilateral or multilateral agreements.
4. The Code is without prejudice to the provisions of particular systems or procedures included in national legislation or in bilateral or multilateral instruments concluded for this purpose. Countries should endeavour to apply and further develop the objectives of the Code either within the framework of existing international agreements or through the elaboration and adoption of new agreements as appropriate, taking into account the relevant work of competent international bodies in this field.
5. The Code does not preclude countries from instituting more stringent national regulations as well as broader and more frequent co-operative measures with other countries concerned.
6. The Code applies to hazardous activities which result in or are likely to result in accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters in the territory of other countries, especially that resulting from:
- the extraction, production, processing or movement of hazardous substances;
- the unintended release of hazardous substances in the form of eases, liquids, or solids into water bodies;
- the surface or underground storage of hazardous substances;
- the misuse of hazardous substances and/or of technologies;
- natural disasters.
Inasmuch as matters regarding the transport of dangerous goods including hazardous substances and wastes, as well as those regarding radioactive substances, are covered by relevant existing international instruments, these are not referred to in the Code.
7. The Code applies to any incident irrespective of whether it occurred in the transboundary inland waters or in their vicinity with the risk of affecting such waters.
8. This Code should be brought to the attention of all concerned with the utilization and protection of transboundary inland waters so that Governments assume their shared responsibility, individually or jointly, to ensure that the objectives of the Code are met.
For the purposes of this Code:
(a) Incident means any man-made accident or natural disaster;
(b) Accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters means the introduction, directly or indirectly, of hazardous substances into transboundary inland waters as a result of incidents originating wholly or partly within an area under the jurisdiction of one country, which causes or threatens to cause significant impairment of the quality of transboundary inland waters and/or significant damage to aquatic ecosystems in an area under the jurisdiction of another country;
(c) Transboundary inland waters means any surface and ground waters which form or cross the common boundaries of two or more countries;
(d) Accident means a departure from normally permissible operating conditions of an activity causing or threatening to cause water pollution;
(e) Natural disaster means any natural event including such phenomena as floods, ice drifts, earthquakes, landslides and hurricanes, which causes or threatens to cause accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(f) Risk means the combined effect of the probability of occurrence of an undesirable event and its magnitude;
(g) Hazardous activity means any activity which by its nature involves a significant risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(h) Hazardous substance means any substance or energy involving a significant risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, including toxic, persistent and bio-accumulative substances and harmful micro-organisms;
(i) Riparian country means any country bordering on a given transboundary inland water;
(j) Country concerned means any country of incident and any exposed country;
(k) Country of incident means any country within the territory and under the jurisdiction of which accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters originates or is likely to originate;
(l) Exposed country means any country affected by, or exposed to a significant risk of, accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(m) Authorizing country means any country authorizing hazardous activities or activities involving hazardous substances;
(n) Operator means any physical or legal person planning to carry out, or carrying out, a hazardous activity, such as manufacturing, processing, storing, disposing, distributing, transporting, handling, discharging, recovering or consuming hazardous substances.
II. General provisions
1. Countries should in particular take, and adapt to circumstances, strict measures relating to hazardous activities and substances according to safety standards using the best available technology to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and minimize the risk of damage, and/or to mitigate and contain the damage from such pollution.
2. In taking measures to control and regulate hazardous activities and substances, to prevent and control accidental pollution, to mitigate damage arising from accidental pollution, countries should do everything so as not to transfer, directly or indirectly, damage or risks between different environmental media or transform one type of pollution into another.
3. Riparian countries should implement, within the framework of their national legislation, the basic principle that responsibility for pollution lies with the polluter.
4. In the interest of rational management of transboundary inland waters and their protection against accidental pollution, riparian countries are called upon to use the provisions of this Code including the Annexes hereto, as guidance to enhance co-operation in this field.
III. National legislative and administrative measures
1. Countries should take appropriate legislative and administrative measures for the prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and for the mitigation and containment of damage resulting therefrom. Such measures should cover the matters referred to in Annex A, and particular attention should be given to hazardous substances, especially those which are toxic, persistent and bio-accumulative.
2. National legislative and administrative measures should promote the development and sound application of the best available technologies and their safe operation for efficient prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. Those measures should also provide for the competent authorities to be authorized to take emergency action without delay.
IV. International co-operation
1. Countries should make use of existing bilateral or multilateral agreements and institutional arrangements to cope with accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and should, where necessary, expand their scope and functions to cover matters governed by this Code including the Annexes hereto.
2. Riparian countries should, in the framework of bilateral or multilateral agreements or arrangements, define their mutual relations regarding the control of hazardous activities and the prevention of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, in order to ensure mutually agreed regulation of their conduct.
3. Bilateral and multilateral agreements or arrangements should contain in particular, provisions on appropriate mutual exchange all pertinent information, early warning and alarm systems, joint contingency plans, preventive and remedial measures, institutional infrastructures and joint manoeuvres and exercises of competent services, such as civil protection, rescue units, fire and oil brigades, common procedures concerning risk assessment and environmental impact assessment as well as those relating to responsibility and liability, and measures to remedy damage caused by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. Agreements or arrangements in this framework should provide for the necessary international institutions to ensure implementation.
4. Riparian countries should agree to co-ordinate and harmonize as necessary their legislative and administrative measures relating to transboundary inland waters, particularly as regards criteria for defining hazardous activities and substances, contingency plans at all levels, monitoring, safety and other relevant matters.
5. When a country of incident receives information from either riparian country that activities envisaged or carried out in the territory of the country of incident are likely to cause accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters in the territory of the other country, both countries should without undue delay commence consultations and negotiations as appropriate aimed at achieving mutually acceptable solutions.
V. Institutional arrangements
1. International institutions for transboundary inland waters should, where appropriate, be entrusted with the functions specified in Annex B.
2. Where commissions or other institutional arrangements are already set up, participating countries should make full use of them by providing all necessary means for the efficient implementation of their tasks concerning accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. Where countries act within such institutions, they should make every effort to take the provisions of this Code into account.
3. The formal character, functions and geographical and substantive scope of existing commissions should, where necessary, be broadened to deal with protection of transboundary inland waters against accidental pollution and to cope with such incidents in the best possible way. Existing national and intergovernmental structures and legal provisions should be fully taken into account, as well as hydrological, environmental, economic and other relevant conditions. Joint commissions should be used to facilitate co-operation and communication between the national authorities concerned, in particular between designated points of contact of participating countries.
VI. Exchange of information
1. Riparian countries should, in accordance with the provisions of this Code:
(a) exchange information on their legislative and administrative measures as well as their policies, scientific activities and technical measures to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and to mitigate and contain damage from such pollution with a view to harmonizing such measures;
(b) provide for the exchange of information on:
(i) incidents, measures and plans at the national level affecting other countries;
(ii) objectives and standards, as well as programmes for monitoring, planning, research and development including their implementation and surveillance;
(iii) data regarding the control of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
2. For purposes of expeditious communications between the countries concerned, each country should designate a national governmental authority as point of contact competent to perform the administrative functions related to the exchange of information. Countries should inform each other of these authorities and of any changes in their functions.
3. In order to facilitate and expedite the exchange of information pertinent to the implementation of their relevant cements or arrangements, countries concerned should consider the possibility of establishing communication links between the regional and/or local authorities of adjacent areas, integrated in and co-ordinated with any intergovernmental system of information exchange.
4. Riparian countries should exchange information regarding authorization of planned activities involving a significant risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
5. Countries exchanging information in accordance with this Code should establish internal procedures for the receipt, handling and protection of confidential and proprietary information received from other countries.
VII. Access to proceedings
1. In order to promote informed decision-making by central, regional or local authorities in proceedings concerning accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, countries should facilitate participation of the public likely to be affected in hearings and preliminary inquiries and the making of objections respect of proposed decisions, as well as recourse to and standing in administrative and judicial proceedings.
2. Countries of incident should take all appropriate measures to provide physical and legal persons exposed to a significant risk accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters with sufficient information to enable them to exercise the rights accorded to them by national law in accordance with the objectives of this Code.
3. Countries should endeavour, in accordance with their legal systems and, where appropriate, on the basis of mutual agreements, to provide physical and legal persons in other countries, who have been or may be adversely affected by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, with equivalent access to and treatment in the same administrative and judicial proceedings, and make available to them the same remedies as are available to persons within their own jurisdiction who have been or may be similarly affected.
4. Where the law of a country of incident permits a public authority competent to safeguard general environmental interests, to participate in administrative or judicial proceedings, the country of incident should consider the possibility of providing equivalent public authorities of the exposed country with access to such proceedings.
5. Where, during the authorization procedure referred to in section IX, there are reasonable grounds to believe that pollution of transboundary inland waters within the territory of a country other than the authorizing country resulting from incidents relating to an activity subject to authorization cannot be reasonably excluded, the authorizing country should inform the exposed country about the activity as soon as it has sufficient information on the possible effect of the activity, and not later than when informing its own nationals.
6. As to possibilities of appropriate access to proceedings by the exposed countries as well as by physical and legal persons, countries should take duly into account environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures in a transboundary context which will provide, inter alia, for risk assessment and reduction of risk of accidents with transboundary impacts thus preventing accidental pollution.
7. If necessary, both the authorizing and the exposed country should without undue delay enter into consultations and negotiations in order to verify and determine the risk and amount of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, aiming at arriving at an arrangement with regard to the necessary adjustments and modifications of planned activities, safety measures or off-site and on-site contingency plans that would give the exposed country reasonable satisfaction.
8. Where an installation involved in activities subject to authorization is owned, or activities subject to authorization are performed, by a person not under the jurisdiction of the authorizing country, a representative of that person within the jurisdiction of the authorizing country should be duly empowered to act on that person's behalf and account. This representative should also be in a position to meet any financial obligations that may arise from such activities or installations.
VIII. Economic instruments
1. Countries should consider all possible economic measures which could promote the prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, as well as suitable remedial measures to cope with critical situations caused by such pollution. In the formulation and application of economic instruments for this purpose, attention should be paid, in particular, to:
(a) their optimal combination with existing patterns of legal, administrative and technical instruments;
(b) their consistency with prevailing economic principles; and
(c) anticipated changes of water-use practices owing to the measures applied.
2. Economic including fiscal instruments should be employed, where appropriate and possible, in order to:
(a) induce operators to anticipate the environmental consequences of their activities regarding transboundary inland waters and to adopt the necessary safety regulations and standards;
(b) encourage operators to substitute hazardous substances in their production processes by non-hazardous or less hazardous substances;
(c) promote the development, application and exchange of information on new technologies and equipment reducing the risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
3. Adequate financial and other resources should be made available, in accordance with national law and practice, for administrative tasks in relation to accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
IX. Regulatory instruments
1. Countries should, by all appropriate measures:
(a) provide criteria and procedures forming the basis for the authorization of hazardous activities, whether governmental or undertaken by physical or legal persons, that are likely to lead to accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(b) ensure that such activities be subject to authorization according to the terms and conditions specified in Annex C.
2. The activities subject to authorization should comprise those which are classified as hazardous by the authorizing country, or which are connected with the use of hazardous substances as laid down by the authorizing country.
3. Countries should ensure that applications for authorization contain an assessment of the anticipated impact on the environment as specified in Annex C. On the basis of a bilateral or multilateral agreement an environmental impact assessment (EIA) should also be undertaken if so requested by an exposed country that has reasonable grounds to believe that the transboundary inland waters within its territory could be affected by an activity planned in the other country in case of incident; it is necessary that such a request be accompanied by the stated reasons and sufficient evidence.
4. Criteria and procedures for determining whether an activity is subject to an EIA should be defined clearly by legislation, regulation, or other means, so that activities subject to authorization can be identified quickly and accurately, and an EIA can be undertaken as the activity is being planned. Any authorization procedure should contain a mechanism for ensuring that the results of EIA are adequately taken into account in the decision-making process. The way in which the findings are taken into account should be documented as appropriate.
5. Any authorization should specify, directly or by referring to the applicable legislative or administrative measures, the obligations imposed on the operator such as those laid down in Annex C. Operators should also be informed about the competent governmental authorities designated as points of contact for issuing and receiving notifications in accordance with paragraph 2 of section VI.
6. Countries should keep registers and other records of authorizations granted for hazardous activities. The competent authority should be in a position to (a) survey the installations regularly in order to ensure that the conditions under which the authorization was issued are being met, and (b) to enforce the terms of the authorization and, if necessary, to suspend or revoke it if the terms and conditions laid down therein are not met.
7. Hazardous activities should not be authorized unless it is established that (a) the planned activities and substances involved therein are subject to adequate safety measures to minimize the risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters; and/or (b) in case of accidental pollution, significant adverse effects on the aquatic environment of another country could not be avoided by compliance with the conditions in the authorization.
X. Risk and vulnerability assessments
1. Countries should ensure, in accordance with their legal systems, that an analysis and assessment of the risks of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters is undertaken in the course of the authorization procedure referred to in section IX and is subsequently reviewed when circumstances so require. Such risk assessment should include procedures to identify and assess hazardous activities and substances, taking into account e hazard identification techniques contained in Annex D.
2. The objectives of risk assessments should be the identification the nature and scale of potential accidental releases of hazardous substances into the aquatic environment, laying down e basis for contingency plans, the identification of the type, likelihood and broad consequences of major accidents and disasters that might occur. To this end countries should ensure e establishment, inter alia, of inventories as specified in Annex D.
3. Countries having carried out risk assessments should inform other countries concerned, regularly and/or when circumstances so require, of the results of such assessments, so as to enable these countries to take the necessary preventive and remedial measures.
4. Countries concerned should co-ordinate their assessments of the risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters by using comparable methods, data and criteria and, where appropriate, harmonize the criteria of such assessments. Where appropriate, joint assessment should be envisaged which would allow for common conclusions with respect to mutual interests.
5. Countries should carry out vulnerability assessments of transboundary inland waters with a view to identifying sensitive areas with regard to their ecological situation with particular emphasis on their water resources. Other countries concerned should be notified of these areas.
6. Land-use planning and proper allocation of water resources should be given priority as an effective means to prevent accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. To this end, countries should ensure that hazardous activities or substances likely to cause such pollution should be excluded from sensitive or protected areas and adequate buffer zones should be established between hazardous installations and sensitive or protected transboundary inland waters. Increased attention should be paid to the control of abandoned sites of hazardous waste disposal and to closed facilities of hazardous activities, with a view to minimizing the risk of accidental pollution.
XI. Contingency plans
1. Countries authorizing hazardous activities should ensure the development and, whenever necessary, application of contingency plans at all levels to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters by using all available resources in the most efficient way.
2. Operators should be required to establish on-site contingency plans in accordance with Annex E, and to assess regularly the effectiveness of such plans.
3. Countries should elaborate and adopt appropriate off-site contingency plans in accordance with Annex E. Such off-site contingency plans should be drawn up at the national, regional and/or local level and should be compatible with those to be established by operators. On-site and off-site contingency plans should be interlocked to ensure that they provide a comprehensive and effective response to incidents.
4. Countries concerned should endeavour to co-ordinate their national contingency plans relating to transboundary inland waters, to harmonize them as well as the criteria on which the contingency plans are based or, where appropriate, to draw up contingency plans.
XII. Early warning and alarm systems
1. Countries should set up and operate efficient warning and alarm systems with the aim of obtaining and transmitting reliable information needed to counteract accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters. Warning and alarm systems should consist of main communication centres which, on the basis of a national reporting system, should ensure the speediest possible transmission of data and forecasts following previously determined patterns. These warning and alarm systems should permit early undertaking of corrective and protective measures, containment of damage and reduction of risks. To this effect, countries should seek to establish common communication systems including mutually agreed codes for emergency warning response, and compatible data-transmission and treatment systems
2. Countries concerned should make known to each other their competent points of contact and communication centres responsible for the timely issuing, receipt and transmission of the respective notifications and information, and ensure the efficiency of these centres. The countries concerned should promptly inform each other of any changes that may occur in the information referred to above.
3. Countries concerned should at regular intervals test and review the efficacy of warning and alarm systems, and ensure regular training of the personnel involved in warning and alarm operations. Where appropriate, the countries concerned should perform such tests, reviews and training jointly.
XIII. Notification of incidents
1. Countries should ensure that in an incident or in an imminent threat of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, operators comply with the contingency plans referred to in section XI.
2. In an incident entailing the risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters in the territory of another country, the country of incident should forthwith notify all exposed countries and provide additional information in accordance with Annex F, taking into account the information furnished by the operator.
3. Countries should in due time notify all exposed countries of any significant change of circumstances likely to cause or aggravate accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters in the territories of exposed countries.
4. Any warning, notification of emergency situations or transmittal of additional information among the countries concerned should be made through the designated points of contact referred to in paragraph 2 of section VI or, if the urgency requires, through other competent authorities that may be expected to ensure an efficient treatment of the information.
XIV. Damage containment and rehabilitation
1. Countries concerned should ensure that operators make use under their control of the most efficient practices to contain and abate accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, by appropriate treatment, collection, recovery, storage and/or safe disposal of pollutants and polluted material, in particular by taking the measures specified in Annex G. In cases where operators take no action or insufficient action, or in other cases where it is deemed necessary, countries should, where appropriate, have necessary measures carried out at operators' own expense and risk.
2. Exposed countries should communicate to the country of incident any information and observation relating to the assessment of damage and development of the situation concerning transboundary inland waters affected by accidental pollution in areas under their jurisdiction, in order to enable the country of incident to take the necessary measures to abate and/or contain such pollution at source.
3. For the purpose of effective co-ordination and harmonization of contingency measures, the countries concerned should convene committees consisting of representatives of competent authorities involved. Where and when appropriate, the operator, other persons involved such as safety officers and physical or legal persons affected by the incident could be given an opportunity to participate in these committees.
4. To facilitate co-operation for this purpose, riparian countries should, where appropriate, agree on bilateral or multilateral arrangements for rendering mutual assistance in such events; they should, in particular, consider the possibility to include the rendering of such assistance in joint contingency plans. Such arrangements should contain specific provisions relating to mutual assistance such as direction, control, co-ordination and supervision of assistance; local facilities and services to be rendered by the requesting country, including the reduction or waiver of border-crossing formalities; reimbursement for assistance services; the necessary privileges, immunities and facilities to be accorded by the requesting country; arrangements for holding harmless, indemnifying and/or compensating the assisting country or its personnel as well as transit through third countries, where necessary.
5. Countries should, within the limits of their capabilities, identify and notify other countries about experts, equipment and materials which can be made available for the provision of assistance to countries concerned in pollution incidents, as well as about the financial and other terms under which such assistance can be provided.
6. Countries receiving a request for assistance should promptly inform the requesting country whether they are in a position to render the assistance required, and indicate the scope and terms of the assistance available.
XV. Damage assessment and compensation
1. Countries should seek to ensure in their national legislation prompt and adequate compensation in respect of damage caused by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters according to the provisions of this Code.
2. When an accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters occurs, the countries concerned should at the expense of the polluter take all necessary steps to assess the actual and potential damage, as provided for in Annex H. Countries concerned should co-operate, as far as practicable, to assist each other in damage assessment, and with a view to harmonizing the methods, criteria and procedures for such assessment.
3. In accordance with the polluter-pays principle referred to in paragraph 3 of section II, countries should co-operate in the implementation and further development of appropriate rules and practices to ensure redress for the victims of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and necessary rehabilitation measures. Countries should enter into or accelerate discussions for the elaboration of liability systems including the establishment of funds or insurance systems for pollution damage.
4. In order to ensure prompt and adequate compensation in respect of all damage caused by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, countries should in accordance with their national legal system provide for the identification of the physical or legal person or persons liable for damage resulting from hazardous activities. Unless otherwise provided, the operator should be considered liable; and where more than one organization or person is liable, such liability should be joint and several. Countries should ensure that recourse is available in accordance with their legal systems for compensation.
5. Countries should provide strict liability for pollution damage caused by accidents involving hazardous activities bearing in mind exonerating circumstances. The organization or person liable for damage should be held to incur liability upon proof that damage was caused by an accident in the installation for which it/he is responsible.
6. For cases of pollution of transboundary inland waters, where the incident from which the damage resulted cannot be identified, and in order to facilitate the payment of compensation to persons who have suffered damage caused by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, countries should, inter alia, consider the establishment of compensation funds. Such funds might be established to deal with cases in which damage remains wholly or partly uncompensated.
7. Countries of incident should ensure that any person who has suffered damage resulting from accidental pollution or is exposed to a significant risk of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, receive treatment at least equivalent to that afforded in the country of incident in comparable domestic circumstances, to persons of equivalent condition or status.
XVI. Post-accident surveillance
1. After any incident resulting in accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, the countries concerned should, through their competent authorities at all levels, survey the consequences for the environment, including pollutant concentrations, persistence and distribution in the aquatic environment by means of monitoring, survey and research measures. Countries should ensure that adequate institutional arrangements are made at the appropriate level for the purpose reporting on measures taken, on results achieved and, if the case arises, on difficulties encountered in the implementation and application of provisions contained in relevant international agreements or national legislative and administrative measures including contingency plans.
2. Countries should draw up reports based on such information and make them available to other countries concerned. The countries concerned should assist each other in the interpretation and assessment of such reports, in particular in the assessment the efficiency of rehabilitation measures.
3. The experience gained in coping with accidental pollution incidents should be used to the fullest extent possible as feedback for the progressive development and application of preventive measures and for the improvement of contingency plans. The countries concerned should co-operate in drawing conclusions from such experience.
Matters to be regulated
National legislative and administrative measures for the prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters should provide, in particular, for:
(a) safety objectives, safety standards and safety measures;
(b) hazard identification for activities and substances which require special preventive measures and are subject to authorization as well as risk assessment;
(c) authorization procedures for activities which because of their hazardous nature or because of the use of hazardous substances may result in accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(d) inventories of accidents and natural disasters relating to transboundary inland waters;
(e) inventories of sensitive areas, i.e. areas which are particularly vulnerable to pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(f) off-site contingency planning for hazardous activities, including public information requirements;
(g) on-site contingency plans to be established by operators;
(h) long-term water management plans taking accidental pollution aspects into account as well as land-use plans regulating the citing of hazardous activities and of new developments near existing hazardous activities;
(i) containment and rehabilitation programmes for accidental pollution incidents;
(j) liability and compensation for damage caused by accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(k) appropriate regulatory powers for competent administrative authorities, including pre-accident and post-accident monitoring, unimpeded access to, as well as inspection and control of hazardous activities;
(l) adequate sanctions for non-compliance;
(m) economic incentives and disincentives;
(n) protection of confidential and proprietary data;
(o) mutual assistance in accidental pollution incidents;
(p) support for participation in relevant international institutions and programmes.
Functions of international institutions for transboundary inland waters
Joint commissions and other co-operation bodies dealing with transboundary inland waters should be entrusted with the function, inter alia:
(a) to serve as advisory and negotiating body in all matters regarding accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(b) to develop water protection objectives and standards as well as joint arrangements, control programmes, and common methodologies to deal with accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(c) to monitor and assess data relating to accidental pollution as well as to survey the state of transboundary inland waters and to control the effectiveness of measures implemented as a basis for new measures;
(d) to prepare on the basis of results obtained from monitoring programmes inventories of transboundary inland waters sensitive to accidental pollution, as well as inventories of potential sources of accidental pollution;
(e) to arrange for and carry out relevant research work in order to determine the nature, significance and origin of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(f) to develop, establish and operate early detection and warning systems;
(g) to examine the possibilities for further measures and co-operation including improved exchange of information on topical issues in preventing and mitigating accidental pollution including experience gained in the application and operation of technology and results of research in this field;
(h) to initiate necessary measures aimed at harmonizing or making compatible contingency plans and legislation on matters covered by this Code;
(i) to develop joint or co-ordinated monitoring programmes and off-site contingency plans;
(j) to promote co-operation between the competent local authorities of adjacent frontier regions for the prevention and control of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and to facilitate the participation and representation of such authorities in international co-operative arrangements;
(k) to prepare inventories of technical facilities available to the countries concerned to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution and to promote the international compatibility of such facilities;
(l) to arrange for mutual assistance upon request and to make available to requesting countries facilities for preventing and controlling accidental pollution and for rehabilitating polluted transboundary inland waters;
(m) to monitor, as far as possible, the effectiveness and compatibility of control measures implemented at the national level and to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of relevant agreements are met;
(n) to arrange for joint manoeuvres and equipment tests and exercises of competent services and facilities such as civil protection and rescue units, fire and oil brigades;
(o) to take steps as required for the identification of the source or origin of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(p) to ensure liaison with other international institutions concerned and to seek advice from experts and scientific institutes, if necessary;
(q) to prepare and publish regular reports on work accomplished and information supplied;
(r) to develop common principles such as a set of guidelines for the use of economic instruments at the national level in order to promote the application of safety measures in hazardous activities;
(s) to establish specific codes of good practice on prevention and mitigation of accidental pollution for transboundary inland waters.
Terms and conditions of administrative authorization
1. The information to be furnished by an applicant for authorization of hazardous activities should contain the following elements, including those resulting from an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as appropriate:
(a) a description of the proposed hazardous activities and the substances to be used as well as of management of waste generated;
(b) an indication of the authorities required to act upon the documentation and of the nature of the decision;
(c) a description of potential sources and causes of incidents in connection with the proposed activities;
(d) a description of the conditions of the water resources potentially affected by incidents in connection with the proposed activities, including specific information necessary for identifying and assessing the adverse effects of such incidents;
(e) a description of reasonable main alternatives, as appropriate, including the no-action alternative;
(f) an assessment of the potential adverse impacts on transboundary inland waters likely to result from incidents in connection with the proposed activities and main alternatives, as well as the socio-economic consequences of environmental change owing to such activities or alternatives, including direct, indirect, cumulative, short-term and long-term, secondary and synergetic effects;
(g) relevant environmental data used and an explanation of predictive methods and assumptions made in the course of the assessment;
(h) information about contingency procedures laid down for dealing with an accident occurring at the site;
(i) an identification and description of measures available to prevent incidents and to mitigate adverse impacts on transboundary inland waters of the proposed activities and alternatives and an assessment of those measures as well as information on compliance with relevant safety standards;
(j) an outline of monitoring programmes, management tools and mitigation measures for minimizing water-resources degradation;
(k) an indication of whether the aquatic environment of any other countries may be affected by the proposed activities or alternatives;
(l) an indication of uncertainties encountered in compiling the required information;
(m) a non-technical summary including appropriate visual presentation (maps, graphs, etc.).
2. The obligations imposed on an operator, to be included in the authorization, should comprise among others the following, as appropriate:
(a) to comply with safety standards and to set up reliable warning systems for early detection of any impending or probable accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(b) to monitor all phases of the hazardous activity;
(c) to provide special equipment necessary for preventing accidental pollution or for limiting the detrimental effects of such pollution including transboundary pollution;
(d) to establish an on-site contingency plan;
(e) to designate an appropriate and qualified person as safety officer responsible for providing the appropriate information, implementing safety measures, notifying and receiving information, and checking on-site contingency plans;
(f) to take preventive measures and to maintain preventive arrangements, e.g. by regular inspections;
(g) to permit inspection and surveys by governmental authorities on site and off site at regular and random intervals in order to ensure that the conditions under which the authorization was issued are being met;
(h) to provide access for the competent authorities in case of an incident;
(i) to assess the effects of the activity on transboundary inland waters and in case of an unexpected increase of risks as compared to the original conditions for the authorization, to report on these to the competent authority in accordance with established procedures;
(j) to enter an insurance or any other equivalent means to cover risks which are to be insured according to the law of that country in respect of damage to third parties arising from accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
3. The safety measures imposed on an operator, to be included in the authorization, should comprise, among others, the following as appropriate:
(a) adequate design and construction of installations taking into account foreseeable natural circumstances;
(b) adequate instrumentation such as protective devices, safety and prevention equipment, and alarm systems;
(c) development and application of operating procedures for safety installations;
(d) continuous supervision and periodic inspection of safety installations;
(e) permanent monitoring of hazardous activities;
(f) adequate manning of the installations involved in hazardous activities;
(g) suitable qualifications and experience of persons engaged in hazardous activities, taking into account all existing standards and the best available techniques;
(h) adequate training programmes, including training on a continuing basis, particularly as regards safety and environmental matters;
(i) application of relevant national and international rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures as regards occupational safety during all phases of activities.
Hazard identification techniques
Hazardous activities likely to cause accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters should be identified by means of appropriate techniques and procedures such as:
(a) description of the production unit where hazardous substances are handled, including the amount and characteristics of these substances;
(b) review of hazardous substances present on the site and/or used in the production process regarding their physical and chemical properties and their characteristics concerning toxicology and ecotoxicology, bio-accumulativity and persistence, flammability and explosion, reactivity to common ambient media such as water and air as well as potential ways in which the accidental release of such substances from their normal containment may result in pollution of the transboundary inland waters;
(c) design checking concerning process, operations, equipment and instrumentation, including characteristics of the material for construction and installation involved;
(d) description and analysis of the existing or planned safety measures compared to safety standards as well as evaluation of damages to be expected in case of any incident occurring despite safety measures applied;
(e) description of substantial hazard scenarios owing to accidental pollution caused by man-made accidents and natural disasters including their potential impact on transboundary inland waters, giving due consideration to the existing or planned safety measures;
(f) evaluation of accidental pollution hazards resulting from operational errors as well as of breakdown of safety devices, using appropriate analysis techniques, such as fault-tree or event-tree techniques concentrating on sensitive sectors of hazardous activities;
(g) review of process stability under departures from normal conditions, in order to identify potential hazards and to ensure that operating procedures are inherently safe so that the consequences of possible errors are minimized as far as possible;
(h) qualitative failure studies to identify accidental pollution hazard due to malfunctioning of certain operations during start-up and shut-down phases or during loading or unloading;
(i) inventories and analyses of past incidents of accidental pollution drawn up for specific production sectors and according to causes either internal or external, direct or indirect;
(j) application of safety audits and quality assurance programmes during construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance;
(k) installation layout survey, to examine existence of buffer zones, of safe roads without impediment to freedom of movement of traffic, and adequate spacing of hazardous installations;
(l) evaluation of the remaining risk; conclusions for additional safety measures to be included in relevant contingency plans;
(m) check-lists allowing immediate assessment and warning on serious danger for accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
1. On-site contingency plans to be established by operators, should provide appropriate measures to prevent and control accidents, to limit and mitigate impacts on transboundary inland waters, to provide persons working on the site with the necessary information, training and equipment, and, in particular, should include arrangements for:
(a) the immediate raising of an alarm in the area of operations, including rapid warning of the authority or authorities designated for that purpose and for transmitting information related to any significant change in risk of a hazardous activity;
(b) an up-to-date list of persons to be alerted and informed, together with the speediest means and necessary information available for making contact with them;
(c) a continuous flow of full information to the authority or authorities designated for that purpose, relating to particulars of the contingency, measures already taken and further action required;
(d) unimpeded access to the site for the competent authorities and authorized experts;
(e) compatibility and co-ordination with off-site contingency plans drawn up by the competent authorities, and mutual assistance among operators;
(f) identification of the nature and quantity of hazardous substances present on the site, as well as potential ways in which the accidental release of such substances from their normal containment may result in pollution of the transboundary inland waters;
(g) identification of the designated safety officer, and an inventory of means available to him to prevent, control and reduce accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters and of any special safety arrangements aimed at preventing potentially hazardous deviations from normal operations, including an alarm system and measures to limit the consequences of an incident;
(h) primary preventive measures (proper design, construction, operation, maintenance, inspection and periodic exercises of the safety installations);
(i) emergency measures to be taken under the direction of the safety officer, in particular for the protection of human life;
(j) technical measures for containment of the flow of hazardous substances, extinguishing of fires, safe removal and disposal of polluting substances and polluted materials;
(k) identification of the transport of dangerous substances in various media - air, surface water, ground water, soil - as well as in sewage systems, paying due attention to sampling sites, parameters to be measured and analytical methods to be applied, which will serve as bases for deciding on emergency and follow-up measures as well as for assessing damage.
2. Off-site contingency plans to be established by competent authorities should include, in particular:
(a) pre-determined procedures according to the various categories of incidents, aimed at preventing, controlling and including accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, and designation of the competent authorities;
(b) a description of the material and equipment required for emergency measures;
(c) an indication of the competent authorities and available facilities for physical-chemical treatment, containment, removal, storage and/or disposal of hazardous substances and polluted materials, as well as for rehabilitation measures;
(d) a procedure under which the competent authority may intervene whenever necessary, either by giving directions to the safety officer or by undertaking direct action;
(e) supervision of hazardous activities at all times during emergencies;
(f) ready availability, at strategically placed centres and as required by the location of hazardous activities, of the necessary trained personnel, equipment and materials necessary for prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters;
(g) procedures and channels of public information on emergencies and emergency measures;
(h) expeditious communication on emergencies with the competent authorities, including the authorities of other countries concerned, and designation of a point of contact responsible for communication with other countries concerned;
(i) arrangements for consultations of the competent authorities of the countries concerned regarding the terms and conditions of authorizations for hazardous activities;
(j) exchange of information between the countries concerned on the on-site contingency plans established by operators;
(k) exchange of information between the countries concerned on the availability of personnel, equipment and materials necessary for the prevention, control and reduction of accidental pollution of inland waters;
(l) a procedure under which the competent authorities of any exposed country other than the authorizing country may have access, with the latter's consent, to the site of the incident;
(m) arrangements for alternative water supply in case of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters.
3. Off-site contingency plans should take into account, in particular:
(a) the on-site contingency plans established by operators, and their capacity to implement these plans, as well as other relevant legal and administrative requirements;
(b) the ecological vulnerability and the actual use of water resources including transboundary waters in the areas potentially affected by pollution incidents;
(c) the probability, nature and consequences of potential incidents, including the amount of damage, the risk of explosions or of release of hazardous substances into transboundary inland waters, and the influence of pollutants on food chains or transport cycles through the aquatic environment;
(d) the characteristics of hazardous substances involved, in particular their toxic, persistent or bio-accumulative nature;
(e) the expected duration of the emergency situation.
Notification and information on incidents
The information to be provided by the country of incidence to the exposed country(ies) in case of an incident or imminent threat of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters should comprise:
(a) the time, location, nature and quantitative dimensions of the incident;
(b) the event which is most likely to be the origin of accidental pollution as well as the activity or facility involved;
(c) the media polluted, including their location and characteristics;
(d) any hazardous substances released, including their nature, composition (by chemical formulae or other appropriate identification), quantity, effects on human health and on the aquatic environment, the extent of their distribution in transboundary inland waters and adjacent land as a result of the incident, and the results of any monitoring relevant to the release and behaviour of such substances;
(e) the predicted behaviour over time of the pollutants released and the possibilities and mechanisms of attenuation of the pollution;
(f) means of public information as well as forecasting systems;
(g) the on-site and off-site contingency measures taken or planned concerning mitigation, containment and control of accidental pollution, and other emergency measures;
(h) foreseeable transboundary consequences of the incident;
(i) any other information which might be useful for the effective prevention or abatement of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, including information on current and forecast meteorological, hydrological and hydrogeological conditions as may be necessary for forecasting potential effects of the pollutants on the aquatic environment in other countries concerned;
(j) continuous follow-up information, as appropriate, regarding the subsequent evolution of the emergency situation.
Rehabilitation methods and techniques
Appropriate damage containment and rehabilitation methods and techniques, depending on the media polluted and the type of pollution, should be effectively applied, if appropriate, by means of mobile installation including inter alia:
(a) physical detoxification, including techniques of thermal destruction, incineration, filtration;
(b) biological and chemical treatment processes, including aerobic and anaerobic treatment, neutralization, chemical precipitation, reduction/oxidation processes, in-situ enhanced natural biodegradation;
(c) phase-separated techniques, including interceptor trenches and wells;
(d) vapour-phase organic chemical techniques, including positive and negative pressure systems for vapour mitigation, venting to atmosphere, adsorption/removal of organics;
(e) dredging operations and safe treatment and/or disposal of dredged material;
(f) washing out of river beds and flushing of sensitive areas with clean and appropriately drained water and drainage of polluted soil together with appropriate treatment and discharge of the purified wash-water;
(g) removal of sensitive aquatic species and transfer to unpolluted aquatic ecosystems for their reimplementation and restocking;
(h) temporary impounding of the polluted water body;
(i) diversion to preconstructed reservoirs, construction of interceptor trenches, provisional diversion to treatment sites;
(j) pumping operations to remove polluted bottom sediments and/or floating hazardous substances.
The physical and monetary assessment of damage attributed to accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters should contain the following elements:
(a) review of background data on the pollutants released;
(b) analysis of soils, hydrological and environmental conditions that affect the release and spreading of pollution;
(c) evaluation regarding the movement of pollutants in terms of concentration, time, place, environmental media and chemical/biochemical changes in the plume with time;
(d) examination of affected transboundary inland waters and related ecosystems, as well as of adjacent protection zones for drinking-water abstraction, ground-water recharge areas and other sensitive water bodies that could be damaged;
(e) evaluation of impacts on the use of transboundary inland waters particularly for domestic sector, agriculture, industry and recreation;
(f) examination of possible interaction of pollutants;
(g) monitoring and analysis of water quality and of sediments in terms of pollutant concentrations and load;
(h) ecotoxicological surveys including biomonitoring analysis and analysis of microphytes;
(i) evaluation of damage caused by post-accident measures, including containment and rehabilitation measures;
(j) evaluation of expenditures for monitoring and rehabilitation operations as well as for action designed to prevent the spread of accidental pollution of transboundary inland waters, minimize damage and protect people and the environment against deleterious effects.
The Panel, at its final plenary session, prepared and approved the following specific proposals:
1. As a preliminary stage to the establishment of institutional arrangements in a river basin and in order to encourage basin States to cooperate, it is important that the States of a basin know the potential benefits to them from co-operative development of water resources. It may be necessary, therefore, that preliminary reconnaissance surveys be made to determine the potential for development. The possibility of obtaining external financing may serve as a catalyst for co-operation. Full advantage should be taken of the opportunities of assistance from United Nations organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme and the specialized agencies, and regional and bilateral financing institutions.
2. A gradual approach to institutionalization should be employed for the early stages of development of river basin resources. The institutions should develop from the co-operation and the facts as they emerge. Elaborate institutional arrangements at the outset may tend to impede rather than encourage co-operation.
3. Basin States should assess their own human and other resources, and the potentially available external assistance and project or programmes financing in order to effect careful selection and timing of international water resources development undertakings, within their overall national or regional priorities and plans for development. Where institutional arrangements do not exist, the developing countries concerned should consider the establishment of an office in the national Government to initiate the development of water resources involving co-operation and collaboration with other States in an international drainage basin. The Panel believes further that direct utilization of regional economic commissions and regional international organizations should be made to enable the member States to identify the most worthwhile water resources undertakings in the total context of economic and social development.
4. Wherever multinational institutions are created for purposes of international water resources development, conservation and use, differences should be accommodated at the technical level. In this connection, consideration should be given to appropriate authority and procedures to prevent disagreements from rising unnecessarily to the level of a formal dispute.
5. All aspects of conservation and the prevention of degradation of the water resources should receive serious attention in planning for the present and future development of international drainage basins.
6. In planning integrated international river basin development, due regard should be given to adequate administrative structures and the necessary supervisory controls and monitoring devices in order to accomplish optimal water management.
7. In order to promote the technical capabilities as well as the mutual understanding of co-basin States concerned with development of international water resources, regional training, research and documentation centres could be established for certain regions or river basins which would be able to serve for specific basin-oriented training and research as well as regional data banks.
8. The consideration of legal and institutional implications of international water resources development should be energetically continued. The publication of this report should be followed up by systematic collection and dissemination of all available information on the subject and on additional aspects of international water resources development.
9. Regarding existing multinational water resources agencies or other multinational institutions established for the co-ordinated or joint study, planning, construction or operation of programmes and projects related to international water resources, the United Nations system of organizations should cooperate directly with these multinational water agencies and institutions by:
(a) providing a clearing house for the mutual exchange of information on legal, institutional and managerial experience and problems related to the activities of such agencies and institutions, and publishing the relevant information as appropriate;
(b) organizing at regular intervals meetings and conferences of executive and technical personnel of such agencies and institutions, thus providing a forum for the reciprocal exchange of the actual legal, institutional and managerial experience;
(c) providing advice to and co-operation with such agencies and institutions as and when requested by them or by the constituent co-basin Governments, as appropriate, on subjects that fall within their respective responsibilities;
(d) helping to develop technical assistance especially tailored to the needs of these existing institutions.
10. Regarding international drainage basins for which no multinational institutional arrangements have been established with respect to co-ordinated or joint development and use of their resources, it would appear desirable for the United Nations system of organizations to:
(a) undertake studies, as appropriate, encompassing a preliminary inventory of international drainage basins indicating the co-basin States, prevailing economic and social conditions and patterns of water use as well as multinational arrangements, where they exist;
(b) encourage the Governments of co-basin States which have not yet established multinational institutional arrangements for the development of the joint basins' resources to do so, offering the assistance and machinery of the United Nations system of organizations when these Governments are ready to undertake joint development of the resources of each particular basin if this is considered to be helpful by the States concerned;
(c) stimulate studies of significant international water resources development problems, giving special consideration to related legal and institutional aspects, and encourage the publication of the results; and
(d) organize or support related seminars, training courses and other meetings to be attended by officers concerned with international water resources development.
11. Arrangements should be made and funds provided for adequate training of personnel from developing countries, inter alia,
(a) in the form of international interships for junior officers from States that are engaged in, or intend to engage in discussions and planning with one or more co-basin States for the regulation or development of the water resources of an international drainage basin. Such internships should include formally organized study, a period of time with the secretariat of an appropriate international organization and a working period with one or more existing international river commissions;
(b) in the form of support for officers charged with the planning for the legal and institutional framework for an international drainage basin, or basin project, to visit one or more selected existing basin or project commissions or administrations for a period of study and personal discussion with the staff members of those commissions or administrations in order to profit from their experience and, in particular, to learn about the effectiveness and adequacy of their machinery for tasks relevant to the officers' own basin.
12. The United Nations system of organizations should amplify its co-operation with international non-governmental organizations working in the fields related to water resources development and administration, including logistical and consultative support for the meetings of the substantive bodies of such organizations. In particular, the budgetary implications of attending such meetings, the provision of adequate technical services including consultants, and documentation have created difficulties for such organizations.
13. The United Nations system of organizations and the Governments of Member States should promptly review existing arrangements for international co-operation in the development, conservation and management of water resources, and evaluate their adequacy in the light of current trends and long-term requirements.
14. Appropriate international rules pertinent to the utilization and development of international (non-maritime) water resources should be adopted under the auspices of the United Nations, preferably in the form of a general convention. The Panel felt certain that in the preparation of such rules the work already accomplished in this field by other bodies such as the Institute of International Law, the Inter-American Bar Association and the International Law Association, including the Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers, would prove to be of much relevance and assistance.
15. The Panel expressed the hope that the International Law Commission of the United Nations, when considering its future programme of work, would give some priority to the question of the codification of the law relating to the utilization of international non-maritime water resources.
16. Meanwhile, the Panel considered, it would be useful if additional steps could be taken through the United Nations to suggest to Governments the desirability of their examining the question of the formulation of rules with respect to the utilization and development of international (non-maritime) water resources; and to acquaint Governments with the efforts that have already been made by other bodies towards the formulation of such rules.
The natural resources of the earth including the air, water, land, flora and fauna and especially representative samples of natural ecosystems must be safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations through careful planning or management, as appropriate.
The discharge of toxic substances or of other substances and the release of heat, in such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless, must be halted in order to ensure that serious or irreversible damage is not inflicted upon ecosystems. The just struggle of the peoples of all countries against pollution should be supported.
States shall take all possible steps to prevent pollution of the seas by substances that are liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
States shall cooperate to develop further the international law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of such States to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
International matters concerning the protection and improvement of the environment should be handled in a co-operative spirit by all countries, big or small, on an equal footing. Co-operation through multilateral or bilateral arrangements or other appropriate means is essential to effectively control, prevent, reduce and eliminate adverse environmental effects resulting from activities conducted in all spheres, in such a way that due account is taken of the sovereignty and interests of all States.
(b) Action Plan for the Human Environment
Recommendations for action at the international level
Environmental aspects of natural resources management
It is recommended that Governments concerned consider the creation of river-basin commissions or other appropriate machinery for co-operation between interested States for water resources common to more than one jurisdiction.
(a) in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, full consideration must be given to the right of permanent sovereignty of each country concerned to develop its own resources;
(b) the following principles should be considered by the States concerned when appropriate:
(i) nations agree that when major water resource activities are contemplated that may have a significant environmental effect on another country, the other country should be notified well in advance of the activity envisaged;
(ii) the basic objective of all water resource use and development activities from the environmental point of view is to ensure the best use of water and to avoid its pollution in each country;
(iii) the net benefits of hydrologic regions common to more than one national jurisdiction are to be shared equitably by the nations affected;
(c) such arrangements, when deemed appropriate by the States concerned, will permit undertaking on a regional basis:
(i) collection, analysis, and exchanges of hydrologic data through some international mechanism agreed upon by the States concerned;
(ii) joint data-collection programmes to serve planning needs;
(iii) assessment of environmental effects of existing water uses;
(iv) joint study of the causes and symptoms of problems related to water resources, taking into account the technical, economic, and social considerations of water quality control;
(v) rational use, including a programme of quality control, of the water resource as an environmental asset;
(vi) provision for the judicial and administrative protection of water rights and claims;
(vii) prevention and settlement of disputes with reference to the management and conservation of water resources;
(viii) financial and technical co-operation of a shared resource.
(d) regional conferences should be organized to promote the above considerations.
Identification and control of pollutants of broad international significance
A. Pollution generally
It is recommended that Governments use the best practicable means available to minimize the release to the environment of toxic or dangerous substances, especially if they are persistent substances such as heavy metals and organochlorine compounds, until it has been demonstrated that their release will not give rise to unacceptable risks or unless their use is essential to human health or food production, in which case appropriate control measures should be applied.
It is recommended that in establishing standards for pollutants of international significance, Governments take into account the relevant standards proposed by competent international organizations, and concert with other concerned Governments and the competent international organizations in planning and carrying out control programmes for pollutants distributed beyond the national jurisdiction from which they are released.
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming principles 21, 22 and 24 of the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972,
Recalling its resolutions 2995 (XXVII), 2996 (XXVII) and 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 relating to co-operation between States in the field of the environment, to international responsibility of States in regard to the environment and to the establishment of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, respectively,
Reaffirming the duty of the international community to adopt measures to protect and improve the environment, and particularly the need for continuous international collaboration to that end,
Convinced of the need to pursue, in the field of the environment, the elaboration of international norms conducive to the achievement of those purposes,
Taking note with satisfaction of the important Economic Declaration adopted by the Fourth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-aligned Countries, held at Algiers from 5 to 9 September 1973,
Conscious of the importance and urgency of safeguarding the conservation and exploitation of the natural resources shared by two or more States, by means of an effective system of co-operation, as indicated in the above-mentioned Economic Declaration of Algiers,
1. Considers that it is necessary to ensure effective co-operation between countries through the establishment of adequate international standards for the conservation and harmonious exploitation of natural resources common to two or more States in the context of the normal relations existing between them;
2. Considers further that co-operation between countries sharing such natural resources and interested in their exploitation must be developed on the basis of a system of information and prior consultation within the framework of the normal relations existing between them;
3. Requests the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, in keeping with its function of promoting international co-operation according to the mandate conferred upon it by the General Assembly, to take duly into account the preceding paragraphs and to report on measures adopted for their implementation;
4. Urges Member States, within the framework of their mutual relations, to take fully into account the provisions of the present resolution.
The General Assembly,
Affirming the principles stated in the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,
Recalling its resolution 3129 (XXVIII) of 13 December 1973, entitled Co-operation in the field of the environment concerning natural resources shared by two or more States,
Recalling further the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, contained in its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974,
Noting that the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme has, by decision 6/14 of 19 May 1978 approved the final report of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States, established under Governing Council decision 44 (III) of 25 April 1975, containing the draft principles of conduct in the field of the environment for the guidance of States in the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States and the declarations and reservations expressed thereon,
Recognizing the right of States to provide specific solutions on a bilateral or regional basis,
Desiring to promote effective co-operation among States for the development of international law regarding the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States,
1. Notes the valuable work done by the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States in carrying out the tasks entrusted to it in regard to the implementation of General Assembly resolution 3129 (XXVIII);
2. Takes note of the report of the Group of Experts, its approval, as adopted, by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and its transmission to the General Assembly with an invitation to adopt the draft principles;
3. Invites the Secretary-General to transmit the report to Governments for their study and comments regarding the principles and to report thereon, taking into account also other significant information, with a view to enabling the General Assembly to take a decision at its thirty-fourth session.
The General Assembly,
Recalling the relevant provisions of its resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) of 1 May 1974, in which it reaffirmed the principle of full permanent sovereignty of every State over its natural resources and the responsibility of States as set out in the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States and to cooperate in developing the international law regarding liability and compensation for such damages,
Recalling its resolution 3129 (XXVIII) of 13 December 1973, entitled Co-operation in the field of the environment concerning natural resources shared by two or more States,
Also recalling the Charter of the Economic Rights and Duties of States contained in its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974,
Noting that the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, by its decision 6/14 of 19 May 1978 invited the General Assembly to adopt the draft principles of conduct in the field of the environment for the guidance of States in the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States, including the exploratory note, contained in the report of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States established under Governing Council decision 44 (III) of 25 April 1975,
Noting also the report by the Secretary-General recreated by the General Assembly in resolution 33/87 of 15 December 1978 and containing summaries of the comments made by Governments regarding the draft principles, as well as other significant information, recommendations and suggestions connection therewith,
Desiring to promote effective co-operation among States for the development of international law regarding the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States,
Recognizing the right of States to provide specific solutions on a bilateral or regional basis,
Recalling that the principles have been drawn up for the guidance of States in the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States,
1. Takes note of the report as adopted of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts established under Governing Council decision 44 (III) in conformity with General Assembly resolution 3129 (XXVIII),
2. Takes note of the draft principles an guidelines and recommendations in the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States without prejudice to the binding nature of those rules already recognized as such in international law,
3. Requests all States to use the principles as guidelines and recommendations in the formulation of bilateral or multilateral conventions regarding natural resources shared by two or more States, on the basis of the principle of good faith and in the spirit of good neighbourliness and in such a way as to enhance and not to affect adversely development and the interests of all countries and in Particular of the developing countries,
4. Further requests the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme to submit, through the Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth session a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.
It is necessary for States to co-operate in the field of the environment concerning the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States. Accordingly, it is necessary that consistent with the concept of equitable utilization of shared natural resources, States co-operate with a view to controlling, preventing, reducing or eliminating adverse environmental effects which may result from the utilization of such resources. Such co-operation is to take place on an equal footing and taking into account the sovereignty, rights and interests of the States concerned.
In order to ensure effective international co-operation in the field of the environment concerning the conservation and harmonious utilization of natural resources shared by two or more States, States sharing such natural resources should endeavour to conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements between or among themselves in order to secure specific regulation of their conduct in this respect, applying as necessary the present principles in a legally binding manner, or should endeavour to enter into other arrangements, as appropriate, for this purpose. In entering into such agreements or arrangements, States should consider the establishment of institutional structures, such as joint international commissions, for consultations on environmental problems relating to the protection and use of shared natural resources.
1. States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
2. The principles set forth in paragraph 1, as well as the other principles contained in this document, apply to shared natural resources.
3. Accordingly, it is necessary for each State to avoid to the maximum extent possible and to reduce to the minimum extent possible the adverse environmental effects beyond its jurisdiction of the utilization of a shared natural resource so as to protect the environment, in particular when such utilization might:
(a) cause damage to the environment which could have repercussions on the utilization of the resource by another sharing State;
(b) threaten the conservation of a shared renewable resource;
(c) endanger the health of the population of another State.
Without prejudice to the generality of the above principle, it should be interpreted taking into account, where appropriate, the practical capabilities of states sharing the natural resource.
States should make environmental assessment before engaging in any activity with respect to a shared natural resource which may create a risk of significantly affecting the environment of another State or States sharing that resource.
States sharing a natural resource should, to the extent practicable, exchange information and engage in consultations on a regular basis on its environmental aspects.
1. It is necessary for every State sharing a natural resource with one or more other States:
(a) to notify in advance the other State or States of the pertinent details of plans to initiate, or make a change in, the conservation or utilization of the resource which can reasonably be expected to affect significantly the environment in the territory of the other State or States; and
(b) upon request of the other State or States, to enter into consultations concerning the above mentioned plans; and
(c) to provide, upon request to that effect by the other State or States, specific additional pertinent information concerning such plans; and
(d) if there has been no advance notification as envisaged in sub-paragraph (a) above, to enter into consultations about such plans upon request of the other State or States.
2. In cases where the transmission of certain information is prevented by national legislation or international conventions, the State or States withholding such information shall nevertheless, on the basis, in particular, of the principle of good faith and in the spirit of good neighbourliness, co-operate with the other interested State or States with the aim of finding a satisfactory solution.
Exchange of information, notification, consultations and other forms of co-operation regarding shared natural resources are carried out on the basis of the principle of good faith and in the spirit of good neighbourliness and in such a way as to avoid any unreasonable delays either in the forms of co-operation or in carrying out development or conservation projects.
When it would be useful to clarity environmental problems relating to a shared natural resource, States should engage in joint scientific studies and assessments, with a view to facilitating the finding of appropriate and satisfactory solutions such problems on the basis of agreed data.
1. States have a duty urgently to inform other States which may be affected:
(a) of any emergency situation arising from the utilization of a shared natural resource which might cause sudden harmful effects on their environment;
(b) of any sudden grave natural events related to a shared natural resource which may affect the environment of such States.
2. States should also, when appropriate, inform the competent international organizations of any such situation or event.
3. States concerned should co-operate, in particular by means of agreed contingency plans, when appropriate, and mutual assistance, in order to avert grave situations, and to eliminate, reduce or correct, as far as possible, the effects of such situations or events.
States sharing a natural resource should, when appropriate, consider the possibilities of jointly seeking the services of any competent international organization in clarifying the environmental problems relating to the conservation or utilization of such natural resource.
1. The relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations apply to the settlement of environmental disputes arising out of the conservation or utilization of shared natural resources.
2. In case negotiations or other non-binding means have failed to settle a dispute within a reasonable time, it is necessary for States to submit the dispute to an appropriate settlement procedure which is mutually agreed by them, preferably in advance. The procedure should be speedy, effective and binding.
3. It is necessary for the States parties to such a dispute to refrain from any action which may aggravate the situation with respect to the environment to the extent of creating an obstacle to the amicable settlement of the dispute.
1. States are responsible for the fulfilment of their international obligations in the field of the environment concerning the conservation and utilization of shared natural resources. They are subject to liability in accordance with applicable international law for environmental damage resulting from violations of these obligations caused to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
2. States should co-operate to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of environmental damage arising out of the utilization of a shared natural resource and caused to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
It is necessary for States, when considering, under their domestic environmental policy, the permissibility of domestic activities, to take into account the potential adverse environmental effects arising out of the utilization of shared natural resources, without discrimination as to whether the effects would occur within their jurisdiction or outside it.
States should endeavour, in accordance with their legal systems and, where appropriate, on a basis agreed by them, to provide persons in other States who have been or may be adversely affected by environmental damage resulting from the utilization of shared natural resources with equivalent access to and treatment in the same administrative and judicial proceedings, and make available to them the same remedies as are available to persons within their own jurisdictions who have been or may be similarly affected.
The present principles should be interpreted and applied in such a way as to enhance and not to affect adversely development and the interests of all countries, and in particular of the developing countries.
In the present text, the expression significantly affect refers to any appreciable effects on a shared natural resource and excludes de minimis effects.
Development of shared water resources
In the case of shared water resources, co-operative action should be taken to generate appropriate data on which future management can be based and to devise appropriate institutions and understandings for co-ordinated development.
Countries sharing water resources, with appropriate assistance from international agencies and other supporting bodies, on the request of the countries concerned, should review existing and available techniques for managing shared water resources and co-operate in the establishment of programmes, machinery and institutions necessary for the co-ordinated development of such resources. Areas of co-operation may with agreement of the parties concerned include planning, development, regulation, management, environmental protection, use and conservation, forecasting, etc. Such co-operation should be a basic element in an effort to overcome major constraints such as the lack of capital and trained manpower as well as the exigencies of natural resources development.
To this end it is recommended that countries sharing a water resource should:
(a) sponsor studies, if necessary with the help of international agencies and other bodies as appropriate, to compare and analyse existing institutions for managing shared water resources and to report on their results;
(b) establish joint committees, as appropriate with agreement of the parties concerned, so as to provide for co-operation in areas such as the collection, standardization and exchange of data, the management of shared water resources, the prevention and control of water pollution, the prevention of water-associated diseases, mitigation of drought, flood control, river improvement activities and flood warning systems;
(c) encourage joint education and training schemes that provide economies of scale in the training of professional and subprofessional officers to be employed in the basin;
(d) encourage exchanges between interested countries and meetings between representatives of existing international or interstate river commissions to share experiences. Representatives from countries which share resources but yet have no developed institutions to manage them could be included in such meetings;
(e) strengthen if necessary existing governmental and intergovernmental institutions, in consultation with interested Governments, through the provisions of equipment, funds and personnel;
(f) institute action for undertaking surveys of shared water resources and monitoring their quality;
(g) in the absence of an agreement on the manner in which shared water resources should be utilized, countries which share these resources should exchange relevant information on which their future management can be based in order to avoid foreseeable damages.
(h) assist in the active co-operation of interested countries in controlling water pollution in shared water resources. This co-operation could be established through bilateral, sub-regional or regional conventions or by other means agreed upon by the interested countries sharing the resources.
The regional water organizations, taking into account existing and proposed studies as well as the hydrological, political, economic and geographical distinctiveness of shared water resources of various drainage basins, should seek ways of increasing their capabilities of promoting co-operation in the field of shared water resources and, for this purpose, draw upon the experience of other regional water organizations.
Development of shared water resources
It is necessary or States to co-operate in the case of shared water resources in recognition of the growing economic, environmental and physical interdependencies across international frontiers. Such co-operation, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and principles of international law, must be exercised on the basis of the equality, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States, and taking due account of the principle expressed, inter alia, in principle 21 of the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
In relation to the use, management and development of shared water resources, national policies should take into consideration the right of each state sharing the resources to equitably utilize such resources as the means to promote bonds of solidarity and co-operation.
A concerted and sustained effort is required to strength international water law as a means of placing co-operation among states on a firmer basis. The need for progressive development and codification of the rules of international law regulating the development and use of shared water resources has been the growing concern of many governments.
To this end it is recommended that:
(a) the work of the International Law Commission in its contribution to the progressive development of international law and its codification in respect of the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses, should be given a higher priority in the working programme of the Commission and be co-ordinated with activities of other international bodies dealing With the development of international law of waters with a view to the early conclusion of an international convention;
(b) in the absence of bilateral or multilateral agreements, Member States continue to apply generally accepted principles of international law in the use, development and management of shared water resources;
(c) the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States of the United Nations Environment Programme be urged to expedite its work on draft principles of conduct in the field of the environment for the guidance of States in the conservation and harmonious exploitation of natural resources shared by two or more States;
(d) Member States take note of the recommendations of the Panel of Experts on Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Water Resources Development set up under Economic and Social Council resolution 1033 (XXXVII) of 14 August 1964 as well as the recommendations of the United Nations Inter-regional Seminar on River Basin and Inter-basin Development (Budapest, 1975).
(e) Member States also take note of the useful work of non-governmental and other expert bodies on international water law;
(f) representatives of existing international commissions on shared water resources be urged to meet as soon as possible with a view to sharing and disseminating the results of their experience and to encourage institutional and legal approaches to this question;
(g) the United Nations system should be fully utilized in reviewing, collecting, disseminating and facilitating exchange of information and experiences on this question. The system should accordingly be organized to provide concerted and meaningful assistance to States and basin commissions requesting such assistance.
Technical co-operation among developing countries
The promotion of technical co-operation among developing countries will supplement, upgrade and give a new dimension to the traditional forms of bilateral and multilateral development co-operation to help the developing countries achieve greater intrinsic self-reliance. The development of water resources in developing countries provides a promising area where technical co-operation among developing countries can be achieved. Many developing countries have expertise and capacity which they can share with other developing countries. Alternate appropriate technologies nave been developed and many developing countries have reached the stage of self-reliance in water resources development to enable them to apply the more appropriate techniques using the latest know-how and promote better understanding among the countries concerned. This can be adapted to the needs of other developing countries by means of technical co-operation among developing countries.
Governments of developing countries should pursue, explore and build mechanisms in order to promote to the fullest extent, technical co-operation among themselves with a view to achieving collective self-reliance in the development of their water resources.
Technical co-operation among developing countries will also facilitate the selection of appropriate technologies for each country and region according to local socio-economic and physical conditions.
In the light of these considerations it is recommended that where appropriate countries should at the national, regional and sub-regional level:
(e) identify programmes for water resources development that can be achieved through technical co-operation among developing countries in specific sectors such as community water supply, irrigation, drainage, hydroelectric generation, the development and management of transboundary water resources, groundwater development, and means for prevention and reduction of losses due to floods and droughts and pollution control, water legislation and training, transfer of technology suited to the requirements of the developing countries and the general development of such technology;
Protection of quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
A. Integrated water resources development and management
18.10 In the case of transboundary water resources, there is a need for riparian States to formulate water resources strategies, prepare water resources action programmes and consider, where appropriate, the harmonization of those strategies and action programmes.
B. Water resources assessment
18.27 All States, according to their capacity and available resources, and through bilateral or multilateral co-operation, including the United Nations and other relevant international organizations as appropriate, could undertake the following activities:
(a) institutional framework:
(iv) cooperate in the assessment of transboundary water resources, subject to the prior agreement of each riparian State concerned;
 Text in: E/ECE/1084,
ECE/WATER/38. Adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe at its thirty-fifth
session (1980) in its decision B (XXXV).
 Apart from drinking water, these uses are not necessarily listed in order of importance.
 The term "shared water resources" is used only for the uniformity of the text and its use does not prejudice the position of the countries supporting the terms "transboundary waters" or "international waters" in any of the problems involved.
 Text in: E/ECE/1084, ECE/WATER/38. Adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe at its thirty-seventh session in 1982.
 The term "shared water resources" has been used only for the uniformity of the text and its use does not prejudice the position of the countries supporting the terms "transboundary waters" or "international waters" in any of the problems involved. The interpretation of the term "shared water resources" excludes all possibilities of prejudice to international law and to the sovereign rights of States over water resources located within their frontiers and, also, in respect of their rights and obligations regarding the use and conservation of those resources.
 Text in: ECE/WATER/42, Annex II. Adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe at its forty-first session (1986) on its decision B.
 Text in: E/ECE/1225, ECE/ENWA/16. Adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe at its forty-fifth session in 1990 on its decision C.
 Text in: Natural Resources/Water Series No. 1, Management of International Water Resources: Institutional and Legal Aspects, United Nations, 1975, pp. 181-184.
 Text in: Report of the UN Conference on the Human Environment (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14), pp. 4-7, 17, 20, 22 and 23.
 Text in: United Nations, Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during its Twenty-Eighth Session, Vol. I, 18 September - 18 December 1973, p. 48.
 See Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14), chap. I.
 A/9330 and Corr. 1, p. 57.
 Text in: United Nations, Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the General Assembly during its Thirty-third Session (19 September - 21 December 1978, 15-19 January 1979 and 23-31 May 1979), p. 87
 Report of the UN Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972 (UN publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14 and corrigendum), chap. I
 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 25, (A/33/25), Annex I.
 Text in: United Nations, Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the General Assembly during its Thirty-fourth Session, 18 September 1979 to 7 January 1980 (Press Release CA/6161), pp. 285-286.
 Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14 and corrigendum), chap. I.
 See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 25, (A/33/25), Annex I.
 A/34/557 and Corr. 1
 Text in: Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-Third Session, Supplement No. 25, (A/33/25), pp. 154-155. The principles were drafted, in response to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3129 (XXVIII) of 13 December 1973, by a UNEP working group of legal experts which met between 1976 and 1978. In the light of the Working Group's report (UNEP.IG.12/2) and further Government comments on the draft principles (UN document A/34/557 and Corr. 1), the General Assembly by Resolution 34/186 of 18 December 1979 requested all States "to use the principles as guidelines and recommendations in the formulation of bilateral or multilateral conventions regarding natural resources shared by two or more States, on the basis of the principles of good faith and in the spirit of good neighborliness and in such a way as to enhance and not to affect adversely development and the interests of all countries and in particular of the developing countries". Progress reports on implementation of the principles were submitted to the General Assembly through the UNEP Governing Council in 1981 (UNEP/GC.9/5/Add.2) and in 1985 (UNEP/GC.13/9/Add.l).
 See Definition.
 See Definition.
 Text in: E/CONF.70/29, English, p. 51.
 This term has been used only for the uniformity of the text and its use does not prejudice the position of the countries supporting the terms "transboundary waters" or "international waters" in any of the problems involved.
 This term has been used only for the uniformity of the text and its use does not prejudice the position of the countries supporting the terms "transboundary waters" or "international waters" in any of the problems involved.
 Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14), chap. I, sect. II.
 Text in: Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. II), p. 169 and 176.