Namibia wants to join Water Convention
04 October 2021 | Environment
Namibia intends to accede to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).
This comes as more and more countries – especially in Africa - are seizing the legal and intergovernmental framework of the Water Convention to support cooperation on shared water resources.
Speaking at the ninth meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention that took place in Geneva on 29 September, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein expressed Namibia’s intention to accede to the Convention.
Schlettwein said Namibia is heavily dependent on its perennial rivers, which are all shared with neighbouring countries.
“Therefore, we have entered into bilateral and multilateral agreements to establish river basin commissions, aimed at promoting joint rule-based utilisation and management as well as sustainable development of the shared waters.”
Namibia ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses of 1997, and the Revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses of 2000.
Schlettwein said Namibia therefore has a long record of transboundary water cooperation anchored in multilateral cooperation for the fair, sustainable and integrated utilisation and management of its shared freshwater resources.
“The Water Convention establishes principles and rules that form the basis for countries working together to protect and sustainably use their shared freshwater resources.”
Namibia, being a downstream country in most of its transboundary shared watercourses, relies on rule-based cooperation which the Water Convention is centred around.
“In today’s interconnected world, water availability is directly related to peace and security,” said Schlettwein.
He said by acceding to the Water Convention, Namibia hopes to strengthen its capacity, add additional tools, and gain new insights for enhanced transboundary cooperation, conflict prevention and regional stability.
“Therefore, Namibia is hereby expressing its interest to accede to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and would like to request support from the Water Convention Secretariat during the accession process.”
Schlettwein said Namibia is keen to join the global family of UN member states who underwrite principles and rules that form the basis for countries working together to protect and sustainably use their shared freshwater resources.