Ocean Protection
Watercourses Convention
UN Decade Project
Swimming for the Environment

UN International Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (The UN Watercourses Convention)


Water is the Earth´s most important resource. In view of the global increasing water demand and climate change, the sustainable use and distribution of water and the conservation of the water resources such as lakes, wetlands, rivers and aquifers are the central mission of our society. The UN Watercourses Convention provides a framework for common and cooperative management for water systems crossing or forming international borders.


In frame of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2009, the UN Watercourses Convention was also seen as a key legal instrument to foster cooperation on climate change adaptation in shared freshwater systems, crucial as river flows falter and extreme events such as floods and droughts increase in frequency and severity.


Currently, 16 countries signed up to the UN International Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses: Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Syria and Uzbekistan.


Background: In 2006, WWF launched a global initiative that aims to strengthen international law in support of transboundary water cooperation. WWF calls on governments to join and implement the 1997 UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses - a global and overarching legal framework governing the environmental protection, equitable use and sustainable management of the world’s international watercourses.


Water Library is online


After the 5th World Water Forum held in March, 2009, the World Water Forum Secretariat has prepared publications such as the Final Report, the Evaluation Report and the Global Water Framework which were distributed as hard copies and published on the website. The secretariat has established a Water Library using all these data and launched the websites and .

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