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Committee: Ecology and Environment

Question of: Protecting Ecologies in International Waters

Submitted by: Iran


Acknowledging the world’s oceans, rivers, lakes, and groundwater systems do not respect political borders. These large water systems cover most of our planet, but they continue to be managed in a national and fragmented way that is endangering the food supply and livelihoods of billions of people,

Emphasizing that if nations continue to exploit these shared resources in unsustainable ways, we face a dismal future characterized by the depletion of our water and marine resources, increased poverty, and greater conflict,

Believing that freshwater, saltwater, and their living resources know no borders. With 70 % of the Earth being ocean and 60 % of the land lying in cross-border surface and groundwater basins, most water systems on Earth are transboundary– and thus are at the heart of the GEF International Waters (IW) mandate,

Reminding the GEF International Waters Focal Area was established to help countries work together to overcome these tensions in large water systems. The Focal Area helps countries collectively manage their transboundary surface water basins, groundwater basins, and coastal and marine systems in order to share the benefits from them,

Noting further that the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) is UNESCO’s international scientific cooperative program in water research, water resource management, education, and capacity- building, and the only broadly based science program of the UN system in this area. The program is tailored to the needs of UNESCO’s 195 Member States and is implemented in six year phases, allowing it to adapt to the changing world,

Recognizing the GEF International Waters Focal Area was established to help countries work together to overcome these tensions in large water systems. The Focal Area helps countries collectively manage their transboundary surface water basins, groundwater basins, and coastal and marine systems in order to share the benefits from them,


1. Expresses its hopes of promotion of collective management for transboundary water systems and subsequent implementation of the full range of policy,legal, and institutional reforms and investments contributing to substainable use and maintenance of ecosystem services;
2. Calls upon to improve multi-state cooperation to balance conflicting water uses in transboundary surface and groundwater basins while considering climatic variability and change. Multiple stresses on coastal and marine systems must be addressed collectively with States acting together if communities are to benefit with on-the ground results in terms of livelihoods, access to safe water sources, and improved socio-economic status;
3. Requests the UN to catalyze multi-state cooperation to rebuild marine fisheries and reduce pollution of coasts and Large Marine Ecosystems while considering climatic variability and change;
4. Further invites the support foundational capacity building, portfolio learning, and targeted research needs for ecosystem-based, joint management of transboundary water systems.

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