UNDP-GEF International Waters Portfolio

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UNDP-GEF has developed and applied a series of strategic planning methodologies that have proven highly effective at facilitating regional and national governance reforms towards sustainable, integrated management of multi-country freshwater and marine systems. These instruments include the GEF’s Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis/Strategic Action Programme process; Integrated Coastal and Water Resources Management: and building on regional and global legal frameworks. Each approach follows a similar overall process of prioritising water or ocean issues; identifying barriers to sustainable use; determining appropriate mixes of policy instruments to remove barriers; and implementing agreed reforms and investments.  For more detail on each methodology, and a series of case studies documenting their impacts, see the 2012 UNDP-GEF publication, Catalysing Ocean Finance: Volumes I and II.

UNDP-GEF’s International Waters portfolio applies the methodologies described above across four ‘signature’ programmes: Large Marine Ecosystems; Transboundary Lakes, Rivers and Aquifers; Integrated Water Resources and Coastal Area Management; and Global Programmes.  To date, the portfolio has supported over 100 countries with over $750 million in grants to sustainably manage their shared water systems including: 13 Large Marine Ecosystems (LME), 13 river basins, six lakes and three aquifers.  Links to operational and recently completed projects under each signature programme can be found below.

Large Marine Ecosystem and Regional Fisheries Projects

Integrated Coastal and Watershed Management Projects

Transboundary River, Lake and Aquifer Projects

Global Projects

UNDP Around the world