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.