UK signs international water convention

UK signs international water convention

Date: 29 June 2012

The World Development Movement joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2008 to campaign for the UK government to accede to the UN Watercourses Convention, to help ensure that the world’s 263 international boundary crossing rivers are protected and peacefully shared.

Our local groups took the message (and their water pistols) to the streets of the UK explaining why, in the light of increasing demand for water and the unavoidable impacts of climate change, it was important for the UK to support this initiative.

They explained that the UN Watercourses Convention was the only global agreement to set out good practice for managing watercourses and to encourage countries to share information and agree conflict resolution measures. Importantly, it also emphasised the need to take care of freshwater ecosystems.

It is the only convention among those adopted as a result of the momentum generated by the original Earth Summit some 20 years ago that has yet to come into effect. Although initially agreeing in principle to the convention, the UK government had not acceded to the treaty. 

So, it was good to hear Nick Clegg make the announcement at Rio+20 that the UK will join the growing number of countries to accede to the convention. This takes the total to 26, bringing us closer to the 35 countries needed to bring it into legal force.

Congratulations to WWF, WDM groups and everyone else who has campaigned on this issue.