Relevant international projects will focus on watershed-scale environmental assessments aimed at identifying water-related problems with national, regional or global significance. They include development and application of comparative methodologies for assessing transboundary rivers, lakes, groundwater aquifers and large marine ecosystems. Complementary activities focus on assessment of the status and trends of the freshwater environment around the world, including linkages with other environmental components, and their socioeconomic, cultural and environmental implications. These projects will focus on providing accurate data and information to water scientists, managers and policymakers around the world to inform practical, meaningful and effective water-related decision making. Relevant examples of such assessments include the following:

Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP)

This international project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) focused on the development and application of comparable methodologies for a global-scale assessment of transboundary rivers, lakes, groundwater aquifers and large marine ecosystems, for the purpose of prioritizing water systems ‘at risk.’ It also was meant to catalyze partnerships and arrangements for undertaking such global assessments on a continuing basis. The IISWR Director, in collaboration with the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC), Shiga, Japan, UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), was the project manager for the international lakes/reservoirs component of the TWAP. Further information on this project is available on the GEF/IW:LEARN website.

Global Environmental Outlook (GEO)

To provide a global-scale overview of the of the state of the world’s environment, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) prepares and publishes biennial assessments (Global Environmental Outlook reports) that include the status and trends of freshwater systems, and their linkages with other environmental components, as well as their management and policy implications. The IISWR Director was a Lead Author for the freshwater section of the 5th Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report, and is a lead author for the freshwater section of GEO-6. The GEO reports are widely to scientists, policymakers and governments throughout the world. An electronic copy of GEO-5 can be downloaded from the UNEP website, and the GEO-6 report will be launched at the United Nations Environment Assembly at UNEP in 2019.