Transboundary water resources management: the role of international watercourse agreements in implementation of the CBD

The equitable and sustainable allocation and management of water are crucial for maintaining the ecological function of freshwater water ecosystems. These functions sustain the significant services that these ecosystems provide to support human well-being; biodiversity underpins the functioning of these ecosystems and therefore the services provided. Loss of biodiversity, therefore, translates into a threat to sustained human well-being. Globally, these ecosystems are in serious decline due largely to the pressures placed upon water by its various users, and the rate of loss of biodiversity in them surpasses that from other major biomes by a considerable margin. This document explains why biodiversity conservation and sustainable use present a powerful argument to manage transboundary waters better, how regulatory frameworks to achieve this can be improved and why doing so fulfils commitments made under the Convention on Biological Diversity.