Challenges to International Waters – Regional Assessments in a Global Perspective, 2006.

The Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) project is a holistic and globally comparable assessment of transboundary aquatic resources in the majority of the world’s international river basins and their adjacent seas, particularly in developing regions. A bottom-up and multidisciplinary approach was adopted that involved nearly 1500 natural and social scientists from around the world. The GIWA project provides strategic guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) by identifying priorities for remedial and mitigatory actions in international waters.

The present Final Report presents the major results and findings of the GIWA regional assessments. On a global scale, GIWA has confirmed that pressures from human activities have weakened the ability of aquatic ecosystems to perform essential functions, which is compromising human well-being and sustainable development. The complex interactions between mankind and aquatic resources were studied within four specific major concerns: freshwater shortage, pollution, overfishing and habitat modification. Global change is considered as a fifth concern which overarches the other four.