Mindful that water is essential to sustain life and that the availability of water in quantities, and of a quality, sufficient to meet basic human needs is a prerequisite both for improved health and for sustainable development,
Aware that surface waters and groundwater are renewable resources with a limited capacity to recover from adverse impacts from human activities on their quantity and quality, that any failure to respect those limits may result in adverse effects, in both the short and long terms, on the health and well-being of those who rely on those resources and their quality, and that in consequence sustainable management of the hydrological cycle is essential for both meeting human needs and protecting the environment,
Aware also of the consequences for public health of shortfalls of water in the quantities, and of the quality, sufficient to meet basic human needs, and of the serious effects of such shortfalls, in particular on the vulnerable, the disadvantaged and the socially excluded,
Conscious that the prevention, control and reduction of water-related disease are important and urgent tasks which can only be satisfactorily discharged by enhanced cooperation at all levels and among all sectors, both within countries and between States,
Conscious also that surveillance of water-related disease and the establishment of early-warning systems and response systems are important aspects of the prevention, control and reduction of water-related disease,
Basing themselves upon the conclusions of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), in particular the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21, as well as upon the programme for the further implementation of Agenda 21 (New York, 1997) and the consequent decision of the Commission on Sustainable Development on the sustainable management of freshwater (New York, 1998),
Deriving inspiration from the relevant provisions of the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and emphasizing the need both to encourage more widespread application of those provisions and to complement that Convention with further measures to strengthen the protection of public health,
Taking note of the 1991 Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, the 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses and the 1998 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters,
Further taking note of the pertinent principles, targets and recommendations of the 1989 European Charter on Environment and Health, the 1994 Helsinki Declaration on Environment and Health, and the Ministerial declarations, recommendations and resolutions of the “Environment for Europe” process,
Recognizing the sound basis and relevance of other environmental initiatives, instruments and processes in Europe, as well as the preparation and implementation of National Environment and Health Action Plans and of National Environment Action Plans,
Commending the efforts already undertaken by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation for the prevention, control and reduction of water-related disease,
Encouraged by the many examples of positive achievements by the States members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the States members of the Regional Committee for Europe of the World Health Organization in abating pollution and in maintaining and restoring water environments capable of supporting human health and well-being,
The objective of this Protocol is to promote at all appropriate levels, nationally as well as in transboundary and international contexts, the protection of human health and well-being, both individual and collective, within a framework of sustainable development, through improving water management, including the protection of water ecosystems, and through preventing, controlling and reducing water-related disease.
1. “Water-related disease” means any significant adverse effects on human health, such as death, disability, illness or disorders, caused directly or indirectly by the condition, or changes in the quantity or quality, of any waters;
5. “Transboundary waters” means any surface or ground waters which mark, cross or are located on boundaries between two or more States; wherever transboundary waters flow directly into the sea, these transboundary waters end at a straight line across their respective mouths between points on the low-water line of their banks;
6. “Transboundary effects of water-related disease” means any significant adverse effects on human health, such as death, disability, illness or disorders, in an area under the jurisdiction of one Party, caused directly or indirectly by the condition, or changes in the quantity or quality, of waters in an area under the jurisdiction of another Party, whether or not such effects constitute a transboundary impact;
7. “Transboundary impact” means any significant adverse effect on the environment resulting from a change in the conditions of transboundary waters caused by a human activity, the physical origin of which is situated wholly or in part within an area under the jurisdiction of a Party to the Convention, within an area under the jurisdiction of another Party to the Convention. Such effects on the environment include effects on human health and safety, flora,fauna, soil, air, water, climate, landscape, and historical monuments or other physical structures or the interaction among these factors; they also include effects on the cultural heritage or socio-economic conditions resulting from alterations to those factors;
8. “Sanitation” means the collection, transport, treatment and disposal or reuse of human excreta or domestic waste water, whether through collective systems or by installations serving a single household or undertaking;
(b) A system for the provision of sanitation which serves a number of households or undertakings and, where appropriate, also provides for the collection, transport, treatment and disposal or reuse of industrial waste water,
10. “Water-management plan” means a plan for the development, management, protection and/or use of the water within a territorial area or groundwater aquifer, including the protection of the associated ecosystems;
(b) Natural or legal persons performing public administrative functions under national law, including specific duties, activities or services in relation to the environment, public health, sanitation, water management or water supply;
16. “Party” means, unless the text otherwise indicates, a State or a regional economic integration organization referred to in article 21 which has consented to be bound by this Protocol and for which this Protocol is in force;
1. The Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, control and reduce water-related disease within a framework of integrated water-management systems aimed at sustainable use of water resources, ambient water quality which does not endanger human health, and protection of water ecosystems.
(a) Adequate supplies of wholesome drinking water which is free from any micro-organisms, parasites and substances which, owing to their numbers or concentration, constitute a potential danger to human health. This shall include the protection of water resources which are used as sources of drinking water, treatment of water and the establishment, improvement and maintenance of collective systems;
(b) Adequate sanitation of a standard which sufficiently protects human health and the environment. This shall in particular be done through the establishment, improvement and maintenance of collective systems;
(c) Effective protection of water resources used as sources of drinking water, and their related water ecosystems, from pollution from other causes, including agriculture, industry and other discharges and emissions of hazardous substances. This shall aim at the effective reduction and elimination of discharges and emissions of substances judged to be hazardous to human health and water ecosystems;
(d) Sufficient safeguards for human health against water-related disease arising from the use of water for recreational purposes, from the use of water for aquaculture, from the water in which shellfish are produced or from which they are harvested, from the use of waste water for irrigation or from the use of sewage sludge in agriculture or aquaculture;
5. The Parties shall take all appropriate action to create legal, administrative and economic frameworks which are stable and enabling and within which the public, private and voluntary sectors can each make its contribution to improving water management for the purpose of preventing, controlling and reducing water-related disease.
6. The Parties shall require public authorities which are considering taking action, or approving the taking by others of action, that may have a significant impact on the environment of any waters within the scope of this Protocol to take due account of any potential impact of that action on public health.
7. Where a Party is a Party to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, compliance by public authorities of that Party with the requirements of that Convention in relation to a proposed action shall satisfy the requirement under paragraph 6 of this article in respect of that action.
9. The provisions of this Protocol shall not affect the rights and obligations of any Party to this Protocol deriving from the Convention or any other existing international agreement, except where the requirements under this Protocol are more stringent than the corresponding requirements under the Convention or that other existing international agreement.
(a) The precautionary principle, by virtue of which action to prevent, control or reduce water-related disease shall not be postponed on the ground that scientific research has not fully proved a causal link between the factor at which such action is aimed, on the one hand, and the potential contribution of that factor to the prevalence of water-related disease and/or transboundary impacts, on the other hand;
(c) States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies,and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;
(e) Preventive action should be taken to avoid outbreaks and incidents of water-related disease and to protect water resources used as sources of drinking water because such action addresses the harm more efficiently and can be more cost-effective than remedial action;
(i) Access to information and public participation in decision-making concerning water and health are needed, inter alia, in order to enhance the quality and the implementation of the decisions, to build public awareness of issues, to give the public the opportunity to express its concerns and to enable public authorities to take due account of such concerns. Such access and participation should be supplemented by appropriate access to judicial and administrative review of relevant decisions;
(j) Water resources should, as far as possible, be managed in an integrated manner on the basis of catchment areas, with the aims of linking social and economic development to the protection of natural ecosystems and of relating water-resource management to regulatory measures concerning other environmental mediums. Such an integrated approach should apply across the whole of a catchment area, whether transboundary or not, including its associated coastal waters, the whole of a groundwater aquifer or the relevant parts of such a catchment area or groundwater aquifer;
(m) As a counterpart to their rights and entitlements to water under private law and public law, natural and legal persons and institutions, whether in the public sector or the private sector, should contribute to the protection of the water environment and the conservation of water resources; and
2. For these purposes, the Parties shall each establish and publish national and/or local targets for the standards and levels of performance that need to be achieved or maintained for a high level of protection against water-related disease. These targets shall be periodically revised. In doing all this, they shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for public participation, within a transparent and fair framework, and shall ensure that due account is taken of the outcome of the public participation. Except where national or local circumstances make them irrelevant for preventing, controlling and reducing water-related disease, the targets shall cover, inter alia
(c) The area of territory, or the population sizes or proportions, which should be served by collective systems for the supply of drinking water or where the supply of drinking water by other means should be improved;
(i) The disposal or reuse of sewage sludge from collective systems of sanitation or other sanitation installations and the quality of waste water used for irrigation purposes, taking into account the Guidelines for the safe use of waste water and excreta in agriculture and aquaculture of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme;
(l) The identification and remediation of particularly contaminated sites which adversely affect waters within the scope of this Protocol or are likely to do so and which thus threaten to give rise to water-related disease;
(m) The effectiveness of systems for the management, development, protection and use of water resources, including the application of recognized good practice to the control of pollution from sources of all kinds;
(n) The frequency of the publication of information on the quality of the drinking water supplied and of other waters relevant to the targets in this paragraph in the intervals between the publication of information under article 7, paragraph 2.
(b) Develop water-management plans in transboundary, national and/or local contexts, preferably on the basis of catchment areas or groundwater aquifers. In doing so, they shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for public participation, within a transparent and fair framework,and shall ensure that due account is taken of the outcome of the public participation. Such plans may be incorporated in other relevant plans,programmes or documents which are being drawn up for other purposes, provided that they enable the public to see clearly the proposals for achieving the targets referred to in this article and the respective target dates;
(d) Establish and maintain arrangements, including, where appropriate, legal and institutional arrangements, for monitoring, promoting the achievement of and, where necessary, enforcing the other standards and levels of performance for which targets referred to in paragraph 2 of this article are set.
4. On the basis of this collection and evaluation of data, each Party shall review periodically the progress made in achieving the targets referred to in article 6, paragraph 2, and publish an assessment of that progress. The frequency of such reviews shall be established by the Meeting of the Parties. Without prejudice to the possibility of more frequent reviews under article 6, paragraph 2, reviews under this paragraph shall include a review of the targets referred to in article 6, paragraph 2, with a view to improving the targets in the light of scientific and technical knowledge.
5. Each Party shall provide to the secretariat referred to in article 17, for circulation to the other Parties, a summary report of the data collected and evaluated and the assessment of the progress achieved. Such reports shall be in accordance with guidelines established by the Meeting of the Parties.These guidelines shall provide that the Parties can use for this purpose reports covering the relevant information produced for other international forums.
(iii) In the event of any imminent threat to public health from water-related disease, disseminate to members of the public who may be affected all information that is held by a public authority and that could help the public to prevent or mitigate harm;
(b) The rights and entitlements to water and corresponding obligations under private and public law of natural and legal persons and institutions,whether in the public sector or the private sector, as well as their moral obligations to contribute to the protection of the water environment and the conservation of water resources.
3. The Parties shall encourage the education and training of the professional and technical staff who are needed for managing water resources and for operating systems of water supply and sanitation, and encourage the updating and improvement of their knowledge and skills. This education and training shall include relevant aspects of public health.
1. As a complement to the requirements of this Protocol for Parties to publish specific information or documents, each Party shall take steps within the framework of its legislation to make available to the public such information as is held by public authorities and is reasonably needed to inform public discussion of:
2. Each Party shall ensure that public authorities, in response to a request for other information relevant to the implementation of this Protocol,make such information available within a reasonable time to the public, within the framework of national legislation.
3. The Parties shall ensure that information referred to in article 7, paragraph 4, and paragraph 1 of this article shall be available to the public at all reasonable times for inspection free of charge, and shall provide members of the public with reasonable facilities for obtaining from the Parties, on payment of reasonable charges, copies of such information.
(c) The information concerns material in the course of completion or concerns internal communications of public authorities where such an exemption is provided for in national law or customary practice, taking into account the public interest served by disclosure.
(d) The confidentiality of commercial or industrial information, where such confidentiality is protected by law in order to protect a legitimate economic interest. Within this framework, information on emissions and discharges which are relevant for the protection of the environment shall be disclosed;
(f) The confidentiality of personal data and/or files relating to a natural person where that person has not consented to the disclosure of the information to the public, where such confidentiality is provided for in national law;
(g) The interests of a third party which has supplied the information requested without that party being under, or being capable of being put under,a legal obligation to do so, and where that party does not consent to the release of the material; or
(b) The development of indicators for the purposes of article 7, paragraph 1 (b), to show how far action on water-related disease has been successful in preventing, controlling and reducing such disease;
(c) The establishment of joint or coordinated systems for surveillance and early-warning systems, contingency plans and response capacities as part of, or to complement, the national systems maintained in accordance with article 8 for the purpose of responding to outbreaks and incidents of waterrelated disease and significant threats of such outbreaks and incidents, especially from water-pollution incidents or extreme weather events;
(d) Mutual assistance in responding to outbreaks and incidents of water-related disease and significant threats of such outbreaks and incidents, especially from water-pollution incidents or extreme weather events;
1. Where any Parties border the same transboundary waters, as a complement to their other obligations under articles 11 and 12, they shall cooperate and, as appropriate, assist each other to prevent, control and reduce transboundary effects of water-related disease. In particular, they shall:
(b) Endeavour to establish with the other Parties bordering the same transboundary waters joint or coordinated water-management plans in accordance with article 6, paragraph 5 (b), and surveillance and early-warning systems and contingency plans in accordance with article 8, paragraph 1, for the purpose of responding to outbreaks and incidents of water-related disease and significant threats of such outbreaks and incidents, especially from waterpollution incidents or extreme weather events;
(c) On the basis of equality and reciprocity, adapt their agreements and other arrangements regarding their transboundary waters in order to eliminate any contradictions with the basic principles of this Protocol and to define their mutual relations and conduct regarding the aims of this Protocol;
When cooperating and assisting each other in the implementation of national and local plans in pursuance of article 11, subparagraph (b), the Parties shall, in particular, consider how they can best help to promote:
The Parties shall review the compliance of the Parties with the provisions of this Protocol on the basis of the reviews and assessments referred to in article 7. Multilateral arrangements of a non-confrontational, non-judicial and consultative nature for reviewing compliance shall be established by the Parties at their first meeting. These arrangements shall allow for appropriate public involvement.
1. The first meeting of the Parties shall be convened no later than eighteen months after the date of the entry into force of this Protocol. Thereafter, ordinary meetings shall be held at regular intervals to be determined by the Parties, but at least every three years, except in so far as other arrangements are necessary to achieve the aims of paragraph 2 of this article. The Parties shall hold an extraordinary meeting if they so decide in the course of an ordinary meeting or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within six months of it being communicated to all Parties, the said request is supported by at least one third of the Parties.
(a) Review the policies for and methodological approaches to the prevention, control and reduction of water-related disease, promote their convergence, and strengthen transboundary and international cooperation in accordance with articles 11, 12, 13 and 14;
(b) Evaluate progress in implementing this Protocol on the basis of information provided by the Parties in accordance with guidelines established by the Meeting of the Parties. Such guidelines shall avoid duplication of effort in reporting requirements;
(f) Establish the modalities for the participation of other competent international governmental and non-governmental bodies in all meetings and other activities pertinent to the achievement of the purposes of this Protocol;
(g) Consider the need for further provisions on access to information, public participation in decision-making and public access to judicial and administrative review of decisions within the scope of this Protocol, in the light of experience gained on these matters in other international forums;
(j) At the first meeting, consider and by consensus adopt rules of procedure for their meetings. These rules of procedure shall contain provision to promote harmonious cooperation with the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention;
1. The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe and the Regional Director of the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization shall carry out the following secretariat functions for this Protocol:
3. The text of any proposed amendment to this Protocol shall be submitted in writing to the secretariat, which shall communicate it to all Parties at least ninety days before the meeting at which it is proposed for adoption.
4. An amendment to this Protocol shall be adopted by consensus of the representatives of the Parties present at the meeting. The adopted amendment shall be communicated by the secretariat to the Depositary, who shall circulate it to all Parties for their acceptance. The amendment shall enter into force for the Parties which have accepted it on the ninetieth day after the date on which two thirds of those Parties have deposited with the Depositary their instruments of acceptance of the amendment. The amendment shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after the date on which that Party deposits its instrument of acceptance of the amendment.
2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States which are Parties. Such organizations shall not exercise their right to vote if their member States exercise theirs, and vice versa.
1. If a dispute arises between two or more Parties about the interpretation or application of this Protocol, they shall seek a solution by negotiation or by any other means of dispute settlement acceptable to the parties to the dispute.
2. When signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Protocol, or at any time thereafter, a Party may declare in writing to the Depositary that for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, it accepts one of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:
(a) Where the Parties are Parties to the Convention, and have accepted as compulsory in relation to each other one or both of the means of dispute settlement provided in the Convention, the settlement of the dispute in accordance with the provisions of the Convention for the settlement of disputes arising in connection with the Convention;
This Protocol shall be open for signature in London on 17 and 18 June 1999 on the occasion of the Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, and thereafter at United Nations Headquarters in New York until 18 June 2000, by States members of the Economic Commission for Europe, by States members of the Regional Committee for Europe of the World Health Organization, by States having consultative status with the Economic Commission for Europe pursuant to paragraph 8 of Economic and Social Council resolution 36 (IV) of 28 March 1947, and by regional economic integration organizations constituted by sovereign States members of the Economic Commission for Europe or members of the Regional Committee for Europe of the World Health Organization to which their member States have transferred competence over matters governed by this Protocol, including the competence to enter into treaties in respect of these matters.
3. Any organization referred to in article 21 which becomes a Party without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under this Protocol. In the case of such organizations, one or more of whose member States is a Party, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under this Protocol. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under this Protocol concurrently.
4. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the regional economic integration organizations referred to in article 21 shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by this Protocol. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any substantial modification to the extent of their competence.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this article, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by States members of such an organization.
3. For each State or organization referred to in article 21 which ratifies, accepts or approves this Protocol or accedes thereto after the deposit of the sixteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Protocol shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of depositby such State or organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
At any time after three years from the date on which this Protocol has come into force with respect to a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Protocol by giving written notification to the Depositary. Any such withdrawal shall take effect on the ninetieth day after the date of its receipt by the Depositary