What considerations can be given to incorporating collaborative adaptive management (CAM)? What efforts have the parties made to review and adjust a solution or decision over time in light of changing conditions?
Key Question Categor(ies):Transboundary Water Issues
Maritsa River is subject to great variations in its flow during flooding season, especially in the last 10-15 years. Flooding monitoring and early warning systems can be beneficial for all riparian states as flooding impacts agricultural and urban areas in all three parts of the basin. Yet, biggest beneficiaries will be downstream countries. There were initiatives funded by the EU in the past few years for technical expertise sharing through Bulgaria-Turkey cross border cooperation projects. Technical experts from DSI (Turkey) and NHMI (Bulgaria) met in several meetings, agreed on basic principles for sharing information and initiated plans to install monitoring stations on the Bulgarian side during 2006-2010 period. Subsequent to the completion of three separate EU projects during this period, Bulgaria started to share river flow and dam capacity data to Turkish government experts. However, fast paced developments for cooperation in the basin stalled after momentum in Turkey’s EU accession process is lost. Following three project conducted with EU cross-border funds, successive projects that were initially planned to complement and improve outcomes of previous projects were not executed. The primary reason is the inadequacy of EU cross-border cooperation funds that are allocated for a transboundary river basin shared with a non-EU country. After 2010, there are sporadic technical committee meetings organized by technical experts from Bulgaria and Turkey without an EU framework solely based on bilateral efforts.
Under the current circumstances, steps to adopt good EU practices for flood prevention in other transboundary and trans-regional water basins of the EU can be taken. With EU’s political encouragement and financial support, a flexible tripartite plan between riparians for managing Maritsa River Basin can be enacted with regard to the EU Water Framework Directive. This plan can adopt good practices of river basin management and flood prevention plans in Elbe River Commission’s Flood Protection Action Plan, Ebro River Basin Plan and Rhine 2020 (for Rhine river basin). Also extending the scope of European Flood Alert System (EFAS) to Maritsa River basin can be suggested by the EU member states Greece and Bulgaria with support of candidate country Turkey. The limiting factor is Turkey’s reluctance to adopt EU WFD before acceding to the EU as a full member state and political hurdles to proceed with Environment Chapter in Turkey’s EU accession negotiations.
From: Integrated Management and Negotiations for Equitable Allocation of Flow of the Jordan River Among Riparian States
The parties defined some of the key aspects of their deal with relative vagueness. Some of this could have been intentional, so that both countries’ home governments would be able to interpret the agreement in different ways. This allowed negotiators to ‘sell’ the deal to their internal constituencies and also gave them the time they needed to conduct further studies that allowed them to adjust the details of the agreement during implementation.
Yet, some ambiguity in the agreement was not helpful. For example, there was disagreement after the treaty was signed as to who should bear the cost of transferring Jordan’s water. According to Israel, Jordan was responsible for the additional cost since the water was for its benefit. Not surprisingly, Jordan did not agree. This highlights the two sides of the ‘ambiguity coin.’ On one side, ambiguity helped allow for some measure of adaptive management. At the same time, the tensions that were not resolved during the
negotiations did not go away.
a. The stakeholders in the case study recognize the changing climatic conditions in the Arctic ecosystem. They are building in CAM in the agreement by conducting scenario analysis and identifying conditions needed that might trigger a decision such as in the case of conditions that can trigger creation of an RFMA/O
b. The stakeholders in the case recognize the lack of understanding of the importance of scientific information of the Arctic ecosystem and are using science experts to inform the diplomatic process
From: Mineral and Petroleum Resource Extraction in the Arctic Ocean – Conflicting Oversight, Governance and Rights
Although parties have not yet adjusted their Northeast Ocean Plan to adaptive management needs, the Plan prioritizes this in future work. Adaptive management was a key principle for the planning process and central in the Ocean Plan. In prioritizing this, parties also focused on research needs and information gaps as priorities to inform future work. This will ideally help shape future adaptive management work. Integrating collaborative adaptive management into the planning process and future meetings for implementation are positive approaches for success.
From: The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Programs
The parties have changed the primary focus of the Programs over time as the needs and obstacles have evolved. At first, the Programs focused on achieving certain flow regimes and developing habitat for the protected species, and as these problems have been addressed, the Programs have shifted their focus to control of nonnative species, the largest current threat.
The Ebro faces huge seasonal and annual variations leaving hydroelectricity, agriculture and aquaculture and domestic users with a high degree of uncertainty. However, users all have capacity and knowledge to collect data and share data as well as specific needs at the different periods of the year. A CAM process gathering central and Catalan government, basin agency and stakeholders could add on the existing attention given in the PHE, which estimates ranges of quantities.
Collaborative Adaptive Management was utilized in formulating the Rhine 2020 plan. Specifically, the Rhine 2020 and EU Water Framework Directive were adopted after the Rhine Action Program ended, and the goals of Rhine 2020 were formed through evaluating the (then) current state of the ecosystem and water quality, and adjusting the management plans as necessary to reflect the changing conditions (i.e. including flood management goals as part of the Rhine 2020).