Creation of Enabling Environment for Integrated Management of the Kura-Aras Transboundary Rivers Basin
September 5, 2011


After gaining independence by the three South Caucasus Countries, one of the most separating and conflicting, and at the same time most common environmental problems is management of transboundary waters, particularly of Kura and Aras rivers. Up to 50 projects of various scale and cost have been accomplished or are in the process of implementation in these countries on the given problem. Some of these projects (most prominent) have been or are implemented by the governments (or by their request) of the three South Caucasus countries with donors’ support, and there are numerous initiatives conducted by NGOs. All donor organisations that start working in the field of environment in the Caucasus region encounter water related problems in the abovementioned transboundary basin. The same is true with donors working in other fields at the national levels, who find water related issues as national priorities of the three countries, such as improved water supply and wastewater services (municipal and rural), updated national water policies, legislation and institutions, integrated water resources management and planning etc. Though countries individually undertake reforms in their water sector, still a concerted action in managing, using and protecting transboundary river basins at the regional level and with the application of modern principles and harmonized approaches is lacking. In addition, an absence or little cooperation and coordination between the governments of the three countries and donor-supported activities undertaken for management, protection and use of transboundary river basins worsen the overall management of our common resource.

Short Description

The project will be focused on:

  • Elaboration of a Road Map on sustainable management of the Kura-Aras river basin through introduction of the EU Water Directives as outlined in the National Action Plans of European Neighbourhood Policy, and, also, adoption of the National Road Maps by the participating countries. The Road Maps will assist the governments to coordinate ongoing and planned projects on the national and regional levels. In addition, they will help to direct donor’s efforts and funds towards country priorities within the frames of the existing legislations, but with view to the regional needs.
  • Assessment of the works undertaken by the water projects on Kura-Aras starting from 2000 on the basis of the adopted Road Maps.
  • Establishment of the Regional Coordination Body, which will meet annually and based on the Road Map, will assess the progress made for sustainable management of the Kura-Aras river basin in light of introduction of EU Water Directives.


  • Gain a consensus-based agreement between the South Caucasus countries, donor organisations and other concerned parties on further steps towards improved and creation of basis for sustainable cooperation and coordination through establishment of regional institutional mechanisms for major participating countries of the Caucasus, including governments, supporting control and coordination of projects (including donor ones) for integrated management of the Kura-Aras transboundary rivers basin
  • Adoption of Road Maps for assessment of progress in sustainable management of the Kura-Aras river basin with view to introduction of the EU Water Directives.


Target groups

  • State authorities (MoEs, water agencies, etc.)
  • Relevant international organisations
  • NGO

Project scope
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia