Workshop on “Governance of Shared Waters: International Water Law and Ecosystem Approach” South Africa, 17 – 21 of November 2014

In the week from the 17-21 November, 2014, a regional training workshop dealing with water governance legal and institutional issues at the national, regional and international level, and their link to the ecosystem approach, was held in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa.

15 April 2015


The workshop built upon the conceptual basis of the Integrated Water Resources Management concept and highlighted the Ecosystem Approach to water management in that framework. These concepts were tailored to the SADC regional level and Orange-Senqu basin level from a geographical, social and economic perspective. 

The workshop was directed towards actors and decision makers in southern Africa, specifically in the Orange-Senqu River Basin. Participants were therefore drawn from the four Orange-Senqu riparian countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa). The aim was to strengthen the institutional capacity of Non-governmental institutions and governmental institutions responsible for the management of shared river basins. 

The first part of the workshop, on Monday and Tuesday of that week, was directed at local stakeholders in order to promote public participation and facilitate institutional community organization in water governance. The second part, on Thursday and Friday, had the objective of training high-level decision makers. In between the two, a field trip to the Lesotho Highlands, the source of the Orange-Senqu River, was undertaken. The field trip included both groups, enabling an exchange between stakeholders and decision makers. 

Both groups engaged actively in discussions and eventually expressed their deep satisfaction with the workshop and how their learning objectives were met. They applauded the provision of a platform where “out of the box” thinking was encouraged.