International Waters

Main Issues:

International Waters (IW) Strategy (IW Strategic Objectives 1, 3):

The program seeks to test cross-focal area (which means also cross-sector), integrated management of catchments, aquifers, and coastal/marine ecosystems of the Pacific Islands. The strategy of testing this R2R integrated management approach implemented through national multi-focal projects based on national priorities, complemented by a regional multi-focal project (consisting mostly of IW funding) poses serious coordination, cooperation, learning, experience sharing, and administrative costs for the PICs but is the only way to achieve a sustainable future for these vulnerable island states.

The regional multi-focal project is primarily under the IW focal area and SCCF but also from IW and SCCF. Two of the IW Strategic Objectives are addressed by projects in the program (IW 1, 3). It is supportive of focal area strategic objective IW-1 for implementing IWRM where previously introduced (IW-1: Transboundary Basins/ Aquifers Catalyze multi-state cooperation to balance conflicting water uses in trans-boundary surface and groundwater basins while considering climatic variability and change (and for SIDS IWRM) and supportive of objective IW-3 for building capacity and national commitments toward integrated ICMIWRM R2R approaches as well as testing these practical on-the-ground approaches across focal areas to sustain communities in the face of increasing climatic fluctuations (IW-3: IW Capacity Building: Support foundational capacity building, portfolio learning, and targeted research needs for joint, ecosystem-based management of transboundary water systems, including ICM). For those countries wishing to adopt integrated approaches with water-related outcomes, an increment of GEF funding consistent with IW-3 and its ‘Learning by doing’ capacity building involving local pilot demonstration work included in a number of the national projects.


Focal Area Objectives Expected FA Outcomes Expected FA Outputs

1.1 Incorporation of national policy reforms on IWRM into national/local plans and actions


1.3: Innovative solutions implemented for reduced pollution, improved water use efficiency, sustainable fisheries with rights-based management, IWRM, water supply protection in SIDS, and aquifer and catchment protection

National and local policy and legal reforms adopted with functioning national inter-ministry committees

Types of technologies and measures implemented in local demonstrations and investments (number)

Enhanced capacity for issues of climatic variability and change and groundwater management


3.1 Political commitment and capacity demonstrated for ICM integrating with existing IWRM commitments


3.2 On ground actions implemented for coastal habitat conservation of “blue forests”


3.3: IW portfolio capacity and performance enhanced from active learning/KM/experience sharing

National ICM-IWRM commitment in place, including coastal diagnostic analysis (number) and national inter-ministry committee oversight documented

Local ICM plans adopted (number)

Demonstration scale local actions piloted for ICM integrating with IWRM

Active experience / sharing / learning practiced in the IW portfolio, including through GEF IW:LEARN