In May Bratislava hosted 2 events to the Protocol on water and Health Print
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Friday, 01 June 2012 17:13

The sub-regional Workshop for Central European countries held 8–9 May 2012, back-to-back with the meeting of the Task Force on target setting and reporting to the Protocol, which held 10–11 May in Bratislava.

Workshop was focused on sharing experiences on the implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health. Participants from different institutions and NGOs, sectors from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia were informed about the Protocol basic principles, guidelines, dates; and exchanged the experience and lessons on Protocol implementation (targets setting, reporting, financing) and discussed how better use the Protocol for improvement of water and health situation in the countries.

Added value of the workshop was that the participants would know how the targets should be updated, what topics should be supplement, what information and how should be reported...

Although the implementation of Protocol is different in 4 countries (Hungary and Slovenia set targets, and Romania and Slovakia are working on targets now) there were several common conclusions:

- Basis for setting targets to the Protocol was given by requirements of different EU legislations in water and health sectors (WFD, BD, DWD, NiD, UWWTD, GWD ....)

- Protection of drinking water sources should have a high priority. It is crucial to link water and health data between water quality and disease incidents and set up good working surveillance system

- Defined targets are general (not measurable) or are taken in place (arsenic problems)

- The missing topics in the targets setting process were: climate changes and extreme weather events, small scale water supplying and sanitation systems, municipalities with less than 2000 p.e., marginal groups and their problems with access to safe water and sanitation, water safety plans....

- For Protocol implementation it is important:

  • to establish the coordination mechanisms (intersectoral working groups, involvement of health and environment sectors)
  • political willingness, responsibility and support of all stakeholders
  • to find some supplementary financial sources,
  • to establish financial mechanisms
  • to build a stakeholders capacity, to raise public awareness and participation in the process NGOs and GWP CEE can help to work on these issues.

- the UNECE analysis of the submitted reports was very useful to countries to know how the targets should be updated, or adjust, what targets or measures should be added, how to prepare the next report to fulfil all requirements given by guidelines...

Documents and presentations of the workshop are available on:

The 5th meeting of the Task Force (TF) on target setting and reporting to the Protocol held 10–11 May, gathered together the experts from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Norway, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine. The representatives of UNOs, UNECE, WHO and NGOs took part in this meeting. The Meeting participants reviewed general progress in setting targets and target dates and challenges encountered by Parties which have not yet set targets; discussed specific challenges in setting targets and target dates, setting targets in specific areas of work under the Protocol, measures to achieve targets and target dates and to assess the progress towards the targets and towards the objectives of the Protocol. Among the specific areas of work under the Protocol the TF discussed the setting specific targets:

- to improve surveillance of water related disease, including using the direct health interventions to reduce water related disease,

- to improve access to water and sanitation for the population served by Small scale water supplies and sanitation systems (there is a plan to develop the policy guidance on small scale water supplies and sanitation),

- to ensure the Equitable access to water and sanitation.

The TF was informed about the recent publication “No one left behind. Good practices to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region” as well as plans to develop a self-assessment tool to support implementation of the good practices contained in the document at the national and local levels.

The TF discussed preparations for the next reporting exercise for the Meeting of the Parties in 2013. The Secretariat shared a timeline:

November 2012 – March 2013: preparation of summary reports

12–13 February 2013: Workshop on reporting under the Protocol

March/April 2013 (210 dates before MOP3): submission of summary reports by Parties, Signatories and other interested countries

March – July 2013: preparation of the regional implementation report by an independent expert and of the report by the Compliance Committee

3–4 July 2013: Sixth meeting of the Working Group on Water and Health: review of results of reporting exercise

November – December 2013: Third Meeting of the Parties

The Task Force advised to organize a workshop on reporting back-to-back with the next Task Force meeting.

Documents and presentations of the TF meeting are available on: