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Indicator 6.5.2 “Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation”

Target 6.5 emphasizes the importance of transboundary cooperation – this page explains why and how to monitor progress towards the target.

The indicator at a glance

Indicator 6.5.2 tracks the percentage of transboundary basin area within a country that has an operational arrangement for water cooperation.

An arrangement for water cooperation is a bilateral or multilateral treaty, convention, agreement or other formal arrangement between riparian countries that provides a framework for cooperation.

For the arrangement to be considered operational, the following criteria need to be fulfilled:

  • Existence of a joint body.
  • Regular, formal communication between riparian countries (at least once a year).
  • Joint or coordinated management plans or objectives.
  • Regular exchange of data and information (at least once a year).

Data are commonly compiled by relevant national line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Environment, Natural Resources, Hydrology, Geology).

Available support 

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are the custodians of indicator 6.5.2. For any enquiries about available support, please contact their helpdesk.

Guidance on data collection and reporting

Online support

Face-to-face support

  • Regional workshops.
  • Presentations at global intergovernmental meetings and sessions in various fora.

Data and progress reporting

6.5.2 map

Why monitor transboundary cooperation?

Monitoring of transboundary cooperation provides impetus for countries to assess the current status of cooperation with neighbouring countries, and set targets for improved coordination.