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Finnish-Russian transboundary water cooperation ranked as the best in the world

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 12.12.2017 14.34 | Published in English on 12.12.2017 at 17.36
Press release

Finnish-Russian frontier water cooperation got the full score in an international evaluation of the organisation and functioning of such cooperation. The 50 years of joint efforts have thus produced an excellent result.

The evaluation conducted by the Strategic Foresight Group covered 286 transboundary river basins and 146 countries. For the evaluation an analysis was conducted of the agreements between riparian states, shared institutional structures, access to and exchange of data on a regular basis, water resources management and ecosystem protection, and political commitment.

Finnish-Russian cooperation got the highest WCQ of 100. Four other European and three African river basin collaboration organisations reached the same score.

The Finnish-Russian Agreement on the utilization of transboundary watercourses was concluded as early as in 1964. It sets out the principles for the use of transboundary rivers and lakes shared by the two states.  The agreement is highly comprehensive, comprising the use, management and protection of waters. The authority for the implementation of the agreement is the Finnish-Russian Joint Commission on the Utilization of Frontier Waters.

“Our transboundary water cooperation with Russia has produced excellent results: flood damages have been prevented, loading of waters has decreased, and water quality has improved”, says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and chair of the Finnish party to the Commission.

“It is a great pleasure to win such international recognition for our sustained, long-term efforts for the benefit of transboundary waters”, she says.

Finland has been active in promoting water security, cooperation on frontier waters and good management of water resources, also in the UN and other international contexts. Finland took the initiative to incorporate the security aspects associated with water issues as a key objective in international water policy.

In international cooperation Finland wishes to promote the sustainable use of water resources and risk management and stresses the importance of international water law, treaties and transboundary cooperation. In the new UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 water has a key role as a natural resource, in maintaining functioning ecosystems and food production, and in terms of human health and safety.

The analyses and evaluations for the Water Cooperation Quotient were conducted by the think-tank Strategic Foresight Group which crafts new policy concepts for decision-making.

Link to the PDF file: Water Cooperation Quotient 2017

Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Seppo Rekolainen, Director of International Water Cooperation
+ 358 295 162 086

Katri Vasama, Senior Officer, Water Resources Management
+358 295 162 241

EU and international affairs Water