Watercourse states shall, individually and, where appropriate, jointly, protect and preserve the ecosystems of international watercourses.
What is an ‘ecosystem’?
An ecosystem is…
- ‘…a dynamic complex of plant, animal, and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit’ (Article 2, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (adopted 5 June 1992, entered into force 29 December 1992) (1992) 31 International Legal Materials 822)
- ‘a system of plants, animals and micro-organisms together with the non-living components of the environment’ (Experts Group on Environmental Law, Legal Principles and recommendations (WCED 1987))
A water-related ecosystem is…
- ‘ an ecosystem such as a forest, wetlands, grasslands and agricultural land that plays a vital role in the hydrological cycle through the service it provides’ (UNECE, Recommendations on Payments for Ecosystem Services in Integrated Water Resources Management (UNECE 2007), 2)
Download Fact Sheets