Water and Wetlands Specialist Group

Chair: Owen McIntyre


Year in Review

The Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands (SGWW) had a reasonably busy year with the Chair and several other members working to promote the SG and completing a number of research and publishing initiatives which have drawn heavily from among the membership of the SGWW.  It has also been called upon to provide water and wetlands-related comments and advice to a number of IUCN-based and externally organised initiatives.

The SG is working on the completion and publication of several comprehensive reports on:
-    Legal Aspects of Water and Climate Change – Adaptation and Mitigation;
-    Legal and Institutional Arrangements for Transboundary Water Cooperation; and
-    The Legal Status, Nature and Implications of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

At the invitation of the Secretariat to the Ramsar Convention, the SGWW Chair completed a technical report on The Ramsar Convention and International Water Law, setting out a broader research agenda on the critical topic of International Water Law and Ecosystems Protection, which should inform the work of the SGWW for several years to come.

The SGWW and its members have participated in many international meetings and fora and have worked on and published several publications over the last year. Some of these events and publications are listed below.


  • SGWW Members (O. McIntyre, A. Rieu-Clarke, F. Loures and S. Salman) contributed to a webinar on ‘Why does the UN Watercourses Convention entry into force matter?’, organised by the International Water Resources Institute (IWRA), 14 July 2014.
  • SGWW Chair acted as keynote speaker at the annual International Law and Transboundary Freshwaters Workshop organized by the Dundee IHP-HELP (UNESCO) Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee (June 2014).
  • SGWW Chair appointed Senior Advisor to Water Witness International, an international civil society organization which produces quality research to support stakeholders in ensuring that water resources are used in an equitable and sustainable manner (August 2014).
  • SGWW awarded a visiting fellowship by the Chinese Government under the 2014 High-End Foreign Experts Programme of the State Administration of Foreign Affairs to contribute to the development of the China International Water Law (CIWL) programme at the School of Law, Xiamen University, China (May 2014)
  • SGWW appointed an Honorary Lecturer by the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy and Management, University of Dundee (April 2014).


  • Completed an edited volume on Sovereignty and the Development of International Water Law, T. Tvedt, O. McIntyre and T, Kasse Woldetsadik (eds.) (I.B. Taurus, London).
  • Completed an edited volume on The UNECE Water Convention’s Contribution to International Water Cooperation, A. Tanzi, O. McIntyre, A. Rieu-Clarke and A. Kolliopolous (eds.) (Brill / Martinus Nijhoff).
  • Work has continued on a research monograph: O. McIntyre, The Legal Status, Nature and Implications of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.