This week, the Working Party on Inland Transport of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will hold its 58th session from 17-19 February 2021. Agenda items include a workshop on “Climate change and the extreme water situation on European waterways and its impact on inland water transport” as well as updates on existing inland waterway infrastructure.
Partners of the Save Polesia coalition are attending the meeting in order to better understand current discussions and developments of inland waterways in Europe. Moreover, we submitted a briefing on the planned E40 waterway to the UNECE Secretariat. Herein, we summarise the waterway’s disastrous potential impacts, highlighting those linked to climate change. We ask the Secretariat to look into the environmental and climate implications of the E40 waterway and convene a workshop on the topic at the next meeting. In addition, we ask Poland, Belarus and Ukraine to progress comprehensive strategic assessments of the entire E40 waterway. We also ask these Parties to reconsider whether it is appropriate to include the E40 waterway in the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance network given the likely environmental damage and climate change implications.
UNECE is one of the United Nation’s five regional commissions. ‘As a multilateral platform, UNECE facilitates greater economic integration and cooperation among its member countries and promotes sustainable development and economic prosperity‘. Its Inland Transport Committee is the ‘UN platform for inland transport to help efficiently address global and regional needs in inland transport.’
- Read our Briefing for UNECE Inland Transport Committee, Working Party on Inland Water Transport
- More information on the 58th session of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee meeting on 17-19 February 2021 (including agenda and registration link)
- Find out more about Polesia and read our factsheet ‘About Polesia – A unique wilderness of global importance’
- Learn more about the threats from the E40 waterway and read our factsheet ‘Polesia under threat – How a new waterway could destroy Polesia’s natural environment’