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Jointly developed by UNITAR and the Platform of International Water Law of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and with the support of the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), the e-Learning Capacity Development Project in International Water Law aims to address the training needs of countries sharing transboundary freshwater and groundwater resources. 

The project surged from the high demand for training in the domain of international water law. The objective is to enable beneficiaries to create appropriate legal frameworks for transboundary water cooperation and sustainable water management. The target audience is particularly legal professionals and policy-makers in developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs), where a substantial training gap in the domain of International Water Law was found. 

The project, following the agreement signed between UNITAR and SDC, consisted in the development and implementation of a series of online courses on International Water Law (IWL 1 and 2 - English and French sessions) and the Law of Transboundary Aquifers (LTA).

In view of the great demand for training in the area and the limited number of training sessions, only 15% of the 1,987 requests were accepted for the 2013-2015 training sessions.

As set out in the agreement, UNITAR was responsible for the overall coordination of the project, as well as for the design, implementation and evaluation of the courses. UNIGE was responsible for developing the course contents based on UNITAR’s Quality Assurance Framework, and for providing a subject-matter expert to facilitate the online sessions. 

Between 2013 and 2015, seven online training sessions were conducted, benefiting a total of 289 beneficiaries: 
 Year            Course              Beneficiaries                From LDCs
2013 IWL 1 45 80%
2014 IWL 1 45 74%
IWL 2 44 88%
LTA 43 79%
2015 IWL 1 36 91%
IWL 2 38 92%
LTA 38 77%

In total, the trainings targeted 62% male participants and 38% female. Overall, these participants came from all over the world. Specifically, 48% of them came from Africa, 19% from Asia and Pacific, 13% from Latin America and Caribbean, 6% from the Middle East, 12% from Europe, and 2% from North America. Moreover, these participants claimed to be affiliated to: government (44%); academia (21%); other (16%); international organization (10%); NGO (6%); and private sector (3%).

Download the 2015 Implementation Report

Download the 2013-2014 Implementation Report


Download the 2013-2015 Results Infographic:





International Water Law

e-Learning / English / 5 weeks
The course aims to provide advanced knowledge of the principles and norms that govern the use, sharing, management and protection of these resources. The course enables participants to create, interpret and implement effective transboundary water legal frameworks. Download brochure>>


Droit international de l’eau douce

e-Learning / French / 5 weeks
This course aims to provide professionals working in the negotiation or implementation of freshwater resource treaties the in-depth knowledge of the principles and standards governing the use, sharing, management and protection of this finite natural resource. Download brochure>>

Law of Transboundary Aquifers

e-Learning / English / 2 weeks
The course is intended to foster an understanding of the implications of the principles affirmed in the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997) and the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992) for groundwater resources. Download brochure>>