Environment in emerging and transition economies

National policy dialogue (NPD) in Georgia



Year of NPD launch:  2011

Present NPD Chair(s) and strategic partners in the government: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection

Source of NPD funding: European Union, Government of Finland, OSCE

The National Policy Dialogue (NPD) started in Georgia in September 2010 with meetings of the UNECE Water Convention secretariat with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources and other stakeholders. The Memorandum of Understanding on the NPD implementation was signed by the Ministry of Environment Protection and UNECE in October 2011. This page summarises the main areas of work and achievements in the context of the NPD process.

Priority areas of work and main activities

  • Institutional reforms for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the view of implementing EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) principles, including the preparation of a National Water Law.
  • Target setting under the Protocol on Water and Health. A report was produced and a roundtable discussion held on Georgia’s possible accession to the Protocol on Water and Health.
  • Strengthening transboundary water cooperation with Azerbaijan and preparatory work towards accession to the UNECE Water Convention.

Since the launch of the NPD, the following meetings and missions have been taking place to assist Georgia in the NPD process:

  • The first NPD Steering Committee meeting was held on 11 June 2012 in Tbilisi. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Environment Protection and UNECE, in cooperation with the Global Water Partnership Georgia. The main issue discussed was a concept for new water legislation which should apply the principles of integrated water resources management as well as respond to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement that was under development. The background study titled “Review of the Georgian Legal and Institutional Water Framework and Recommendations for Implementation of EU Water Framework Directive Principles, Including Preparation of a National Water Law” was presented and discussed during the meeting. The Steering Committee decided on proceeding further with the development of the water legislation with a view to ultimately drafting a new national water strategy.

  • The second Steering Committee meeting took place on 30 May 2013 in Tbilisi. A key item on the agenda was the presentation of the new Water Law which was drafted by the interministerial working group. This ambitious new law introduced the "river basin approach" to water resources management, permitting and licensing for water use and discharge and clarifying the roles of the different State agencies involved in the management of the water resources.

The OECD activities under the NPD are also dedicated to assessing the potential benefits of improved transboundary water management between Georgia and Azerbaijan, and analysing how the use of economic instruments can facilitate improvements in the management of the Kura river basin.

Key achievements of the NPD to date


This radar chart synthetises the level of achievements along five axes within the NPD process in Kazakhstan (0-no activity; 2-fully achieved): 

- Transboundary water management
- National strategies on water, nexus
- The development of RBMPs
- The economis and financial dimensions of WRM
- WSS and Water and Health

  • national water law was developed in 2012-2013 as part of the NPD process in Georgia. It introduces the river basin management approach (in line with the EU WFD) and clarifies the roles of state institutions. The EUWI NPD has been instrumental also in the process of elaborating a background study on existing water management laws and institutions. The new law is currently being prepared for passing forward for parliamentary approval.

  • review of economic instruments for water management was conducted in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Further reforms of existing instruments are being considered.

Plans for the future

  • Support will be provided to ensure that the draft National Water Law will be adopted by the Parliament in 2014. This will include support to a legal working group which will devise an implementation plan as well as draft high-priority subordinate legal acts.

  • Support to water diplomacy between Azerbaijan and Georgia will continue through an assessment of the potential benefits of enhanced transboundary cooperation, including the development of economic instruments.

The capability of national experts, evident during the work for the NPD, gives grounds for optimism surrounding the future of IWRM in the country.

“Georgia is pleased to have started the ratification process of the Protocol on Water and Health. The initiation of this process was strongly supported by a National Policy Dialogue (NPD) through promotion of wide consultations with the relevant stakeholders at national and international levels..”

Khatuna Gogaladze
 Former Minister of Environment, Georgia