Webinar // FAO Water Tenure Monday: The interface between customary and statutory water rights
The Water Tenure Mondays webinar series creates a forum for building a stronger water tenure concept and pursues FAO’s efforts in broadening the knowledge base of its application to achieve more equitable and secure access to water, even in conditions of scarcity. In this session, Stefano Burchi, Chairperson, International Water Law Association, will present “The interface between customary and statutory water rights”.
Boy and girl fetching water from a cistern. Water supply from a cistern in Thulla, Yemen. © GIZ / Wagdi Al Maktri
July 5 | 1:00 PM CEST
Water tenure is a recent concept. A working definition of water tenure is “The relationships, whether legally or customarily defined, between people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources”. The concept of water tenure embraces and interconnects various SDG goals, and hence is useful for achieving the Agenda 2030, in particular through the inclusion of the most vulnerable through enhancing equitable access to water, increasing water security and improving climate resilience.
FAO has been continuously working to define the concept in line with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, unpack its core elements and explore its practical implications. The project "Knowing water better: towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources - KnoWat" has proposed a water tenure assessment methodology to map the diversity of coexisting water tenure arrangements and is testing the methodology in Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Senegal. In the North African region, the project “Water efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the NENA regions” is also working to strengthen water governance approach.
About the event
Against the backdrop of the concept of Water Tenure, and of the significance and scope of the customary water rights and practices of traditional users and communities, and of the interactions generated by the intersection of these rights with the formal water rights held by investors on the basis of the Water Laws in force, the presentation will illustrate the variety of approaches and mechanisms that feature in the current Water Laws, that are aimed at minimizing the potential for collision and conflict eventually between the two sets of water rights – the formal and the informal.
About the webinar series
The Water Tenure Mondays webinar series creates a forum for building a stronger water tenure concept and pursues FAO’s efforts in broadening the knowledge base of its application to achieve a more equitable and secure access to water, even in conditions of scarcity. It aims to refine our understanding of the water tenure concept and contextualize its various elements with a series of case studies, review ongoing initiatives and methodologies applied. The series is targeted to policymakers, water professionals, and researchers from all over the world.
About the speaker
Stefano Burchi is an expert in comparative and international freshwater law. He holds law degrees from La Sapienza University of Rome and from Harvard Law School. He has made a career in the Development Law Service of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Since retiring from FAO, Mr. Burchi has taken up a variety of water law consultancies, and has also assumed the chairmanship of the International Association for Water Law (AIDA). He is the author of numerous published articles and publications on the law of freshwater resources.
The webinars are held in English with simultaneous interpretation to French.
Past events of the Water Tenure Monday
- Webinar // FAO Water Tenure Monday “Water Tenure in Spain: a SOAP Approach”
- Water-Energy-Food Nexus within the Framework of International Water Law
- Nexus Blog // Water Auctions and Participatory Water Management
- Governance // Water Markets and the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Australia