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Durham University

IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Defining and Managing River Boundaries and International Rivers

Professional Training Workshop

20-22 May 2019

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

in partnership with GIZ

Three quarters of the world’s international land boundaries follow rivers for at least part of their course. In addition, nearly 300 river basins are shared by two or more states. Both the definition of river boundaries and the management of shared rivers generate a multitude of legal, technical and functional challenges, for which no instruction manual has yet been written.

This unique course is designed to help governments and boundary practitioners develop effective strategies for turning river boundaries and international rivers into assets rather than a source of friction between the riparian states. Led by expert tutors with extensive practical experience of resolving problems associated with shared rivers, the workshop will cover issues such as: defining and demarcating river boundaries; identifying key river features such as the thalweg, the ‘main channel’ and the ‘banks’; islands in boundary rivers; monitoring and accommodating physical changes in river boundaries; managing access and resource use in shared rivers; and resolving disputes over river boundaries and international rivers. The workshop will combine instruction in the principles and practice of river boundary definition and management, detailed case studies and practical exercises.

IBRU is delighted to be organizing the workshop in collaboration with GIZ, which has been supporting boundary reaffirmation and demarcation projects in Africa since 2008.

Please visit the Support to the African Union Border Programme website to see more on the work of GIZ in Africa.

This workshop will be delivered in English but an English/French translation service will be available throughout the workshop.

The cost of the workshop will be £1,870 per participant

This fee does not include accommodation.


Professor Paul Bishop, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow

Professor Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva

Dr Ontlogetse Dikgomo, Department of Water Supplies, Botswana

Professor Martin Pratt, Director, Bordermap Consulting Ltd

Dr. Abdulkarim H. Seid, Head of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Water Resources Management Department