International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

The Sava River Commission

The Sava river basin, a major drainage basin of the South-Eastern Europe, and the Sava river, the richest-in-water Danube tributary, are widely known for its high environmental and socio-economic values (i.e. for natural beauty, an outstanding biological and landscape diversity, high retention capacity, and high potential for development of economic activities, such as waterway transport, hydropower generation, tourism and recreation), so that a well-balanced approach is necessary to use the potential and preserve the existing values simultaneously.

Sava River Basin overview map.
Sava River Basin overview map

Source: Secretariat of the International Sava River Basin Commission.

The Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB)PDF document the legal framework for transboundary water cooperation in the Sava river basin, was created as a response to two major challenges:

  • The need (and obligation) for environmental protection of the basin and the need for economic development of the countries.
  • The need for a new, international framework for water management on the basin level, as a consequence of the geopolitical changes in the region in the 1990-ies (i.e. decay of the former Yugoslavia), which turned the Sava river from the biggest national river into an international river and restricted the water management to national level of the newly established countries.

Despite of all challenges, the FASRB is considered as a solid basis for the integrated water resources management in the Sava river basin. Although rather demanding in terms of the need for resources and continuous, joint efforts of the Parties, the FASRB implementation is perceived as a process providing multiple benefits for the Parties, and making a steady progress toward the key objective – sustainable development of the region within the basin.

>> Website of the International Sava River Basin Commission