Learn more about International waters
The terms international waters or transboundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water (or their drainage basins) transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems (aquifers), and wetlands .
Oceans and seas, waters outside of national jurisdiction are also referred to as the High Seas or Mare liberum.
 International waterways
Several international treaties have established freedom of navigation on semi-enclosed seas.
- The Copenhagen Convention of 1857 opened access to the Baltic by abolishing the Sound Dues and making the Danish Straits an international waterway free to all military and commercial shipping.
- Several conventions have opened the Bosporus and Dardanelles to shipping. The latest, the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits maintains the straits' status as an international waterway.
 Links and References
 International Waters Agreements
 Global Agreements
- International Freshwater Treaties Database (freshwater only).
- The Yearkbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development profiles agreements regarding the Marine Environment, Marine Living Resources and Freshwater Resources.
- 1972 London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (MARPOL)
- 1984 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (LOS)
- 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses (CIW) - not ratified
- Transboundary Groundwater Treaty, Bellagio Draft - proposed, but not signed
- Other global conventions and treaties with implications for International Waters:
 Regional Agreements
- the Atlantic Coast of West and Central Africa (Abidjan Convention, 1984);
- the North-East Pacific (Antigua Convention);
- the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention);
- the wider Caribbean (Cartagena Convention);
- the South-East Pacific (Lima Convention, 1986);
- the South Pacific (Noumea Convention);
- the East African seaboard (Nairobi Convention, 1985);
- the Kuwait region (Kuwait Convention);
- the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (Jeddah Convention).
Addressing regional freshwater issues is the 1992 Helsinki Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE/Helsinki Water Convention)
 Waterbody-Specific Agreements
- Baltic Sea (Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992)
- Black Sea (Bucharest Convention,1992), see also the Black Sea Commission;
- Caspian Sea (Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, 2003)
- Lake Tanganyika (Convention for the Sustainable Management of Lake Tanganyika, 2003)
 International Waters Institutions
 Freshwater Institutions
- The UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
- The International Joint Commission between Canada and USA (IJC-CMI)
- The International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)
- The International Shared Aquifer Resource Management (ISARM) project
- The International Water Boundary Commission between Mexico and USA (IWBC, US Section)
- The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
- The World Conservation Union Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)
 Marine Institutions
- The International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- The UNEP Regional Seas Programme
- The UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
- The International Ocean Institute (IOI)
- The World Conservation Union Global Marine Program (GMP)
 International Waters Resources on the Web
- Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Library
- The GEF International Waters Resource Centre (GEF IWRC)
- The Integrated Management of Transboundary Waters in Europe (TransCat)
- The International Water Law Project
- The International Water Resources Association (IWRA)
- The UNDP-GEF article describing international waters, from which this article has been adapted.
- UNEP freshwater thematic portal on transboundary waters
- UNESCO thematic portals for oceans, water, coasts and small islands
- WaterWiki: A new Wiki-based on-line knowledge map and collaboration tool for Water-practitioners in the Europe & CIS region