The Joint Commission

The authority for the implementation of the agreement is the Finnish-Russian Joint Commission on the Utilization of Frontier Waters. The members and experts of the Commission represent central and district levels of administration whose remits cover natural resources and the environment, foreign affairs, fisheries, the frontier guard and energy companies.

The practical work of the Commission is mainly carried out by its permanent working groups: the integrated water management group and the water protection group. One of the most significant results of the cooperation is the Lake Saimaa and River Vuoksi Discharge Rule implemented in 1991. According to the rule it is possible to change discharge volumes rapidly and flexibly in case of flood or drought threat. Main aim is to minimise the adverse consequences in the river basin as a whole. In future, management of water resources and water allocation will be based on risk assessment, i.e. balancing the benefits and adverse consequences particularly during extreme hydrological events.

The Commission´s long-term cooperation has been successful and well respected also in the field of water protection. The joint monitoring and intercalibration of transboundary waters is a measure to increase trust and serve as a basis for joint management. Discharges of waste waters has decreased remarkably during the past decades and in many transboundary rivers and lakes the water quality has improved.