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Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA)

Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA)

Introduction to TDA - Definition

A Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) is a scientific and technical assessment, through which the water-related environmental issues and problems of a region are identified and quantified, their causes analyzed and their impacts, both environmental and economic, assessed. The analysis involves an identification of causes and impacts at national, regional, and global levels and the socio-economic, political and institutional context within which they occur. The identification of the causes would specify sources, locations, and sectors.

The purpose of conducting a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) is to scale the relative importance of sources and causes, both immediate and root, of transboundary ‘waters’ problems, and to identify potential preventive and remedial actions. The TDA provides the technical basis for development of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) in the area of international waters of the GEF.

The Operational Strategy states that, "the overall strategic thrust of GEF-funded international waters activities is to meet the agreed incremental costs of:

1. Assisting groups of countries to better understand the environmental concerns of their international waters and work collaboratively to address them;
2. Building the capacity of existing institutions (or, if appropriate, developing the capacity through new institutional arrangements) to utilize a more comprehensive approach for addressing transboundary water-related environmental concerns; and
3. Implementing measures that address the priority transboundary environmental concerns".

It is also suggested in the Operational Strategy that a SAP be formulated when the transboundary
concerns, the actions needed to address them or their incremental costs are not clear and that it should precede the development of any technical assistance, capacity building or investment projects to be funded by the GEF.

Therefore a SAP is required to describe a framework for regional action, to demonstrate the linkages between the national and regional actions and to identify the incremental costs (e.g., those that address primarily transboundary environmental concerns) of the proposed activities. The ultimate product, the SAP, is a set of targeted and costed activities (baseline and additional) which, once implemented, will together contribute to solve the major water-related environmental problems of the region and thereby will also provide significant global environmental benefits. The transboundary character of the identified water-related environmental issues and problems and the regional and global significance of benefits to be gained by addressing the specific issues identified during the process of developing a TDA would provide the technical background for the analysis of the incremental costs of the specific actions proposed in the SAP.

Although formulation of a SAP relies on the scientific and technical justification provided in a TDA, the specific combination of activities contained in a SAP is also determined by both national and regional policy considerations that may affect project sustainability and cost effectiveness.

The YSLME Preliminary TDA

Go to for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (Feb, 2000).

This Preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (PTDA) was prepared as part of the Project Preparation exercise under the PDF-B for the Yellow Sea LME Project (YSLME). The full TDA is being prepared under the auspices of the GEF project for the YSLME. 
The purposes of preparing a Preliminary TDA as part of the Project Preparation activities are multi-fold:

• To provide background materials for the Project Brief and Project Document, illustrating the environmental context for the GEF project.
• To provide a forum for consensus-building on the environmental issues of highest priority in the Yellow Sea
• To decide on the data requirements for completing the TDA early in the GEF process, to guide the Project Implementation.

This PTDA summarizes the results from National Reports prepared by experts from ROK and PRC, as well as results from a First Regional Workshop held 26-28 October 1999 in Seoul, ROK and Second National Workshop held 18-19 January in Beijing, PRC.


Geographic Scope of YSLME Project

Conducting a comprehensive transboundary diagnostic analysis is only possible if an entire water basin or Large Marine Ecosystem and its associated drainage basin is covered under the study. This is required in order that the interactions between the aquatic, terrestrial, and human subsystems are identified in so far as they are linked through the mechanism of the hydrological cycle. More particularly, the impacts of the land-based activities on water resources and their contribution to water-related environmental stresses can be demonstrated only if all sources, sinks, and shared marine resources are included in the assessment. This successful demonstration requires the commitment of all the countries that are located in the catchment basin or surround the shared marine area to participate in the process. The TDA must therefore include a basic geographic description of the area involved, including the water cycle within it, inputs/outputs to the system arising through atmospheric transport, the exchange of materials with neighboring watersheds or the open-ocean, and characterization of the area’s marine and/or freshwater ecosystem(s).

During the First Regional Workshop 26-28 October 1999, the geographic boundaries of the Yellow Sea LME were discussed. The system boundaries for the Project were defined as follows:

The Yellow Sea water body is defined by:
• To the south, the line connecting the north bank of the mouth of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) to the south side of Cheju Island;
• To the east, the line connecting Cheju Island to Jindo Island along the coast of the ROK; and
• To the north, the line connecting Dalian to Penglai (on the Shandong Peninsula). This latter line separates the Bohai Sea from the Yellow Sea.

The coastal/upland boundary is defined as the mouths of the major rivers (as conduits of contaminant input), whereas coastal zones are defined according to existing national programs.

Although the Bohai Sea is recognized as a portion of the YSLME from a scientific perspective, specific studies and management activities are now taking place in this territorial sea. Consequently, the GEF intervention has not focused on the Bohai Sea.

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