The Issues, Conclusions, and Recommendations of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop - Budapest, Hungary July 27 -31, 1997 TIlOMAS NAFF University of Pennsylvania 847 Williams Hall Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305 USA tna. /J"@sas. upenn. edu 1. The Issues Sharing data and infonnation enables people to think together in solving problems, in building trust essential for cooperative efforts toward sustaining shared vital natural resources, and in avoiding conflict. It is axiomatic that all planning and policy making, not least for environmental and resource sustainability, depend for success on accmate data and infonnation dispensed freely to all who need it, from farmers to heads of state. These maxims are particularly apt when applied to water resources that are international and transboundary. In those circumstances, the need for cooperation and sharing are acute if the water source is to be managed, distributed, and used equitably and efficiently. In many parts of the world, the collection, management, reporting, and quality of water and environmental data are often so poor and incomplete as to render them useless, or they are treated as security issues and are therefore classified. Either way, wherever those conditions exist, essential planning and policy data and information of good quality are relatively hard to come by. The consequences are high, particularly for effective basin-wide river management and resource sustainability.