International Law - Facilitating Transboundary Water Cooperation

Patricia Wouters | 2013

The paper explores how international law facilitates transboundary cooperation in a manner that is accessible to the wider transboundary water community. It discusses the norms and principles contained in treaties and rules of customary law and examines how these work in selected case studies from across the GWP network. The study reveals how the rule of law, central to the law of nations, provides legal parameters and processes that govern the shared uses of transboundary water resources. There is a pervasive misperception that international law fails in its implementation of agreed international agreements and customary norms. But this paper provides evidence to the contrary - the rule of law is a critical foundation for facilitating effective transboundary water cooperation in a many ways. It provides the legal framework within which the actions of transboundary States are evaluated, as lawful or unlawful, with a body of substantive and procedural rules, and mechanisms for dispute avoidance and settlement that enable...

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Managing the Mackenzie: Negotiating a Future with the Basin in Mind

J. Owen Saunders | 2012

Over the past several years the development of the Alberta oil sands has thrust the future of northern river management into prominence. In particular, national and international attention has been focused on the future of the Lower Athabasca and the implications of significant expansion of oil sands facilities for the people and ecosystem of that basin. The Lower Athabasca is however just one of six major watersheds within the much larger Mackenzie Basin, and intergovernmental negotiations currently underway on the future of the Mackenzie should command the attention of all Canadians.

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Ecosystem Approaches in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): A Review of Transboundary Basins

United Nations Environment Programme and the International Institute for Sustainable Development | 2011

Integrated water resources management (IWRM) combines land and water management through broad-based stakeholder participation to realize multiple co-benefits in watersheds. IWRM recognizes the economic benefits of managing water and related resources in an integrated manner to provide high levels of ecosystem services (ES). In turn, ecosystem management incorporating ES valuation and management is an increasingly popular and useful means of achieving IWRM goals as well as other socio-economic and environmental benefits.

This report provides a review of selected transboundary river basins to ascertain the application of ecosystem-based approaches and to draw specific lessons for effective IWRM in international contexts. Selected basins are those associated with the Mekong, Okavango, Congo, Danube, Jordan, Red and La Plata Rivers and represent Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, West Asia, North America and Latin America regions of the world respectively. The analysis focuses on whether basin agencies are recognizing and...

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