Entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention in August 2014, and the opening of the UNECE Water Convention to all states in March 2016, are significant milestones in international water law. A comparative analysis of these two global water conventions and the 1995 Mekong Agreement reveals that all three instruments are generally compatible. Nonetheless, the international legal principles and processes set forth in the two conventions can render the Mekong Agreement more up-to-date, robust and practical.
The Governance Regime of the Mekong River Basin: Can the Global Water Conventions Strengthen the 1995 Mekong Agreement? contends that strengthening the Agreement would be timely, given the increasing pressures associated with the rapid hydropower development within the basin and the gradually emerging disputes therein. Due to these fast-moving developments, Kinna and Rieu-Clarke strongly recommend that the Mekong states should seriously consider joining both conventions in order to buttress and clarify key provisions of the 1995 Mekong Agreement.
The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing is an international environmental agreement that concerns environmental sustainability, other sustainable development issues and equity. It addresses a complex subject matter that affects a range of research, development and commercial activities and is relevant to different areas of international law such as human rights, intellectual property rights, health, food and oceans.
Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol identifies textual, contextual and systemic interpretative questions and suggests solutions that aim to give a coherent and balanced meaning to the text of the Protocol. Offering a systematic discussion of the Protocol’s legal innovations against the background of general international law, this commentary aims to be of use to international biodiversity law scholars and practitioners, as well as to international lawyers that approach access and benefit-sharing for the first time.