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Notification concerning Planned Measures on Shared Watercourses

Synergies between the Watercourses Convention and the World Bank Policies and Practice

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Salman M.A. Salman

Notification of co-riparian states of planned measures on shared watercourses has been widely accepted as an established principle of international water law, and is codified and elaborated in the United Nations Watercourses Convention. However, despite this wide acceptance, differences have arisen on operationalizing notification, including on which riparians are required to undertake notification, and which riparians are entitled to it. Issues have also arisen on how to deal with the different types of responses that may ensue following notification. The World Bank has been financing projects on international watercourses since its inception in 1946, and has built an extensive wealth of policies and experience in this field. This monograph discusses the historical and legal foundations of notification under international law, analyzes the policies and implementation experience of the World Bank thereon, and identifies comparators and synergies between the provisions of the Watercourses Convention and the Bank policies and practice.

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Maria A. Gwynn

In Adapting Watercourse Agreements to Developments in International Law: The Case of the Itaipu Treaty Maria A. Gwynn offers an account of the need to align watercourses agreements to the current standards and principles of international law, thereby increasing prospects for achieving sustainable development. As a case study, the author focuses on the most important hydroelectrical energy treaty in the South American region and astutely explores its implementation together with states’ practices regarding the non-navigational uses of watercourses and their commitments to environmental protection. The analysis offers a unique opportunity to assess the value of the UN Watercourses Convention in recommending states adapt their agreements to the provisions of the convention promoting equitable and reasonable uses of watercourses; an interest not only for the treaty partners but also for river basin states and the international community as a whole.

International Law and Sea Level Rise

Report of the International Law Association Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise

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Edited by Davor Vidas, David Freestone and Jane McAdam

This book contains the final version of the 2018 Report of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise, as well as the related ILA Resolutions 5/2018 and 6/2018, both as adopted by the ILA at its 78th Biennial Conference, held in Sydney, Australia, 19–24 August 2018. In Part I of the Report, key information about the establishment of the Committee, its mandate and its work so far is presented. Part II of the Report addresses key law of the sea issues through a study of possible impacts of sea level rise and their implications under international law regarding maritime limits lawfully determined by the coastal States, and the agreed or adjudicated maritime boundaries. Part III of the Report addresses international law provisions, principles and frameworks for the protection of persons displaced in the context of sea level rise.

Edited by David Freestone

Since 2006 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has been discussing the question of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Following the issues raised by the Ad Hoc Working Group (2006 – 2015) and the Preparatory Commission (2016 – 2017) in 2017 the UNGA agreed to convene an intergovernmental conference to discuss these issues.
Conserving Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction, edited by David Freestone, brings together a collection of essays covering some of the key issues involved in these debates. The essays are contributed by a number of distinguished scholars and practitioners – many of whom are involved in the UNGA negotiations – and are a useful reference for actors involved in the negotiations as well as for practitioners, scholars, and students following the process.

The International Law Association Helsinki Rules

Contribution to International Water Law

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Slavko Bogdanović

Although the International Law Association (ILA) was established in 1873, it only turned its attention to the internationally shared water resources in 1954, when its half-century study of the applicable principles and rules of international law thereon began. The first ILA committee assigned to this task was the Rivers Committee, which, after a decade of intensive study and through several resolutions and statements, arrived unanimously at a set of articles reflecting customary international law, known as the Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers.
The Helsinki Rules, approved at the ILA 1966 Helsinki Conference, were soon widely accepted across the Globe as a non-binding authoritative source of international water law. This monograph traces the work of the ILA leading to the Helsinki Rules, analyses the Rules, and identifies their influence on and contribution to the evolution of international water law.

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Edited by Carole Ammann and Till Förster

This 10th thematic issue of International Development Policy presents a collection of articles exploring some of the complex development challenges associated with Africa’s recent but extremely rapid pace of urbanisation that challenges still predominant but misleading images of Africa as a rural continent. Analysing urban settings through the diverse experiences and perspectives of inhabitants and stakeholders in cities across the continent, the authors consider the evolution of international development policy responses amidst the unique historical, social, economic and political contexts of Africa’s urban development.

Shared Watercourses and Water Security in South Asia

Challenges of Negotiating and Enforcing Treaties

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Salman M.A. Salman and Kishor Uprety

Shared water resources in South Asia face various challenges including scarcity, population growth, and climate change impacts on all the riparians. Consequently, national calls for water security have become louder. As a result, collaboration among the nations of South Asia for ensuring equitable sharing of such water resources has not been optimal. While most countries do not have reliable systems for data generation, those possessing some hydrological data consider them state secrets, restricting their exchange. Even when treaty obligations exist, data-sharing practices are ad hoc, and the range of information shared is limited. Thus, negotiating new transboundary water treaties amongst South Asia’s riparian countries has become a daunting task, and enforcing existing ones remains a real challenge.

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Jorge E. Viñuales

In The Organisation of the Anthropocene, J. E. Viñuales explores the legal dimensions of the currently advocated new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, in which humans are the defining force. He examines in this context two basic propositions. First, law as a technology of social organisation has been neglected in the otherwise highly technology-focused accounts by natural and social scientists of the drivers of the Anthropocene. Secondly, in those rare instances where law has been discussed, there is a tendency to assume that the role of law is to tackle the negative externalities of transactions (e.g. their environmental or social implications) rather than the core of the underlying transactions, i.e. the organisation of production and consumption processes. Such focus on externalities fails to unveil the role of law in prompting, sustaining and potentially managing the processes that have led to the Anthropocene.

The Human Right to Water in Latin America

Challenges to Implementation and Contribution to the Concept

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Anna Berti Suman

In The Human Right to Water in Latin America, Anna Berti Suman investigates the development of the right to water and of water law in the Latin American context. By examining the significance of Latin American constitutional evolution, doctrine, and jurisprudence, the author illustrates the Latin American contribution in stimulating the social, political, and economic debate on the right to water, regionally and worldwide.

Through an overview on the right to water in Latin American constitutions and of the main Latin American water management systems, Berti Suman argues that an analysis of the right to water has to take account of its application in specific contexts. The intrinsic connection between the right to water and the role of the private sector is examined through topical insights into the highly privatized Chilean water services. In the conclusion, the relevance of the lessons learnt from the Latin American experience for the global debate on the right to water is convincingly proved.

Inter-state Water Law in the United States of America

What Lessons for International Water Law?

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Rhett Larson

The rich field of inter-state water law in the United States illustrates both successes and failures in transboundary water management and allocation. In Inter-state Water Law in the United States of America: What Lessons for International Water Law?, this domestic field of transboundary water law is compared and contrasted with international transboundary water law. This analysis is accompanied by a discussion and evaluation of the different cases of shared watercourses that applied these approaches, and a comparison of each of them to similar approaches in international water law. The analysis draws lessons for international water law from inter-states water law - highlighting the successful inter-states approaches that can be adopted by international water law, as well as the approaches that failed, and which should be avoided.