What Lessons from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for International Law?
Author: Zeray Yihdego
In The Fairness ‘Dilemma’ in Sharing the Nile Waters, Zeray Yihdego enquires into the fairness issues in connection with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in light of relevant colonial-era Nile treaties, post-1990 Nile framework instruments, and international watercourses law. The GERD is now a fait accompli, but fairness considerations will continue to be vital issues during its construction, filling, and operation. This monograph argues that the GERD is a symbol of a fair share of the Nile waters by Ethiopia, the realization of which depends on, inter alia, an appropriate economic return, benefit sharing and prevention of significant impacts. Yihdego articulates the lessons that can be applied to public international law and suggests a process to address the issue of unfair agreements, arguing that, although the principle of fairness’s application can be complex, the notions of procedural fairness and distributive justice can define and delineate the principle with reference to a specific treaty regime.
In: The Fairness ‘Dilemma’ in Sharing the Nile Waters
In: The Fairness ‘Dilemma’ in Sharing the Nile Waters
Author: Zeray Yihdego

This monograph enquires into the fairness dilemma in connection with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (gerd) in light of relevant colonial-era Nile treaties, post-1990 Nile framework instruments, and international watercourses law. The gerd is now a fait accompli, but fairness considerations will continue to be vital issues in its completion, filling, and operation. The monograph argues that the gerd is a symbol of a fair share of the Nile waters by Ethiopia, the realization of which depends on, inter alia, an appropriate economic return, benefit sharing and prevention of significant impacts. The monograph also calls for a process to address the issue of unfair agreements, and argues that, although fairness application can be complex, the notions of procedural fairness and distributive justice can be applied to define and delineate the principle with reference to a specific treaty regime.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in International Water Law

Abstract

International watercourses law, as primarily codified in the UN Watercourses Convention which reflects the basic principles of customary international water law, provides only a broad framework for states to follow. It does not explicitly address the trade-offs of water uses across multiple sectors, such as energy and food, and the interplay between water and sustainable development. These gaps could be filled by turning to policy frameworks such as the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF) and the global development agendas, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This monograph argues that utilizing these frameworks in an integrated manner, could aid riparian states and non-state actors in the consideration of competing water uses, thereby helping to resolve tensions and promoting cooperation among concerned states, as demonstrated using the Zambezi River Basin as a case study.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in International Water Law

Abstract

International watercourses law, as primarily codified in the UN Watercourses Convention which reflects the basic principles of customary international water law, provides only a broad framework for states to follow. It does not explicitly address the trade-offs of water uses across multiple sectors, such as energy and food, and the interplay between water and sustainable development. These gaps could be filled by turning to policy frameworks such as the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (WEF) and the global development agendas, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This monograph argues that utilizing these frameworks in an integrated manner, could aid riparian states and non-state actors in the consideration of competing water uses, thereby helping to resolve tensions and promoting cooperation among concerned states, as demonstrated using the Zambezi River Basin as a case study.

In: Implementing International Watercourses Law through the WEF Nexus and SDGs