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Non-State Actors and The Management of International Freshwater Resources

English title Non-State Actors and The Management of International Freshwater Resources
Applicant Boisson de Chazournes Laurence
Number 138386
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de droit international public Faculté de droit Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.01.2012 - 30.06.2014
Approved amount 172'339.00
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Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The management of water resources has experienced a transformation over the last decades. Treaties on international water resources no longer regulate only State-to-State relations. Rather, individuals, communities, and non-governmental organizations—collectively referred to as “non-State actors”—have become subject of these instruments as well. The involvement of non-State actors has been acknowledged as one of the key elements in the achievement of sustainable and integrated water resources management.

The proposed research project will focus on the different manifestations the principle of public participation may take with respect to the management and protection of freshwater resources. Rights of access to both available information on the quality of water resources and judicial and non-judicial dispute settlement mechanisms are elements of public participation. In this context, the proposed research will pay attention to mechanisms open to individuals at the domestic and regional levels, as well as to norms and practice concerning access to remedies for transboundary harm to individuals and communities.

In particular, the project will examine implications of treaty practice on civil liability for non-State actors in transboundary water resource management. Although there have been some recent developments, uncertainty clouds issues of civil liability and compensation to victims of transboundary harm. The project also intends to define the rights and entitlements of individuals and communities concerning water projects funded by international financial institutions. An analysis of the practice of these institutions will contribute to the project’s identification of participatory norms for non-State actors in water resources management.

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
La succession d'Etats en matière de navigation et autres usages fluviaux
Tignino Mara, Leb Christina (2016), La succession d'Etats en matière de navigation et autres usages fluviaux, in Distefano Giovanni (ed.), Bruylant , Buxelles , 1755-1782.
International Land Investments or the Environment Put Up for Auction: the Case of Niger Basin
Sangbana Komlan (2015), International Land Investments or the Environment Put Up for Auction: the Case of Niger Basin, in Seatzu Francesco (ed.), Brill , The Hague , 181-198.
Introduction
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Tignino Mara (2015), Introduction, in Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (ed.), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham , 13-30.
La participation du public dans le cadre de l'Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal
Sangbana Komlan (2015), La participation du public dans le cadre de l'Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal, in La participation du public et la gestion des ressources en eau : où en est le droit international? , Paris UNESCO , Paris.
La participation du public et la gestion des ressources en eau : où en est le droit international?
Tignino Mara (ed.) (2015), La participation du public et la gestion des ressources en eau : où en est le droit international?, UNESCO - International Hydrological Programme , Paris.
Le principe de la participation du public et la Commission mixte internationale entre les Etats-Unis et le Canada
Tignino Mara (2015), Le principe de la participation du public et la Commission mixte internationale entre les Etats-Unis et le Canada, in La participation du public et la gestion des ressources en eau : où en est le droit international? , Paris UNESCO, Paris.
L'eau, les individus et les communautés locales
Tignino Mara, Sangbana Komlan (2015), L'eau, les individus et les communautés locales, in La participation du public et la gestion des ressources en eau : où en est le droit international?, UNESCO, Paris.
Principle 19: Notification and Consultation on Activities with Transboundary Impact
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Sangbana Komlan (2015), Principle 19: Notification and Consultation on Activities with Transboundary Impact, in Vinuales Jorge (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford , 493-507.
Principle 23: Natural Resources of Oppressed People
Tignino Mara (2015), Principle 23: Natural Resources of Oppressed People, in Vinuales Jorge (ed.), Oxford University Press , Oxford , 557-568.
Research Collection on International Water Law
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Tignino Mara (2015), Research Collection on International Water Law, Edward Elgar , Cheltenham.
The UNECE Water Convention and Multilateral Environmental Agreements
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Leb Christina, Tignino Mara (2015), The UNECE Water Convention and Multilateral Environmental Agreements, in Tanzi Attila (ed.), Brill , The Hague , 60-72.
The Right to Water and Sanitation in Post-Conflict Legal Mechanisms: an Emerging Regime?
Tignino Mara (2014), The Right to Water and Sanitation in Post-Conflict Legal Mechanisms: an Emerging Regime?, in Weinthal Erika (ed.), Earthscan/Routledge , New York , 383 -402.
Dispute Settlement Procedures and Freshwater: the Multiplicity and Diversity at Stake
Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (2013), Dispute Settlement Procedures and Freshwater: the Multiplicity and Diversity at Stake, in Boschiero Nerina (ed.), T.M.C. Asser Press, La Haye , 109-120.
Do People Have Rights in Boundaries' Delimitations?
Tignino Mara, Kohen Marcelo (2013), Do People Have Rights in Boundaries' Delimitations?, in Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (ed.), Edward Elgar , Cheltenham , 95-122.
Droit international de l'environnement
Tignino Mara (2013), Droit international de l'environnement, in van Steenberghe Raphael (ed.), Bruylant , Bruxelles , 267-300.
Droit international et eau douce
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Tignino Mara (2013), Droit international et eau douce, in LexisNexis (ed.), Jurisclasseur , Paris , 1-40.
Fresh Water in International Law
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (2013), Fresh Water in International Law, Oxford University Press , Oxford.
International law and freshwater: the multiple challenges
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (ed.) (2013), International law and freshwater: the multiple challenges, Edward Elgard, Cheltenham.
Introduction
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence, Leb Christina, Tignino Mara (2013), Introduction, in Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (ed.), Edward Elgar , Chelenham , 1-23.
Le droit à l'eau et la satisfaction des besoins humains: notions de justice
Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (2013), Le droit à l'eau et la satisfaction des besoins humains: notions de justice, in Alland Denis (ed.), Martinus Nijhoff , The Hague, 967-981.
Organismes et commissions de bassins: aspects de coopération régionale et de règlement des différends
Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (2013), Organismes et commissions de bassins: aspects de coopération régionale et de règlement des différends, in Kanga Maurice (ed.), Pedone , Paris , 435-444.
Reconciling the UN Watercourses Convention with Recent Developments in Customary International Law
Tignino Mara, McIntyre Owen (2013), Reconciling the UN Watercourses Convention with Recent Developments in Customary International Law, in Loures Flavia (ed.), Earthscan/Routledge , New York , 286-302.
State Succession to Water Treaties: Uncertain Streams
Leb Christina, Tignino Mara (2013), State Succession to Water Treaties: Uncertain Streams, in Boisson de Chazournes Laurence (ed.), Edward Elgar , Cheltenham , 421-444.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Banque Mondiale United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
UNESCO, Programme hydrologique international France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut des Nations Unies pour la Formation et la Recherche (UNITAR) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Commission économique des Nations Unies pour l'Europe (CEE-ONU) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali - LUISS Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institut des sciences de l'environnement (ISE), Université de Genève Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Partenariat suisse de l'eau Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Direction du développement et de la coopération, Département fédéral des affaires étrangères Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Brodies Environmental Law Lecture Series Individual talk Freshwater and dispute settlement 13.02.2014 Université de Edimbourg , Great Britain and Northern Ireland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
L'eau en droit: l'eau et le droit: problèmes et enjeux actuels Talk given at a conference L'eau, dimension internationale, action des institutions 05.12.2013 Centre de droit international, Université Jean Moulin-Lyon 3 , France Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
L'eau, une ressource naturelle à préserver Talk given at a conference L'eau dans le monde 18.11.2013 Septième edition, Rencontres Alpines de Sallanches , France Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
CSH Trade, Investment and Development Individual talk Dispute settlement procedures and fresh water: multiplicity and diversity at stake 13.11.2013 Jindal Global University , India Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
La Déclaration de Rio sur l'environnement et le développement: évaluer ses impacts 20 ans après Talk given at a conference Principle 19: Transboundary Cooperation 05.10.2013 Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement, Genève, Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
L'accaparement des ressources naturelles: érosion ou exercice légitime de la souveraineté de l'Etat? Talk given at a conference Les investissements fonciers internationaux ou la mise aux enchères de l'environnement? Le cas du bassin du Niger 04.10.2013 Université de Cagliari , Italy Sangbana Komlan;
L'eau - La vie, tout simplement Talk given at a conference L'eau et les conflits armés 19.09.2013 Université de Genève , Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Conférence des ambassadeurs 2013 Talk given at a conference La coopération transfrontière relative aux ressources en eau 19.08.2013 Berne , Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Le règlement des différends liés aux ressources en eau douce Talk given at a conference Le règlement des différends liés aux ressources en eau douce 29.11.2012 Université du Togo, Lomé , Togo Sangbana Komlan;
Ethique et eau Talk given at a conference L'eau: un droit pour tous? 09.11.2012 Institut des sciences de l'environnement, Université de Genève, Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Les changements environnementaux globaux et les Droits de l'Homme Talk given at a conference Les nouveaux acteurs "artisans" de l'émergence de droits de l'homme environnementaux 27.09.2012 Université Paris Nord , France Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
La reconnaissance du droit à l'eau et ses effets Individual talk La reconnaissance du droit à l'eau et ses effets 20.09.2012 College de la Planta, Sion, Suisse , Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Global Symposium on the United Nations Watercourses Convention Talk given at a conference Existing and Potential Synergies between the UNWC and Multilateral Environmental Agreements 06.07.2012 Université de Dundee , Great Britain and Northern Ireland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Colloque interdisciplinaire: Eau, besoin vital et justice globale Talk given at a conference Eau, besoin vital et justice global: perspective juridique 20.03.2012 W4W, Workshop for Water Ethics, Genève, Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
L’eau, cotée en bourse - Une marchandise comme une autre ou un bien universel Talk given at a conference Les enjeux de l'accès et de la privatisation de l'eau 20.03.2012 Université de Genève et SWISSAID , Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;
Environmental change, natural resources and scarcity, is conflict avoidable? Talk given at a conference Means of prevention of crisis 06.03.2012 Université de Genève et World Economic Forum , Switzerland Boisson de Chazournes Laurence;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Water : Security Concern, Commodity or Human Right ? 28.03.2012 American Society of International Law, Washington DC , United States of America

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Le droit à l'eau dans le cadre de l'Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) International 2014
Media relations: print media, online media L'eau douce, une source de conflits Plaidoyer, septembre 2013, pp.20-21 Western Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media L'eau et la guerre: une perspective juridique Ethique globale de l'eau, Actes du 3e Colloque interdisciplinaire (pp.15-17) Western Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Accès à l'eau douce. Un droit pour tous. Entreprise Romande n°5, juillet 2012 Western Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Le droit à l'eau Journal de l’Unige n°67, octobre-novembre 2012 Western Switzerland 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) L'eau et la guerre Radio télévision belge francophone International 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Une formation en ligne sur le droit international de l’eau Aqueduc info Western Switzerland 2012

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
150913 La participation du public et les ressources en eau partagées 01.12.2013 Scientific Conferences
124610 Governing Water: The Contribution of International Law to Cooperation on Transboundary Freshwater Resources 01.10.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The management of transboundary water resources has been experiencing a transformation over the last decades. Treaties on international water resources do no longer only regulate State-to-State relations; individuals, communities and non-governmental organizations - referred as “non-State actors” -, have started to become a subject of these instruments too. The involvement of non-State actors has been acknowledged as one of the key elements for the achievement of sustainable and integrated water resource management. The realization of this objective depends not only on inter-State cooperation but also on opportunities for non-State actors to participate in the decision-making processes. Legal and political science literature have shown the increasing role of non-State actors and the interaction between different levels of governance, whether at the international, regional or domestic level. In this respect, there is a need to define and assess the legal norms dealing with the participation of individuals, communities, and non-governmental organizations and to explore issues relating to accountability resulting from the increasing participation of non-State actors.The various aspects of participation of non-State actors in water resource management have not yet been studied carefully and systematically from an international law perspective. This is the case for example, with the right to access to available information on the quality of water resources with a view to facilitating the monitoring of compliance with objectives established in international treaties, as well as the duty to consult local populations during an environmental impact assessment. Rights and entitlements of individuals and communities in water resource management often are overlooked, even though such rights are increasingly included in agreements regulating the use of international watercourses, as well as in other instruments of international law. Issues such as access to information, transparency and involvement of the public in planning and decision-making processes are becoming key features in international practice. Their content will be assessed in the proposed research.Access to judicial and non-judicial mechanisms is another element of public participation. In this context, the proposed research will pay attention to mechanisms open to individuals at the domestic and regional levels as well as to norms and practice dealing with access to remedies for individuals and communities that are affected by transboundary harm. In particular, the implications of treaty practice on civil liability for non-State actors in transboundary water resource management will be examined. Although there have been some recent developments, uncertainty persists with respect to issues of civil liability and compensation to victims suffering from transboundary harm. The project also intends to define rights and entitlements of individuals and communities with respect to water projects funded by international financial institutions. An analysis of the practice of these institutions will in turn contribute to the definition of norms concerning participation of non-State actors in water resource management at the national level.
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