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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

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Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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The UN Watercourses Convention in Force: Strengthening International Law for Transboundary Water Management

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Edited by: Flavia Rocha Loures, Alistair Rieu-Clarke

ISBN13: 9781849714464
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Earthscan
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £70.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781138573925

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At the UN General Assembly in 1997, an overwhelming majority of States voted for the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses -- a global overarching framework governing the rights and duties of States sharing freshwater systems. Globally, there are 263 internationally shared watersheds, which drain the territories of 145 countries and represent more than forty percent of the Earth's land surface. Hence, inter-State cooperation towards the sustainable management of transboundary water supplies, in accordance with applicable international legal instruments, is a topic of crucial importance, especially in the context of the current global water crisis. This book provides an assessment of the role and relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention and describes and evaluates its entry into force as a key component of transboundary water governance. To date, the Convention still requires further contracting States before it can enter into force. The authors describe the drafting and negotiation of the Convention and its relationship to other multilateral environmental agreements. A series of case studies assess the role of the Convention at various levels: regional (European Union, East Africa, West Africa, Central Asia, Central America and South America), river basin (e.g. the Mekong and Congo) and national (e.g. Ethiopia and Mexico). The book concludes by proposing how future implementation might further strengthen international cooperation in the management of water resources, to promote biodiversity conservation as well as sustainable and equitable use.

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Environmental Law
Part 1: Introduction and Background
1. Introduction
2. The Progressive Development of International Water Law

Part 2: The UN Watercourses Convention: Ratification History
3. Possible Reasons Slowing Down the Ratification Process
4. Why Have States Joined the UN Watercourses Convention?

Part 3: Entry into Force and Widespread Endorsement: Potential Effects on International Law and State Practice
5. Possible Effects from Entry and Non-entry into Force
6. Factors that could Limit the Effectiveness of the UN Watercourses Convention upon Entry into Force

Part 4: The Potential Role and Relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention in Specific Regions, Basins and Countries
7. Regional Case Studies
8. Basin-specific Case Studies
9. National Case Studies

Part 5: The Role and Relevance of the UN Watercourses in Advancing International Water and Environmental Policy Goals
10. Relationship with Other Multilateral Environmental Agreements
11. Relationship to International Development and Environmental Goals

Part 6: Beyond Entry into Force: Strengthening the Role and Relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention
12. Enhancing the Treaty Regime: Institutional Arrangements and Protocols
13. Reconciling the UN Watercourses Convention with Recent Developments in Customary International Law
14. Emerging Challenges and Future Trends
15. Conclusions and Recommendations