Trans boundary water management zha daojiong

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3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food & Energy 2013. Presentation from Session 2: Cross Border Dialogue: understanding how to best manage the transboundary benefits and costs of hydropower development within the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

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Trans boundary water management zha daojiong

  1. 1. Trans-boundary Water Management: water, food, and energy Zha Daojiong School of International Studies Peking University Email: zha@pku.edu.cn
  2. 2. Water and “Security” • The straw man of water as a security referent – A cause of military conflict – A source of conflict prevention/reduction – An ingredient of economic security – An object of environmental + ecological sustainability – A human right to guard against deprivation • Water, food, energy – Essential for each country, at all levels – Dialogue understandably contentious 2
  3. 3. State-centric philosophies • Absolute territorial sovereignty – Utilization of water of an international river a right – No duty to consult – Diversion acceptable • Absolute territorial integrity – Lower riparian has right to a full flow of water of natural quality – Consent of the downstream riparian required – Diversion certainly not acceptable 3
  4. 4. Philosophical Assertions • Limited territorial sovereignty (sovereign equality) – Do not prejudice rights and interests of coriparians – Sovereignty is relative and qualified – The co-riparians have reciprocal rights and duties – Each is entitled to an equitable share of its benefits • Problem: a cycle of assertions – “My country first” dominates/dictates 4
  5. 5. A U.N. Instrument • Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses – Concluded in 1997 • 103 countries in favor, 3 against (Burundi, China and Turkey) – Formal negotiation commenced in 1970 – As of October 2013, 4 ratifications short of required number [35] to enter force • Key Principles – – – – – Equitable and reasonable utilization Obligation not to cause significant harm Notification, consultation and negotiation Cooperation and information exchange Peaceful settlement of disputes Beijing Forum 2013 5
  6. 6. Grand Images 6
  7. 7. Grand Images 7
  8. 8. A less passionate view • Human change to a water course: no easy priority – – – – Flood abatement  life and property Irrigation  food Navigation  commerce Electricity generation  a necessary evil • Other energy source available? • At what monetary cost? • And pace of bringing electricity to homes? • Adaptation strategies – Learning from each other’s experiences • Water use and minimization of ecological change
  9. 9. Challenges for inclusive water governance • Consult the affected populations first – A conceived water project necessary, to whom? – Compensation to affected populations adequate? – Choice of participation in project construction and operation available? • Jobs and profit sharing – Incorporation of indigenous knowledge in project development? – Familiar life and environment changed • Assistance to preparation for a different lifestyle?
  10. 10. Challenges • Corporations, domestic and international – Standard practices • EIA, SIA – Needed • Risk management capacity • Governments must measure up – Holding corporations responsible – Life-long cycle of a project • Safety and post re-settlement assistance • Environmental protection
  11. 11. Challenges • At the country-to-country level – Water as a sovereign OR common resource – Improving quality of gov’t-to-gov’t negotiations • Consensus building must go beyond anointed professionals – Maximize transparency about a project • Within and beyond own nation-state boundaries – Continuously communicate with all stakeholders • At all phases of water use projects
  12. 12. Thank you for listening • Comments and questions welcome 12

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