Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Guarani Aquifer Agreement: the Role of Non State Actors


Published on

“The Guarani Aquifer Agreement: The Role of Non State Actors” @ Public Participation and Water Resources Management: Where do We Stand in International Law Conference

13 December 2013, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Platform for International Water Law of the University of Geneva, Room V, Palais des Nations, United Nations Headquarters, Geneva

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

The Guarani Aquifer Agreement: the Role of Non State Actors

  1. 1. 13  December  2013   UNECE  and  UNIGE  Pla7orm  for  Interna;onal  Water  Law     Palais  des  Na;ons,  Room  V   Public  Par*cipa*on  and  Water  Resources   Management:  Where  Do  We  Stand  in   Interna*onal  Law?   The  Guarani  Aquifer   Agreement  and  the  role  of   non-­‐State  Actors   Francesco  Sindico   Reader  in  Interna;onal  Environmental  Law   School  of  Law,  University  of  Strathclyde,  Glasgow  
  2. 2. Context   o  2010:  Seminar  @  the  University  of  Surrey,   Guildford,  UK  &  2011:  Conference  @  the   University  of  Sao  Paulo,  Brazil     §  13.3  Interna;onal  Community  Law  Review   (2011)   §  123.3  Bole;n  Geologico  Minero  (2012)   o  15-­‐16  October  2013  Interna;onal   Roundtable  Conference  “Interna;onal   Water  Coopera;on  and  the  Management   of  Transboundary  Aquifers”,  Glasgow       §  Glasgow  Statement  on  Interna;onal  Water   Coopera;on  and  Transboundary  Aquifers  
  3. 3. Outline   o  The  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   §  Aquifers  and  Transboundary  Aquifers  (TBA):  A   Hydrogeological  and  an  Interna;onal  Law   Approxima;on     o  Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par;cipa;on  in   the  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement    
  4. 4. The  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   o  The  Guarani  Aquifer  System   §  Transboundary  aquifer  system   (Argen;na,  Brazil,  Paraguay  and   Uruguay)   §  Underground  geological   forma;on  (container  /  rock)   §  Groundwater  contained  therein   o  Water  resources  are  not  (yet)  in   crisis   §  Climate  Change   §  Popula;on  increase  and  change   in  land  use      
  5. 5. The  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   o  The  long  road  to  coopera;on   §  Guarani  Project  (2003/09)   §  Nego;a;ons  in  2004/05   §  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   (2010)     o  Implementa;on  of  the  Guarani   Aquifer  Agreement  (2013)   §  Commission  under  the  Treaty  of   the  River  Plate  Basin  (art.  15)   §  Ra;fied  only  by  Uruguay  and   Argen;na   §  Key  role  of  Brazil      
  6. 6. The  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   UNILC  Drae  Ar;cles  on   the  Law  of  TBA  (2008)   Guarani  Aquifer   Agreement  takes  into   account  the  Drae   Ar;cles(2010)   A/68/470  (2013)  takes   note  of  the  Guarani   Aquifer  Agreement       o  The  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   §  One  of  the  few  examples  of   interna;onal  trea;es  in  the  field   of  TBA  management   §  Refers  to  the  UNILC  Drae  Ar;cles   §  Recent  discussion  at  the  UNGA   6th  Commihee  on  the  future  of   the  Drae  Ar;cles  refers  to  the   Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   •  And  to  the  Model  Provisions   on  Transboundary   Groundwaters    
  7. 7. Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par>cipa>on   in  the  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   §  No  tangible  presence  of  public   par;cipa;on  in  the  Agreement…     §  But  if  public  par;cipa;on  is  a   component  of  other  obliga;ons   provided  for  in  the  Agreement…       §  And  if  public  par;cipa;on  is  part  of  (or   becoming  part  of)  general   interna;onal  law…     §  Then….  It  will  s;ll  be  relevant/ applicable.    
  8. 8. Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par>cipa>on   in  the  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   o  But  if  public  par;cipa;on  is  a   component  of  other  obliga;ons   provided  for  in  the  Agreement…     §  Environmental  impact   assessment  (GAA,  arts.  9  and  10)   §  Rela;onship  between  public   par;cipa;on  and  Environmental   Impact  Assessment        
  9. 9. Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par>cipa>on   in  the  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   o  And  if  public  par;cipa;on  is  part  of  (or  becoming  part  of)   general  interna;onal  law…     §  GAA  art.  5:  “When  the  Par;es  intend  to  undertake   studies,  ac;vi;es  or  work  related  to  parts  of  the  GAS  that   are  located  in  their  respec;ve  territories,  and  that  may   have  effects  beyond  their  respec;ve  boundaries,  they   shall  act  in  agreement  with  the  principles  and  norms  of   applicable  interna>onal  law.”      
  10. 10. Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par>cipa>on   in  the  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement   o  River  Uruguay  Treaty   o  Guarani  Aquifer  Agreement       §  Does  not  require  EIA   §  Does  not  require  public   §  Par;es  to  the  treaty  are   par;cipa;on  (public   TBA   not  par;es  to  the  ESPOO   consulta;on)   dimension   Conven;on   §  Par;es  to  the  GAA  are   §  S;ll,  the  ICJ  made  it  clear   not  par;es  to  the  Aarhus   that  Argen;na  and   Conven;on   Uruguay  were  bound  by   §  Are  the  GAA  Par;es   the  interna;onal  legal   bound  by  an  emerging   EIA  and   obliga;on  to  undertake   interna;onal  legal   public   an  EIA   obliga;on  to  carry  out   par>cipa>on     public  consulta;on?      
  11. 11. Non  State  Actors  and  Public  Par>cipa>on   in  the  management  of  a  TBA   May  cause   significant  harm   in  State  B   •  To  the   groundwater   and/or   •  To  the   geological   forma;on   Ac;vity  in  State  A   •  Groundwater   exploita;on   •  Shale  gas  exploita;on   •  Underground   infrastructure  (metro)   TBA   Public  in  State  B   Business   Public  in   State  A   State  A  
  12. 12. Conclusion   Espoo   Conven;on  /   Aarhus   Conven;on   Uruguay  River  /   Guarani  Aquifer   Environmental   Impact   Assessment  /   Public   par>cipa>on  
  13. 13. Conclusion   o  Then….   §  Public  par;cipa;on  is  applicable/ relevant  to  the  GAA  countries   §  GAA  is  not  yet  in  force,  but  this   would  not  maher   §  Relevant  in  the  context  of  shale   gas  explora;on/exploita;on  in   Brazil      
  14. 14. Conclusions   o  A/68/470,  The  Law  of   Transboundary  Aquifers   §  “Commends  to  the  ahen;on  of   Governments  the  drae  ar;cles   on  the  law  of  transboundary   aquifers  annexed  to  the  present   resolu;on  as  guidance  for   bilateral  or  regional  agreements   and  arrangements  for  the   proper  management  of   transboundary  aquifers;   From  taking  into  account  (2009)  to   guidance  (2013)   o  Opening  of  the   UNECE  Water   Conven;on  to  all   UN  Member  States   §  Model   Provisions  on   Transboundary   Groundwaters   adopted  by  the   sixth  MOP  to  the   UNECE  Water   Conven;on  
  15. 15. Thank  you!   §  Francesco  Sindico     Director,  Strathclyde  Centre  for  Environmental  Law  and  Governance   hhp://       Programme  Director,  Strathclyde  LLM  in  Climate  Change  Law  and  Policy   hhp://;es/courses/law/courses/ climate_change_law_policy_llm/       Glasgow  Statement  on  Interna;onal  Water  Coopera;on  and  Transboundary   Aquifers   hhp://;es/hass/law/scelg/ Glasgow_Statement_on_Interna;onal_Warer_Coopera;on_and_Transb oundary_Aquifers.pdf