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Entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention: why should we care?

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Entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention: why should we care? by Flavia Rocha Loures, Senior Program Officer, WWF

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Entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention: why should we care?

  1. 1. XIV IWRA World Water Congress Porto de Galinhas, 25-29 September 2011 Entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention: Why should we care? Flavia Rocha Loures
  2. 2. 2. The UN Watercourses Convention <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Importance </li></ul>
  3. 3. The UN Watercourses Convention: Goals, objectives and content <ul><li>“ Ensure the utilisation , development , conservation , management and protection of international watercourses and the promotion of the optimal and sustainable utilisation thereof for present and future generations ;” whilst “taking into account the special situation and needs of developing countries .” (Preamble) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Transboundary Water Resources: A Case for Multi-level Legal Governance <ul><li>National </li></ul>UN Watercourses Convention; ILC Draft Articles Cooperation in border areas between local communities Global Regional Basin Sub-basin SADC Protocol, Water Framework Directive, UNECE Water Convention Amazon Treaty Sub-national/local National laws incorporating concerns with transboundary waters Agreements on the Mekong, Congo
  5. 5. The UN Watercourses Convention: Legal Objective <ul><li>Codification of customary law </li></ul><ul><li>Clarification of customary law </li></ul><ul><li>Framework for the development of customary law </li></ul><ul><li>Non-ratification & non-entry into force : </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Effects </li></ul>
  6. 6. The UN Watercourses Convention: Functions <ul><li>A common denominator for </li></ul><ul><li>Inspiring future watercourse agreements ( new or revised ) </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting existing agreements </li></ul>
  7. 7. The UN Watercourses Convention: Functions <ul><li>In the absence of applicable watercourse agreements : </li></ul><ul><li>A firm common ground governing or guiding interstate relations </li></ul><ul><li>A mandate for interstate dialogue </li></ul>
  8. 8. The UN Watercourses Convention: Functions <ul><li>A mother convention for the development of global treaty law on emerging issues </li></ul><ul><li>A foundation for international water cooperation in support of other multilateral environmental agreements </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>A stronger “soft-law” instrument with effects on non-parties </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation of additional provisions as customary law </li></ul>The UN Watercourses Convention: Effects on non-parties
  10. 10. Thank you ! http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/how_we_work/policy/conventions/water_conventions/ Flavia Rocha Loures [email_address]

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