Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses
- The convention was adopted in 1997 by the UN and was decided to enter force when 35 countries would ratify the document. In november 2009 there were 18 signatories, which means, that the convention is not yet in force.
- The convention discusses the uses and protection of all waters that cross international borders, including surface and groundwater.
- Parts of the convention are for example:
- Definition of important concepts
- The relation of the convention with other similar agreements
- Definition of equitable and reasonable utilization of waters: what are the relevant factors that must be taken into account?
- Obligation not to cause significant harm to other watercourse states
- Obligation to exchange data and information on the condition of the watercourse between states
- The correct procedure of notificating other watercourse states of planned measures
- Regulations on protection and preservation of ecosystems nearby transboundary watercourse
- Emergency situations: notification, appropriate measures
- Settlement procedure of possible disputes between the watercourse states
- The law was adopted by the International Law Association in Helsinki in 1966.
- Rules of the law are applicable to the use of an international drainage basin except if some other convention or agreement among the basin state provides otherwise.
- Parts of the law are for example:
- Equitable utilization of waters: every basin state has right to a reasonable and equitable share in the beneficial uses of the waters. Factors that have to be taken into account when defining a reasonable and equitable share.
- The responsabilities of each state in the prevention and reduction of water pollution.
- The correct procedure for settlement and prevention of disputes.
How I understood the character of the Convention is that it was aimed to facilitate the making of more detailed regional agreements on the use of transboundary waters, as the regional agreements are often insufficient or don't even exist.
Some questions that I started wondering when reading these texts:
Why hasn't the Convention been ratified by more than 18 states? Has the promotion been insufficient or is it because of the content of the Convention?
What is the real potential of this kind of international laws/agreements? Can they really have real influence on a regional scale, prevent conflicts or facilitate the making of regional agreements? What are the hindrances?
Ok, next time I'll probably post you something about the stakeholder analisis that we are going to do together on monday. Btw, I think our last meeting was good! In the end I felt that we had a consensus of what we are doing, which is not obvious :)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- What kind of water use exists in transboundary water areas? cases.
- What kind of examples we want to take to this project?
- Any other similar centers already in other countires?
- What is UN's role in transboundary water issues? UN has declared a "water decade" in year 2005.
- Water conflicts/crises: what kind of cases there are? Any cooperative instances already solving problems like these? Good material/references (Martti Ahtisaari's team)? However, conflicts are our cases and examples here!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
i got some points specifying the recent facts which emphasize the importance of having a transboundary water management center.It is also obvious that there are challenges to analyze and overcome while thinking of an initiation for an international transboundary water center.
WHY TWC? Some facts
-90% of worlds popln lives in countries sharing international rivers(world bank)
-more countries r experiencing water stress(supply < 1700m3/person annually)
-as water scarcity faces high demands transboundary competition for shared rivers and water resources grow
-mechanisms(instituitions)to manage water resource disputes r absent or unsatisfactory(UNESCO and Green cross intnl,2003)
Since transboundary waters extend hydrological interdependence among nations and countries, managing this interdependence is a crucial task for z international community.
In my opinion and from the references more impt of the challenges to take into account in TWM for upstream and downstream countries r
-interdependence and competition for limited supply of water
-impacts on water quality- water usage by upstream countries
-economic and military power imbalance
-timing of water flows- released water amount(when & how much)
-z need for legal bindings and agreements
And through TWM by TWC we expect equitable use of water resources,protection for transboundary resources and reduced water conflicts among nations.
we also have an additionally suggested use of z TWC:to have a role in controlling the ratification of UN water courses convention.
taking basin level cooperation as an example for proper TWM some interesting ways suggested r
1).Financial resource flows-India's contribution to pakistan for irrigation(Indus Waters Treaty)
.Trade in energy resources-creation of markets in hydropower(Brazil purchasing electricity from Paraguay's Itaipu dam, kenya recently agreed to purchase electricity from Ethiopia from gibe hydroelectric pjct)
2.Data sharing-data gathering for effective basin management(Mekong commitee)
3.Political linkages-Israel Jordan water accord was part of their peace agreement in 1994.
i will try to see other pts
N.B There r online srcs that we can check if they help
Transboundary water conflicts in the middle east and north Africa http://www.research4development.info/PDF/Outputs/IDS/id21Water_4.pdf
TWM for intl public good by Swedish ministry for foreign affairs (http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/2972.pdf)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Jan 18, 2010 Lecture #1
- Relevance: who needs, what needs?
- Impact: continues afterwards, or not?
=> What are the real needs?
Who should define the objectives; plan the projects?
- Political instances?
Objectives should be based on analyses:
- social, economical, environmental, institutional, technical etc..
-> Solutions can vary depending on who is looking the problem, the point of view
-> Without proper analyses the project may not be relevant!
How to make a result that continues after the project?
- Many development projects lack of sustainability
- The action becomes dependent on the project
- Development projects are usually long, 5-10 years, which affect the dependence
- Involved stakeholders, easily 20-30
- Within a community, there are always different subgroups and different needs
Planning should always begin from beneficiaries
- However, there are always those who don’t benefit
- Participatory approaches needed (though people don’t often know all possibilities)
o Good participation
o Understand the needs, but also experts can give alternatives
Objective definition: 3 levels
- What are we aiming at? What would be the impact for the beneficiaries? Everybody should be involved the final idea.
- Different impacts with different interests, for example water: health, nutrition, agriculture, economic substances…
- Immediate objective
- Operation maintenance system
- Outputs (results): what kind of milestones during the project?
- Training, guideline manuals etc…
-> These will lead to immediate objectives
How do we plan a project?
- Analyze: what is the problem and what are the causes?
- Make it as concrete as possible on table!
- Project plan is a tool to implement the project
- Are we gaining the impacts?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I hope it will become very active and interactive, meaning that each of us participants will write a lot of posts and that it will not be just us commenting on each other but rather all the hundreds of followers (that we will soon have, for sure) writing their comments, questions and random thoughts to us. I'm personally very enthusiastic about writing a blog of the process rather than doing some learning diaries, because that's so 2000, or... because I just like to do it in a new way and see potential for good interaction here.
Anyway, first lecture has been held and our group formed. I will now try to concentrate on my tasks: reading about international legislation and guidelines related to transboundary water management. Sounds a bit heavy but interesting.
Let the project begin!