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Last updated August 24, 2016


FLASH NEWS


UNITAR e-learning course on Introduction to Water Diplomacy (6 November - 3 December 2017)

The pressure on freshwater resources is increasing globally, and with it the legitimate concern that tensions will rise between states which have no choice, but to secure their water requirements for their own development and growth. Beyond its apparent potential for conflict, water bears a strong cooperation potential which has yet to be understood and empowered. Water is and will remain at the heart of international peace and security, the defense of human rights and the imperative for sustainable development paths. An increasingly strong and coordinated response is therefore expected from the international community.


This course will aim to raise participants’ awareness of the current state of freshwater resources worldwide and highlight the need for modern diplomatic solutions to mitigate conflict and enable water’s potential for cooperation at the transboundary level. Upon completion of the curriculum, participants should be able to describe some of today’s major water stressors, identify the world’s “water hotspots”, recognize the benefits of transboundary water cooperation based on negotiation and mediation, and comprehend the importance of transnational water management institutions for sustainably supporting the benefits of cooperation.  For more information and to register, visit: https://www.unitar.org/event/full-catalog/introduction-water-diplomacy-3



Forthcoming publication: Legal Mechanisms for Water Resources in the Third Millennium, Select papers from the IWRA XIV and XV World Water Congresses, Edited by Marcella Nanni, Stefano Burchi, Ariella D’Andrea, Gabriel Eckstein, Routledge (April 2008)

Legal mechanisms for the management, development and protection of water resources have evolved over the years and have reached unprecedented levels of complexity and sophistication. This phenomenon is largely in response to the global community’s sustainable development agenda, to the challenges and limitations imposed by climate variability, and to scientific and technological advances. Bringing together diverse experiences from across the world, this book analyses existing water law and governance solutions, their shortcomings, as well as developments and trends in the light of changing circumstances. The legal mechanisms examined range from international treaties, agreements and arrangements on cooperation over transboundary water resources, to the onset of novel issues arising out of technological advances, and from domestic regulation of water abstraction and groundwater management, to domestic regulation of the water industry. The articles in this book were originally published in the journal Water International, following the XIV and the XV World Water Congresses of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), which were held in 2011 and in 2015, respectively. The book will be available for purchase online, from https://www.routledge.com/Legal-Mechanisms-for-Water-Resources-in-the-Third-Millennium-Select-papers/Nanni-Burchi-DAndrea-Eckstein/p/book/9780815363637



International Forum “RULES OF WATER, RULES FOR LIFE”, Milan, Italy, 27-28 September, 2017. Report of attendance by AIDA member Paola Esposito

The International Forum “RULES OF WATER, RULES FOR LIFE”, which was held in Milan on 27-28 September 2017, was the first edition of what will become an annual event on water as a key element of sustainable development. It was organized under the auspices of the Italian G7 Presidency 2017 and  promoted by the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy chaired by Dr. Livia Pomodoro former President of the Milan Court.


The Forum brought together representatives of the academia, lawmakers, regulators, private sector experts, international organizations and governmental bodies to share experiences and encourage debate on how water-related principles as defined in the 2030 Agenda - Goal 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”; Goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”; Goal 5 “Gender Equality” - can be translated into practice.


Not only were 60 experts from 14 countries involved in the event, but also 100 students from all over Italy, who took part in the first national Water Hackathon promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.


Scientific partners of the event were OECD Water Governance Programme and UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP).


AIDA member Prof. Mara Tignino received the Women Peacebuilders for Water Award marking the seventeenth anniversary of Resolution 1325 adopted by the United Nations Security Council to recognize the contribution of women to peace building in post-conflict situations.


The AIDA Executive Chairman, Mr. Stefano Burchi, took part as invited panelist in a WWAP panel on ‘Moving beyond inequalities’, on 28 September. He dwelled on the available and emerging regulatory mechanisms in mainstream water legislation to ensure that “no one is left behind” in the competition for water resources.


At the end of the two-day event a declaration was produced – THE MILAN DECLARATION –  as the joint work of all participants and  Dr. Livia Pomodoro read it out on their behalf (see below). To read the Declaration, follow the link http://rulesofwater.milanoglobal.org/contents/MILAN%20DECLARATION%20(1).pdf


Conference programme: http://rulesofwater.milanoglobal.org/contents/program_day1_en.pdf ]


MCFLP (from EXPO Milano 2015 toward 2030): www.milanfoodlaw.org



“The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience”, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, Glasgow, Scotland, 2-6 July, 2018.

The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance will host the 2018 edition of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, titled “The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience”, at Glasgow, Scotland, on 2-6 July, 2018. Technology and innovation are often heralded as a source of solutions to global environmental problems. There is no doubt that they create opportunities, but they also pose challenges and carry risks. This Colloquium will explore the role of law and governance in better leveraging the opportunities created by technology and innovation, distributing the benefits that arise therefrom, and managing the associated challenges and risks. In particular, the Colloquium will focus on the following areas: biodiversity and traditional knowledge; climate change; energy; freshwater; land, food and agriculture; oceans; and, sustainable development. Freshwater will feature prominently in the Colloquium. The call for abstracts, to be found at https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/strathclydecentreenvironmentallawgovernance/events/conferences/2018thetransformationofenvironmentallawandgovernanceinnovationriskandresilience/callforabstracts/, will remain open until 1 February, 2018. Registration will soon be available. To be kept abreast about any developments regarding the Colloquium, contact the organizers at iucn2018-conf@strath.ac.uk



Transboundary Water Cooperation - Principles, Practice and Prospects for China and Its Neighbours, Patricia Wouters, Huiping Chen, James E. Nickum (Eds.), Routledge Special Issues on Water Policy and Governance, 2018

Grounded in international experience, this comprehensive volume provides readers with an up-to-date overview of current international transboundary water resource sharing policies and practices, including detailed case studies at both domestic and international levels. The authors discuss existing international laws, treaties, and principles that may stimulate transboundary water cooperation and dialogue, and then analyse a number of international experiences with treaties in North America, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. They take stock of China’s water resource issues, legal practices and options, examine case studies of China’s southern shared rivers, and explore some innovative approaches to cooperative management of shared waters within China. 


The articles in this book were originally published in the journal Water International. The book may be purchased online, at https://www.routledge.com/Transboundary-Water-Cooperation-Principles-Practice-and-Prospects-for/Wouters-Chen-Nickum/p/book/9781138288836



AIDA Member Mara Tignino receives the Award ‘Women Peacebuilders for Water’

AIDA Member Mara Tignino receives the Award ‘Women Peacebuilders for Water’

At the international conference ‘Rules of Water, Rules for Life’, organized by the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy at Milano, Italy, on 27- 28th September, 2017, Ms Mara Tignino, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Coordinator of the Platform for International Water Law at the Geneva Water Hub, received the award ‘Women Peacebuilders for Water’. This award marks the seventeenth anniversary of Resolution 1325, adopted by the United Nations Security Council to recognize the contribution of women to peacebuilding in post-conflict situations. The award was given to Ms Tignino by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver, and was motivated by her research work on international water law and her dedication to the creation of new generations of international lawyers.



Launch of the report and recommendations of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (Geneva, 14 September 2017)


Launch of the report and recommendations of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (Geneva, 14 September 2017)<br />

Ms Mara Tignino, member of AIDA and of the Secretariat of the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace at the Geneva Water Hub, attended the ceremony for the launch of the report ‘A Matter of Survival’. The Panel was launched in 2015 by fifteen countries: Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Ghana, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Oman, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. The Report of the Panel, in the English language, contains the analysis and recommendations adopted by the Panel after two years of work. The Report includes eight chapters, as follows:


-       The Drama of Water


-       Into the Abyss: Water in Armed Conflicts


-       An ounce of Prevention: International Water Law and Transboundary Water Cooperation


-       Quantity and Quality: Strengthening of the Knowledge-Based and Data-Driven Decision Making and Cooperation for Security and Peace Building


-       People’s Diplomacy, Inter-Sectoral Water Management and Decision Making


-       Financial Innovation for Water Cooperation


-       In Pursuit of Agency: New Mechanisms of Hydro-Diplomacy


-       Water as an Asset for Peace: Conclusions and Recommendations   


 The recommendations of the Panel tackle the prevention of water-related conflicts and the need to make water an instrument of peace. They seek to address water challenges in an integrated and comprehensive manner, at multiple levels, whether it is by fostering new practices, new institutions, water diplomacy or strengthening international water law.


According to the Chairman of the Global High-Level Panel on Water Peace, Dr. Danilo Türk :


‘The High-Level Panel on Water and Peace has concluded that the global water challenge is not only about development and human rights but it is also about peace and security. Therefore, it needs to be addressed urgently in an integrated and comprehensive way at all levels, ranging from the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral organisations to grass-root level institutions. It needs a response in terms of new thinking, new practices and new institutions in diplomacy, international law, data management, finance, security management, technology, climate change, pollution control, among other spheres. The Panel has put forward several concrete recommendations in all these areas, because we believe that managing the global water challenge is not an ordinary task. It is a matter of survival.’


The recommendations of the Panel have also been conveyed through the universal language of music. Indeed, a unique feature of the Panel’s work is that it has been accompanied and enriched by musicians from around the world. The result has been an original Symphony on Water and Peace. This Symphony, which may be listened to at https://www.genevawaterhub.org/art-water-peace, is intended to become a powerful symbol and inspiration for all efforts to make water a source of cooperation and peace.


Summaries of the report are available in English, French, Spanish and Russian. A full video of the event in Geneva is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=573&v=toQGBw3j-2E.



The Year of Water Law (and of AIDA !)

2017 can, and indeed should, be called “the Year of Water Law.” A number of water lawyers have been honored by organizations and associations across the globe for their significant contribution to the legal field of knowledge in water resources management.


Dr. Salman Salman received the Crystal Drop Award from the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) at the IWRA 16th Congress in Cancun, Mexico in June 2017. The Award, which Dr. Salman shared with Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, is the highest award of the IWRA, and is presented once every three years. The IWRA congratulated Dr. Salman for “achieving this unique distinction and attaining this notable award from the Association. Your extensive knowledge and broad experience in the water resources sector are, certainly, of an unparalleled match.”


Dr. Lilian del Castillo Laborde, was also honored in the same Congress in Cancun by the IWRA, and was awarded the notable and noble status of “Distinguished Honorary Member.” Lilian is a long-time member of the IWRA, and has served IWRA in various positions, including Vice President.


Professor Gabriel Eckstein leading role as the Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the IWRA was widely acknowledge with deep appreciation by the IWRA in Cancun. The Committee was shouldered with the responsibility of organizing the IWRA Cancun Congress which turned into a major success, attended by more than 1,500 experts who presented and discussed more than 200 papers. Acknowledgement of Gabriel’s leading role was made during both, the opening and closing sessions of the Congress.


Professor Stephen McCaffrey was awarded in August 2017 the Stockholm Water Prize for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognized Professor McCaffrey’s “path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on Treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.”


Dr. Mara Tignino, Senior Lecturer at at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva, and Coordinator of the Platform for International Water Law at the Geneva Water Hub, received the award “Women Peacebuilders for Water” at the international conference “Rules of Water, Rules for Life”, organized by the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy, in Italy in September 2017. This award marks the seventeenth anniversary of Resolution 1325 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the contribution of women to peacebuilding in post-conflict situations. The award was given to Mara Tignino by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver, and was motivated by her research in international water law and her dedication to the creation of new generations of international lawyers.


Truly, 2017 has turned out to be the Year of Water Law.



Inter-State Water Law in the United States of America: What Lessons for International Water Law? By Rhett B. Larson, Brill Research Perspectives in International Water Law, Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 1 – 82, 2017

This monograph analyzes the three general approaches to water allocation between riparian states to certain shared watercourses in the United States, namely equitable apportionment, congressional apportionment, and inter-state compacts. This analysis is accompanied by a discussion and evaluation of the different cases of shared watercourses that applied these approaches, and a comparison of each of them to similar approaches in international water law. The monograph draws lessons for international water law from inter-state water law—highlighting the successful inter-state approaches that can be adopted by international water law, as well as the approaches that failed, and which should be avoided. The monograph may be purchased online, at http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/23529369-12340007



The International Law of Transboundary Groundwater Resources, by Gabriel Eckstein, Earthscan Water Text Series, Rutledge, 2017

This book provides a comprehensive review of the state of international law as it applies to transboundary groundwater resources and aquifers. The main focus is on recent developments and the emerging international law for transboundary aquifers as reflected in the practice of states and the work of the UN International Law Commission, UN Economic Commission for Europe, and International Law Association. 


The author takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter and provides the scientific hydro-geological underpinning for the application of law and policy to transboundary groundwater resources. He also addresses the growing global dependence on this hidden resource, as well as both the historical and scientific context for development of the law. 


The book provides case examples throughout to illustrate the various concepts and developments. These include more detailed examinations of the few existing transboundary aquifer agreements in operation, such as for aquifers between France and Switzerland and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as aquifers in North Africa and in South America.


The book may be purchased online, at https://www.amazon.com/International-Transboundary-Groundwater-Resources-Earthscan/dp/1138842990






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