The many rivers and lakes that criss-cross international boundaries act as vital water resources for communities around the world. While we may think of them as separate entities to be managed, the way we utilize and treat freshwater resources can impact many different elements of the natural environment. One of these elements, and the focus of this session, is the connection between transboundary freshwater resources and the marine environment and how the rules of international law address this complex interaction.
As just one example, pollution from transboundary rivers eventually travels into the marine environment where it impacts wildlife and water quality, a real concern for coastline watercourse states. This has been most evident over the past few years in the issue of marine plastics, the large majority of which travel into the ocean from major rivers. What are the rules of international law that govern this marine interface? What are the key issues in state practice?
Questions will be collected in advance (through the MOOC platform) and during the 1.5-hour-long session. Panellists will provide brief presentations and then the floor is open to questions in breakout rooms, which offers an opportunity to engage directly with regional experts.
WHEN: Tuesday, 19 October, at 9 AM (Washington DC), 10 AM (Rio de Janeiro), 2 PM (London), 3 PM (Stockholm), 3 PM (Johannesburg), 9 PM (Beijing)
WHAT: The session will feature speakers with different experiences to share, discussing the following topics:
- What are the rules of international law that govern the marine interface?
- How can we manage these different parts of the marine environment holistically in coherent legal frameworks?
- What are examples of best practices at the intersection of the marine and riverine environment?
HOW: Registration is required, please use this link.
WHO: The confirmed speakers are:
- Dr. Yumiko Yasuda (Event moderator), Senior Network & Transboundary Water Cooperation Specialist, Global Water Partnership
- Professor Patricia Wouters (Co-chair), Academy of International Water Law, Wuhan University
- Dr. David J Devlaeminck (Co-chair), School of Law, Chongqing University
- Professor Owen McIntyre, School of Law, University College Cork
- Elizabeth Kirk, Global Professor (Global Governance and Ecological Justice), Director of the Lincoln Centre for Ecological Justice, and a member of the Sustainability steering committee at the University of Lincoln.
- Professor Alistair Rieu-Clark, School of Law, Northumbria University, and Dimitris Faloutsos, Deputy Regional Co-ordinator, GWP Mediterranean
Please note: Prior to this online session, participants are encouraged to register to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security, and to take a look at the case studies and lectures in module 5d2 of the MOOC on the topic of source-to-sea management. Participants may also be interested in SIWI’s source-to-sea practitioner’s guide: Implementing the source-to-sea approach: A guide for practitioners. We also recommend you to review the article by our speaker, Elizabeth Kirk, exploring the legal regulations against plastic waste: E.A. Kirk (2020) “International legal instruments against plastic waste in the Oceans”, Environmental Policy and Law.