Transboundary Environmental Governance in Asia

Transboundary Environmental Governance in Asia

Practice and Prospects with the UNECE Agreements

Simon Marsden and Elizabeth Brandon

A comprehensive overview of treaty implementation and compliance concerning transboundary environmental governance in Asia is provided in this timely book. Recent United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) membership by Asian states in the Caucasus and Central Asia has shifted focus on environmental governance away from its Euro-centric roots and placed Asia at the forefront of discussion. The focus of this book is centred on the five UNECE treaties: Public Participation, Environmental Impact Assessment, Industrial Accidents, Water and Air Pollution. Twelve related protocols are discussed including Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Civil Liability, Water and Health, and Air Pollutants.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Simon Marsden and Elizabeth Brandon

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, environment, environmental law, law - academic, asian law, environmental law, public international law, regulation and governance

Extract

Interest in global environmental governance has grown significantly in recent years, demonstrating its practical interest to scholars of international law and relations in particular, as attempts are made to overcome largely state-based entrenched problems that have been recognised for some time. Global environmental governance is therefore concerned with regulation in national as well as international contexts, and responds and relates furthermore to issues of transnational environmental law which have also gained support. This book is concerned with a related concept to global environmental governance and transnational environmental law, known as transboundary environmental governance. It examines this concept in practice in Asia, specifically with respect to matters of treaty implementation and compliance. Concerned mainly with governance across borders, examples in southeast Asia include the regulation of haze and other transboundary pollutants, water management (for instance in the Mekong river basin), trade in environmental resources, and resolution of environment related issues in the South China Sea. In other parts of Asia, many of these issues are also present, with water quality issues dominant in international rivers and lakes (for instance the Caspian and Aral Seas), and the need to manage related pressures for infrastructure development, such as hydroelectricity. Coastal and marine issues, often involving disputed sovereignty claims, are not discussed. This is mainly because they are beyond the scope of the five United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) treaties, which are the core focus of the book.