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 2: Institutions and regimes

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


This chapter provides an overview of applicable institutions and regimes in Asia outside the UNECE, and its five environmental treaties and numerous related protocols, which are the specific focus of the chapters that follow. In relation to institutions, these include other UN institutions, other UN regional commissions, MDBs/IFIs, and specialist environmental bodies. In relation to regimes these are based on either global multilateral or sub-regional environmental agreements in Asia, the latter which are supported by a specific institutional structure. The reason for considering other institutions and regimes is to enable comparisons between them and the UNECE. As noted in Chapter 1, other than the regulation of inland seas (particularly the Caspian and Aral Seas), the focus is upon terrestrial agreements. Marine agreements are not considered, as this has not been an aspect of UNECE governance to date. In relation to other institutions, there are a large number that are of relevance. Chapter 2 groups these into a number of different categories. The first have a global focus and are the relevant UN institutions: UNEP, UNDP, GEF, WHO and the ICJ. The second are the other UN regional commissions operating in Asia, specifically UNESCAP, which has a division concerned with Environment and Development, and UNESCWA. The third are the MDBs/IFIs operating at the global and regional levels, the WB (also part of the UN system), EBRD and, specifically, the ADB.

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