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 8: Practice and capacity building in Central Asia

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 is focused on practice: the implementation of and compliance with the five UNECE Conventions, and the 12 associated Protocols in central Asia; it also addresses issues of capacity building which are a key part of assisting Parties to meet their obligations. While evidence of this in relation to individual agreements may be limited, the combined contribution of those that do apply will be analysed as a case study of how they are collectively relevant to central Asia specifically. The chapter will draw together the application of each of the agreements in this subregion where, together with the Caucasus (and partly Russia), the take up of these treaties and protocols outside of Europe has been the greatest. It will evaluate their combined significance in order to help answer the central research question posed in Chapter 1: what is the current and potential contribution of the UNECE environmental agreements to transboundary environmental governance in Asia? This will be developed further in Chapter 9 in relation to other parts of Asia, not just the Caucasus or Russia as discussed in Chapters 3–7, but also in the non-UNECE member states in western and eastern Asia where limited interest in the agreements has been expressed to date, but where, in discussing prospects prior to the conclusions in Chapters 3–7, there is significant potential for future application.

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