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Environmental Regimes in Asian Subregions

China and the Third Pole

Simon Marsden

Informed by international law, international relations and environment management scholarship, this interdisciplinary analysis of environmental regimes in Asian subregions proposes a new regime for the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau based on China’s cooperation with its south Asian neighbors.
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Chapter 4: Southeast Asia: the Mekong, conservation and haze pollution regimes

China and the Third Pole

Simon Marsden

Extract

Chapter 4 is focused on southeast Asia. It explains and analyses the Mekong Agreement. This is focused on cooperation in relation to sustainable development, utilization, management and conservation of the water and related resources to optimize the multiple-use and mutual benefits of all riparians, and to minimize harmful effects. Obligations on the Mekong River Commission (MRC) discussed include creating a Basin Plan, and on Parties to notify and consult in relation to development, principally dam-building. Chapter 4 also explains and analyses the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Conservation Agreement and related Centre for Biodiversity Agreement. The first contains many broad environmental objectives and obligations, as well as specific provisions on conserving genetic diversity, endangered and endemic species, vegetation cover and forest resources, soil, water and air. EIA, advance notification, and appropriate consultation should all be undertaken prior to any proposed utilisation of the shared resources. Chapter 4 finally evaluates the Haze Pollution Agreement. This aims to prevent, monitor and mitigate negative transboundary effects arising from land and forest fires through national efforts and international cooperation. Measures to control the sources of fires; develop monitoring, assessment and early warning systems; exchange information and technology; and provide mutual assistance, are all included, and outlined in the chapter. The provisions are again compared and analysed with respect to the research questions set out in Chapter 1 in an effort to evaluate their effectiveness. The role of China in connection with each regime is furthermore analysed and conclusions are drawn. Keywords: ASEAN, MRC, Mekong, Conservation, Haze Pollution

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