Finland's cooperation in managing transboundary waters and the UNECE Principles for Effective Joint Bodies: Value for water diplomacy?
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CitationHonkonen, Tuula. Lipponen, Annukka. (2018). Finland's cooperation in managing transboundary waters and the UNECE Principles for Effective Joint Bodies: Value for water diplomacy?. Journal of Hydrology, 567, 320-331. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.09.062.
Water diplomacy may be understood broadly as the measures that may be taken to prevent or peacefully resolve conflicts over water resources concerning their availability, allocation or use between and within states. The concept is preventive in nature as well as offering an approach for conflict resolution. Instruments of international water law, among them notably conventions and soft law developed on that basis – which promote equitable and reasonable use of transboundary waters and prevention of transboundary impact – can serve as tools for water diplomacy. The obligation to establish agreements on shared waters and joint bodies to govern them has contributed to gathering important experience, and some of this has been synthesized into the Principles for Effective Joint Bodies which were adopted by the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention in 2015. The Principles are intended as a resource to increase the effectiveness of joint bodies in transboundary water cooperation.
This paper analyses Finland’s cooperation arrangements in the light of the Principles and assesses the extent to which Finland’s transboundary water commissions reflect the good practices specified in the Principles. Taking a wider perspective, the paper also examines the elements of the principles and their practical realisation with a view to understanding better their promotion of water diplomacy. Relevant features include, inter alia, the competency and representation of the joint institution, its accountability and the extent to which public participation is permitted, and the cooperative mechanisms in place. Naturally the underlying transboundary water agreements specify the framework for cooperation between the riparian states to a great extent, but the established joint bodies often play a significant role, specifically in the equitable use and management of the shared water resources, but even beyond, in the prevention and settling of conflicts, and in the general promotion of cooperation and security at a regional level.
SubjectsUNECE principles joint bodies transboundary waters water agreements water diplomacy
Link to the original itemhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.09.062
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