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Aquifer System TDA and Legal Frameworks - What Lesson for DIKTAS?

Shammy Puri, International Association of Hydrogeologists


NATURAL RESOURCES LAW & POLICY eJOURNAL
Sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School

"Aquifer System TDA and Legal Frameworks - What Lesson for DIKTAS?" Free Download
Proceedings of the International Conference on Karst Without Boundaries, Trebinje June 2014, organised by DIKTAS, The GEF, UNESCO & IAH

SHAMMY PURI, International Association of Hydrogeologists
Email:

A transboundary diagnostic analysis (TDA) and a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) are two elements of GEF projects under the International Waters (IW) focal area. IW projects, such as DIKTAS, invoke country cooperation. In parallel, international legal frameworks have developed, primarily by the UN’s International Law Commission (ILC) Draft Articles. The underlying feature of GEF financing is that countries reach an accord on how they may cooperate over the aquifer systems and thus deliver global environmental gains through a possible SAP. Many aquifer SAP’s remain quiescent being generic and require additional financing, which countries cannot release having no common financial pot. Consequently the ‘gain’, a viable outcome of the GEF financing, remains intangible (from a study of several project documents). If, having conducted a TDA, the sharing countries consider a SAP, with bench marked rules, such as the Draft Articles, for joint actions, the gain could be made more tangible, because a legal framework could enable joint financing for sustainable utilisation. While the Draft Articles are not yet a formal international treaty, unlike the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conventions, they could still be the best vehicle for transboundary aquifer agreements.

Thus far aquifer TDA’s completed under the GEF lack globally consistent legal frameworks for a future SAP. The assessment in this brief paper hypothesises that GEF projects could significantly benefit from the provisions of the Draft Articles. This would help to secure financial means to promote the SAP’s underwritten by agreements modelled on available international legal instruments. The specific cases for the GEF funded DIKTAS, the Guarani, the Iullemeden and the Nubian aquifers are discussed and suggestion on linkage between the TDA/SAP and the Draft Articles is provided.

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ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURAL RESOURCES LAW EJOURNALS

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Natural Resources Law & Policy eJournal

LEE P. BRECKENRIDGE
Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

HOLLY DOREMUS
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TIMOTHY P. DUANE
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JONATHAN NASH
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DAVE OWEN
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MARK STEPHEN SQUILLACE
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JAY WEXLER
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