Sustainable Development Is Security: The Role of Transboundary River Agreements as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM) in South Asia

39 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010 Last revised: 5 May 2011

See all articles by James Kraska

James Kraska

Stockton Center for International Law, U.S. Naval War College; Harvard University - Harvard Law School; University of California Berkeley School of Law; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Over the past decade, scholars have closely examined the linkage between environmental change, security, and conflict. Severe deforestation, soil erosion, soil salinisation and water-logging, toxic contamination, drought and flooding, and air and water pollution are some of the environmental calamities that can increase international tension and even lead to conflict. What is perhaps more interesting, however, is that reversing the equation is also true. Environmental conservation and cooperative governance between neighbouring states can contribute to regional stability and conflict avoidance. This article suggests the international trans-boundary river agreement between India and Pakistan to manage the Indus River reduces tension and prevents war between the nuclear-armed rivals. During the Kargil crisis in 2001, for example, the trans-boundary river management regime was the most functional bilateral relationship between the two South Asian powers.

Keywords: Environmental security, sustainable, transboundary river, India, Pakistan, river, environment, environmental change, Indus

Suggested Citation

Kraska, James, Sustainable Development Is Security: The Role of Transboundary River Agreements as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM) in South Asia (2009). Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 28, p. 317, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648630

James Kraska (Contact Author)

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