Advanced

Achieving Sustainable Development – With focus on Dams and the Role of Japan

Landberg, Sophie LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Begreppet innefattar ett antal faktorer, men kännetecknas främst av en integrering av miljöskydd och utveckling, tillgodoseendet av rättigheter i förhållande till framtida generationer och mellan stater, och ett hållbart nyttjande av naturresurser. Konceptet fick internationellt stöd i början av 1990-talet, men har fortfarande en oklar rättsstatus på internationell nivå. Icke desto mindre har hållbar utveckling blivit en viktig del i hanteringen av naturresurser. Begreppet har också antagits som en central del i det regionala regelverket angående Mekongfloden i Sydostasien genom ”[the] Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin” från 1995, som behandlar samarbetet för en hållbar utveckling.
Idag... (More)
Begreppet innefattar ett antal faktorer, men kännetecknas främst av en integrering av miljöskydd och utveckling, tillgodoseendet av rättigheter i förhållande till framtida generationer och mellan stater, och ett hållbart nyttjande av naturresurser. Konceptet fick internationellt stöd i början av 1990-talet, men har fortfarande en oklar rättsstatus på internationell nivå. Icke desto mindre har hållbar utveckling blivit en viktig del i hanteringen av naturresurser. Begreppet har också antagits som en central del i det regionala regelverket angående Mekongfloden i Sydostasien genom ”[the] Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin” från 1995, som behandlar samarbetet för en hållbar utveckling.
Idag undersöks möjligheterna till att utnyttja de vattenresurser som finns tillgängliga i Mekongflodens huvudfåra. Genom dambygge, huvudsakligen avsett för vattenkraft, ämnar länderna i Mekongregionen att främja utveckling och ekonomisk tillväxt genom inhemska resurser. För utvecklingsländerna i Nedre Mekongområdet, liksom för Mekong River Commission som etablerades genom avtalet från 1995, är en av de mest avgörande utvecklingsfaktorerna finansieringen av projekt i floden. Som en av de viktigaste biståndsgivarna i Mekongregionen sträcker sig Japan’s inflytande över både ekonomiska angelägenheter och miljöfrågor, och kan därför ha en betydande funktion att uppfylla också i förhållande till hållbar utveckling. Uppsatsen fokuserar på möjligheterna att uppnå hållbar utveckling på en regional nivå, hur dammar påverkar detta åstadkommande och vad som är Japans roll, som en av de större biståndsgivarna i området.
De senaste åren har de största utvecklingsinitiativen setts på Mekongflodens bifloder. Detta håller just nu på att förändras eftersom flertalet av de dammar som planeras i både Nedre och Övre Mekongregionen är avsedda för Mekongflodens huvudfåra. Effekterna av dessa dammar kan potentiellt leda till drastiska förändringar i miljön och påverka ekosystem, konstbevattning, samt det fiske och jordbruk som verkar som uppehälle för befolkningen runt om Mekongfloden. Dammbyggen har varit, och är fortfarande idag, ett vida diskuterat och kritiserat ämne. Eftersom avtalet från 1995 endast är bindande för staterna i den nedre delen av Mekongregionen så uppkommer svårigheter i att hantera de skador som orsakats av andra kuststater, och således också för genomförandet av heltäckande miljökonsekvensbedömningar.
Genom att inte ha en tillfredsställande rättslig ram för hela regionen, är det inte heller möjligt att effektivt skydda rättigheter för alla påverkade parter eller för att fullt ut uppskatta potentiella risker. Sammanfattningsvis så dras slutsatsen att en hållbar utveckling kan uppnås på regional nivå om de berörda parternas rättigheter kan identifieras och risker kan analyseras till fullo. Ett välfungerande samarbete mellan Mekongländerna är därför viktigt för att detta ska kunna ske på en regional nivå. Detta kommer dock att kräva extensivt arbete av länderna själva, liksom för inflytelserika biståndsgivare som Japan. (Less)
Abstract
The concept of “sustainable development” has been a part of international discussions regarding environment and development since the end of the 1980s. Although it comprises a number of elements, it is mainly characterized by the notions of integration of environmental protection with the development process, intra-generational equity, inter-generational equity, and sustainable use. The concept gained international support in the beginning of the 1990s, but it is still considered ambiguous in regard to its international legal status. Nonetheless, it has become an important part of natural resource management and is adopted as the key focus in the regional legal regime of the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia through the Agreement on the... (More)
The concept of “sustainable development” has been a part of international discussions regarding environment and development since the end of the 1980s. Although it comprises a number of elements, it is mainly characterized by the notions of integration of environmental protection with the development process, intra-generational equity, inter-generational equity, and sustainable use. The concept gained international support in the beginning of the 1990s, but it is still considered ambiguous in regard to its international legal status. Nonetheless, it has become an important part of natural resource management and is adopted as the key focus in the regional legal regime of the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia through the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, 1995.
Today, the countries of the Mekong River Basin are exploring the possibilities for exploitation of water resources on the mainstream Mekong. Through the construction of dams, mainly for hydropower, they aim to boost development and economic growth using domestic resources. For the developing countries in the Lower Mekong River Basin, as well as for the Mekong River Commission established under the 1995 Mekong Agreement, one of the most critical aspects of development is the funding of riverine projects. As one of the key donors in the Mekong area, Japan is influential on economic issues as well as environmental concerns, and may therefore have an important part to play also in regard to sustainable development. The thesis focuses on the possibility to achieve sustainable development on the regional level, how dams affect this achievement and what the role of Japan, as a major donor, is.
Until recent years, the main development on the Mekong River has been seen on its tributaries. This is about to change, seeing how planned dam cascades in the Lower and Upper Mekong regions are scheduled for the mainstream river. The potential effects of the dam cascades may result in drastic changes and impacts on areas such as riverine ecosystems, aquaculture, as well as fisheries and agricultural livelihoods for the population in the Mekong River Basin. The construction of dams has been, and is still today, a well discussed and greatly criticised issue. As the 1995 Mekong Agreement is only binding for the nations of the Lower Mekong River Basin, there are inevitably difficulties when addressing impacts that are caused by other riparian states, and consequently for conducting all-embracing environmental impact assessments.
By lacking a legal framework that governs the whole region it is not possible to effectively ensure all stakeholders’ rights and to fully estimate potential risks. Although challenging, it can be concluded that sustainable development is achievable on the regional level if stakeholders’ rights are properly identified and risks are fully assessed, with the effect of fulfilling a number of procedural and substantive elements of sustainable development. A well-functioning cooperation is therefore essential if this is to be accomplished on a regional level. This will however require great efforts by the countries themselves, as well as for influential aid donors like Japan. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Landberg, Sophie LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Sjörätt, Maritime law
language
English
id
1713029
date added to LUP
2010-11-04 12:05:43
date last changed
2010-11-04 12:05:43
@misc{1713029,
  abstract     = {The concept of “sustainable development” has been a part of international discussions regarding environment and development since the end of the 1980s. Although it comprises a number of elements, it is mainly characterized by the notions of integration of environmental protection with the development process, intra-generational equity, inter-generational equity, and sustainable use. The concept gained international support in the beginning of the 1990s, but it is still considered ambiguous in regard to its international legal status. Nonetheless, it has become an important part of natural resource management and is adopted as the key focus in the regional legal regime of the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia through the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, 1995.
Today, the countries of the Mekong River Basin are exploring the possibilities for exploitation of water resources on the mainstream Mekong. Through the construction of dams, mainly for hydropower, they aim to boost development and economic growth using domestic resources. For the developing countries in the Lower Mekong River Basin, as well as for the Mekong River Commission established under the 1995 Mekong Agreement, one of the most critical aspects of development is the funding of riverine projects. As one of the key donors in the Mekong area, Japan is influential on economic issues as well as environmental concerns, and may therefore have an important part to play also in regard to sustainable development. The thesis focuses on the possibility to achieve sustainable development on the regional level, how dams affect this achievement and what the role of Japan, as a major donor, is.
Until recent years, the main development on the Mekong River has been seen on its tributaries. This is about to change, seeing how planned dam cascades in the Lower and Upper Mekong regions are scheduled for the mainstream river. The potential effects of the dam cascades may result in drastic changes and impacts on areas such as riverine ecosystems, aquaculture, as well as fisheries and agricultural livelihoods for the population in the Mekong River Basin. The construction of dams has been, and is still today, a well discussed and greatly criticised issue. As the 1995 Mekong Agreement is only binding for the nations of the Lower Mekong River Basin, there are inevitably difficulties when addressing impacts that are caused by other riparian states, and consequently for conducting all-embracing environmental impact assessments.
By lacking a legal framework that governs the whole region it is not possible to effectively ensure all stakeholders’ rights and to fully estimate potential risks. Although challenging, it can be concluded that sustainable development is achievable on the regional level if stakeholders’ rights are properly identified and risks are fully assessed, with the effect of fulfilling a number of procedural and substantive elements of sustainable development. A well-functioning cooperation is therefore essential if this is to be accomplished on a regional level. This will however require great efforts by the countries themselves, as well as for influential aid donors like Japan.},
  author       = {Landberg, Sophie},
  keyword      = {Sjörätt,Maritime law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Achieving Sustainable Development – With focus on Dams and the Role of Japan},
  year         = {2010},
}