The principles and procedures which comprise International Water Law have developed rapidly in recent years but many uncertainties remain, due in large part to the emergence of a number of novel challenges in international water resources management. The CEL Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands (SGWW) is engaged in a comprehensive and in-depth examination of international best practice in respect of three key issues currently arising in the practice of International Water Law:
1. The Role of International Water Law in Climate Change Adaptation;
2. Legal and Institutional Arrangements for Sustainable Transboundary Water Cooperation;
3. Human Rights Based Approaches to International Water Governance.
Each of these issues presents pressing challenges in respect of, inter alia:
- the sustainable use of increasingly scarce water resources;
- the effective integration of environmental values into regimes for the utilisation of shared waters;
- the effective protection and conservation of ecosystems associated with international watercourses;
- the equitable access of individuals and communities to the benefits of shared international water resources; and
- the emergence of a set of global good governance values which inform both the development and application of both International Environmental Law and International Water Resources Law.
The SGWW is made up of over 60 leading academics, practitioners, international civil servants and civil society actors with expertise in International Water Law. It serves to analyse, communicate and progressively develop this important area of legal discourse and has identified the three issues listed above as overdue for in-depth analysis. It is committed to the preparation of reports on each, identifying progressive solutions on the basis of best practice. The SGWW welcomes the opportunity to engage on these solutions with the broad constituency of interested stakeholders in attendance at the Congress.