Sustainable development of international watercourses in international law: a case study of the Mekong river basin

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Pichyakorn, Bantita

The conflicts between environmental protection and the need to promote developmental growth are becoming increasingly imperative. The concept of sustainable development was created to reconcile the above conflict between these two extremes in order to ensure that an adequate quantity of natural resources and a good quality of environment are preserved for longer term purposes and for the uses of future generations. This study examines the development of this concept at international level and its impacts upon international law governing the use of international watercourses in particular. The Mekong River Basin is analysed as a case study in order to illustrate that this concept has given rise to development of the legal framework of this region.\ud \ud To examine these issues, this study is divided into five chapters. It begins by dealing with development of the concept of sustainable development at international level and\ud issues arising from the law in the field of sustainable development after Rio. Chapter 2 focuses on the impact of this concept upon international watercourses law. Chapter 3 emphasises the significance of the effects of sustainable development upon the legal framework of the Mekong River Basin as indicated in the 1995 Mekong Agreement.\ud Mechanisms adopted in this instrument to implement the above concept are also analysed. Chapter 4 illustrates problems and prospects regarding implementation of the concept of sustainable development and operation of the 1995 Mekong Agreement. Chapter 5 presents a conclusion of the study.\ud \ud This thesis shows that sustainable development is a difficult concept to define and implement. The Mekong Agreement makes an attempt, a laudable one, to implement certain aspects of it in relation to an international watercourse. Some aspects are successfully implemented but some are not. The Mekong Agreement is an important treaty from environmental, sustainable development and water resources points of view.
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