Transboundary Impact Assessment
and Water Governance

About Core Research 1:
"Transboundary Impact Assessment and Water Governance"

In many of the arid and semi arid areas of the world it is feared that the scarcity of water resources will become ever more severe in the near future along with the rapid increase in population, triggering domestic and international conflicts over the limited water resources. In order to avoid such situation, it is crucial to promote the development and more efficient utilization of water resources. This research project looks into two major issues for which the establishment of a universal code of conduct is recognized as an imminent task of the international community: "Care for the natural and human environment at the time of dam construction" and "Cooperation building among riparian countries of international water basins." The research work has been carried out with a team of international academics and experts in the fields of both natural and social sciences.


Care for the national and human environment at the time of dam construction
A great deal of discussions have been going on regarding this issue. In 2000 the World Commission on Dams (WCD) proposed a guideline for international code of conduct, but thus far it fails to enjoy warm welcome from the international community. In order to achieve a widely accepted and workable universal code of conduct, it is necessary to study past cases of dam constructions in various parts of the world and thus examine and make suggestions to improve the applicability of WCD's guideline.


Cooperation building among riparian countries of international water basins
In 1997 the Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses was adopted by the UN General Assembly, as an international code of conduct regarding this issue. At the moment it has been ratified only by a small number of countries, and there is no immediate prospect for this convention to come into effect in the near future. The current research project tries to examine the applicability and potential effectiveness of this convention, by looking into various cases where sharing of international water resources was in the past or is at present a problematique.




Study Groups

In recent years Prof. Nakayama has initiated two study groups with his students and fellow scholars who share the academic interest in the issues of transboundary water management. One is "Transbondary Impact Assessment (TIA) Study Group", and the other, and more recently established, is "Hydropolitics Study Groups". The past study group meetings featured the following presentations.



TIA Study Group

(1) 11 May 2004

Takahiro Endo, Faculty of Law, Keio University
"A Study of the Harmon Doctrine: the case of the Euphrates"

Ayumi Suda, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
 "Transboundary impact assessment and public participation in Europe: framework and case studies"

Prof. Katsuhiko Mori, College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University
 "Global Water Governance: from Johannesburg to Kyoto, Shiga, and Osaka"

(2) 29 June 2004

Hiromi Yamaguchi, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University
"Public participation as a strategy for project implementation in international river basins: a case from Costa Rica"

Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo (Handout in PDF format)
"Incentives for Cooperative Resource Management in International Rivers: Example of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project"

Ikuko Yabunami, Graduate School of International Communication, Rikkyo University
"Environmental education in international basin countries within the framework of the Ramsar Convention - with some case studies"

(3) 9 September 2004

Carl Bruch, Esq., Legal Officer, UNEP, Washington, D.C., USA
"Lessons for Developing a Charter"

Prof. Faisai Rifai, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Aleppo, Syria
"Joint Development Project for the Euphrates-Tigris Basin"

Dr. Kazimierz A. Salewicz, System Analyst, Austria
 "Experiences in application of decision support systems for consensus building in international waters - from stand-alone to Internet-based DSS"

Dr. Dann Sklarew, IW: LEARN, Washington, D.C., USA
 "Strengthen transboundary waters management (TWM) via information sharing and learning among stakeholders"

(4) 16 November 2004

Kumi Furuyashiki, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"UNEP-ELI-ToU Joint TIA Project: Assessing the Assessments -  Overview and Brainstorming"

Kayo Onishi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Report from the International Conference on Advances in Integrated Mekong River Management"

Prof. Mikiyasu Nakayama, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Factors for consensus building among basin countries: consideration from construction projects in international river basins"

(5) 4 March 2005

Dr. Aysegul Kibaroglu, Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
 "Evolving discourses and practices on integrated water management in the Tigris-Euphrates basin"

Prof. Mukdad H. Ali, Water Resources and Environmental Studies, College of Science, Baghad University, Iraq
 "Transboundary Rivers and Water Ways Along the Iraqi-Iranian Borderline - the Reality and Future"

Prof. Slobodan Simonovic, Department of Civil Engineering, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario, Canada "Computer Support for Implementation of a Systemic Approach to Water Conflict Resolution"

(6) 19 May 2005

Dr. Michael Glantz , Director, Center for Capacity Building, National Center for Atmospheric Research, U.S.A.
"Aral Affairs: The science, impacts, policy and ethics of environmental degradation in Central Asia"

(7) 3 June 2005

Dr. Anthony Turton, Head, African Water Issues Research Unit, University of Pretoria, South Africa
"Transboundary Water Resource Management in Southern Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Lessons"

(8) 14 July 2005

Taro Katsurai, Japan Bank for International Cooperation
"Regional problems of Central Asia and the current situation of regional cooperation: reflection upon the International Conference on Regional Cooperation in Transboundary River Basins"

Kenji Nagai, Japan International Cooperation Agency
"Amu Darya as an international river and Tajikistan"

Prof. Yoshinobu Kitamura, Department of Agriculture, Tottori University
"Sir Darya - competition for water use between the upper and lower basins and soil degradation"

(9) 30 August 2005

Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Hegemons in Hydropolitics: Theoretical Discussions on "Hegemonic Cooperation""

Shuntaro Yamamoto, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo
"From conflict to consensus: a case of conflict over the Indus between 1947-1960"

Prof. Mikiyasu Nakayama & Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Universities Partnership for Transboundary Waters"


Hydropolitics Study Group

(1) 16-18 February 2005

Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Understanding works of John Waterbury and Miriam Lowi: Discussion on the framework for analysis in Hydropolitics"

Takahiro Endo, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
"What is "politics of water"? - Hydropolitics and Hydro "politics" "

Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"What are the Implications of the "water wars" discourse in Hydropolitics?"

(2) 17-18 March 2005

Naho Mirumachi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Scale and Ranges of Hydropolitics"

Kayo Onishi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Hydropolitics and theoretical contribution of international relations"

Kayo Onishi, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
"Looking at the Mekong as cooperation studies"

(3) 20-21 April 2005

Reading and discussing publications by John Waterbury:

Hydropolitics of the Nile Valley (Syracuse University Press, 1979); and

The Nile Basin: National Determinants of Collective Action (Yale University Press, 2002).

(4) 28 May 2005

Reading and discussing papers by Anthony Turton:

Hydropolitics and Security Complex Theory: An African Perspective (2002), paper presented at the 4th Pan European International Relations Conference, University of Kent, Sept 8-10, 2001;

"Water and State Soverignty: The Hydropolitical Challenge for States in Arid Regions" (1999)In Wolf, A. (Ed.). 2002. Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Water Systems. In The Management of Water Resources series (Ed. C.W. Howe). Cheltenham, UK: Elgar; and

Hydropolitics in the Developing World: A Southern African Perspective (2002).

(5) 3 June 2005

Discussion with Dr. Anthony Turton, Head, African Water Issues Research Unit, University of Pretoria, South Africa

(6) 15-16 July 2005

Preparatory meeting for the planned publication:
"Hydropolitics - the politics of transboundary waters management" (tentative title)



For more information contact:

Prof. Mikiyasu Nakayama
Institute of Environmental Studies
Graduate School of Frontier Science
The University of Tokyo

7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan
Email: nakayama@k.u-tokyo.ac.jp


Last updated: 24th September 2005