Stepping out of the ‘water-box’: re-thinking transboundary water cooperation

The management of transboundary water is a critical factor that affects environment, human security and development. Too often, there are tensions surrounding transboundary rivers as management of these rivers require sharing limited resources across borders and agreeing on management practices.

Effective cooperation over these transboundary natural resources would be a critical factor for sustainable development. Diplomacy efforts towards enhancing cooperation can take multiple tracks, and teaches us importance of understanding underlying factors affecting cooperation.

Dr. Yumiko Yasuda will share preliminary results from the Water Diplomacy project: a research consortium of 7 global partners that conducts legal political economy analysis of the Brahmaputra River and the Lower Jordan River. Through the analysis, the project also identifies Zone of Possible Effective Cooperation (ZOPEC), which will be discussed in the presentation. The talk will also touch upon key findings from Dr. Yasuda’s work on the Mekong River, analysing non-state actor’s engagement in transboundary water governance and influence of formal and informal rules and norms.

About the speaker
Dr Yumiko Yasuda is a postdoctoral researcher at the Hague Institute for Global Justice and the International Centre for Water Cooperation (UNESCO category II centre jointly established by the Stockholm International Water Institute and Uppsala University). Her area of expertise lies in analysis of water and environmental governance. Her recent work focuses on analysing governance of transboundary rivers and non-state actors’ engagement in natural resources management. She has worked with basins including the Brahmaputra, the Jordan and the Mekong river.

Yumiko’s research benefits from her prior experiences in working with water and environmental management globally while she worked for organizations including WWF, UNDP, Ericsson, and Mlup Baitong (local Cambodian NGO). Dr Yasuda is a PhD graduate from the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee (under the auspices of UNESCO).