Category Archives: Conflict

Iraq: Water, Water Nowhere (M. Chulov)

Author

Martin Chulov

Keywords

Drought, Iraq , dry river beds, salt flats, water, dams, river diversion, war, water management, migration

Abstract

The Guardian’s Baghdad correspondent, Martin Chulov, brings to life Iraq’s latest plague: drought. In southern Iraq, once the lavishly, fabled Garden of Eden, Chulov walks the dry river beds and salt flats that were the cradle of civilization. Iraq’s water troubles are manifold: dams and diversions by upstream neighbors choke supply; severe shortages leave many tributaries of the mighty Tigris and EuphratesRivers at a mere trickle; and years of war and turmoil have weakened the ability of the nation’s leaders to effectively manage water resources. Millions of Iraqis have already been forced to leave their homes and fields in search of opportunities elsewhere. Unless the government can develop the nation’s oil resources and shore up new industries, an even harsher future awaits those who have already withstood so much.

Citation

(2009/2010) 26 World Policy Journal 33-40

Paper

Iraq : Water, Water Nowhere

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Middle Eastern and North African Hydropolitics: From Eddies of Indecision to Emerging International Law (E. Burleson)

Author

Elizabeth Burleson ( University of South Dakota , USA )

Keywords

International Water Law, Groundwater, Aquifer, The Palestinian Authority, Israel, Middle East and North Africa, Conflict Resolution, Water Scarcity, Reasonable and Equitable Water Utilization, Joint Water Management, Adaptable Co-riparian Cooperation, United Nations, Dispute Resolution

Abstract

The death of Yasser Arafat, removal of Saddam Hussein, passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, and conflict in Sudan significantly alter the geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa. International law consists of the accretion of co-aquifer agreements as well as international treaties. Recent codification efforts have provided a framework with which co-aquifer states can address transboundary natural resources through flexible water use provisions, equitable distribution of water benefits, and strong dispute resolution mechanisms. This article applies the multifactor balancing test of the Draft Convention on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and analyzes Middle Eastern and North African hydropolitics in light of emerging international law.

Citation

(2006) 18 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 385

Paper

Middle Eastern and North African Hydropolitics: From Eddies of Indecision to Emerging International Law

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When Ambiguity in Treaty Design Becomes Destructive: A Study of Transboundary Water (I. Fischhendler)

Author

Itay Fischhendler (HebrewUniversity of Jerusalem)

Keywords

Water, ambiguity, natural resources, regulate, management, environmental regimes, destructive, conflict

Abstract

Ambiguity has a clear role in facilitating closure in negotiations to regulate natural resources. However, there are no empirical studies that examine whether such “constructive ambiguity” can in fact become destructive. The aim of the present study is thus to determine when ambiguity becomes destructive during the management phase of environmental regimes. The implementation of the Israeli-Jordanian water agreement is used as a case study. It was found that when political and hydrological conditions are unstable, the parties see the process of clarifying the ambiguities in a water agreement as broader than simply a question of bilateral relations over resource allocation. As a result, the cost of clarifying ambiguity at the implementation phase dramatically increases. The anatomy of resolving ambiguous agreements teaches us that there are early signs that indicate when ambiguity becomes destructive. Tracing these signals is crucial, since the cost of ambiguity is not linear. Rather, when a disagreement around ambiguity passes a threshold, it can escalate into a conflict in a very short time.

Citation

(2008) Global Environmental Politics 111-136

Paper

When Ambiguity in Treaty Design Becomes Destructive: A Study of Transboundary Water

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Farmer–herder conflicts, pastoral marginalisation and corruption (T.A. Benjaminsen & B. Ba)

Author(s)

Tor A Benjaminsen and Boubacar Ba

Keywords

Mali , farmer–herder conflicts, political ecology, rent seeking, corruption

Abstract

This study aims to explain a farmer–herder conflict in the inland Niger delta of Mali. We focus on the interests and motivations of the actors involved in the conflict and the rent seeking of the local administration in handling the conflict. Since independence, the customary pastoral leaders (the jowros) have gradually lost power and wealth to the benefit of previously underprivileged farmers (the rimaybé). We argue that this process is mainly the result of national policies and laws giving priority to agricultural development at the expense of pastoralism. The result has been large-scale conversions of dry season pastures to rice fields. This pastoral marginalisation also results in increased land use conflicts between herders and farmers. In addition, rent seeking by local officials is perpetuating land use conflicts in the area. Hence, officials are benefiting from conflicts, while especially pastoralists, but also farmers, are losing out. The droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, leading to a more rapid encroachment of rice fields on pastures, as well as the power vacuum that emerged in the early days of the decentralisation process, further aggravated land disputes. Finally, we use this case study to call for an inclusion of issues of rent seeking and corruption more centrally in political ecology.

Citation

(2009) 175 Geographical Journal 71-81

Paper

Farmer–herder conflicts, pastoral marginalisation and corruption: a case study from the inland Niger delta of Mali

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The Abyei arbitration: a model procedure for intra-state dispute settlement in resource-rich conflict areas?

Author(s)

Freya Baetens and Rumiana Yotova

Keywords

International law, Arbitral proceedings, Boundary disputes, International arbitration, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Sudan

Abstract

Considers why the parties in Re an Arbitration Before a Tribunal Constituted in Accordance with Article 5 of the Arbitration Agreement Between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement opted for the dispute to be administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Reviews the historic and legal background to the case and the specific procedural features of the case, particularly the fast-track requirements that the court should deliver its award within 90 days of the hearing. Assess the use of arbitration as a means of peaceful settlement of intra-state disputes over land and natural resources.

Citation

(2011) 3(10) Gottingen Journal of International Law 417-446

Paper

The Abyei arbitration: a model procedure for intra-state dispute settlement in resource-rich conflict areas?

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