At the World Meeting of Environmental Lawyers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ryan Stoa (GLOWS Program Executive Officer and Fellow in Water Law and Policy at FIU’s College of Law) spoke of the need to harmonize and integrate international water laws.
A side event that took place during the United Nation’s Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Meeting brought together environmental legal experts from around the world to discuss pressing issues and propose a way forward.
Harmonizing various legal instruments that codify or promote international water law – the Watercourses Convention and the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, in particular – would strengthen existing principles and lay a foundation for the development of a more robust and synergistic regime in water management worldwide, Stoa said in his presentation.
Stoa traced the history of international water laws and the role they have played in human society. While local water laws have been in place for millenia, international water laws are a relatively recent, albeit urgently needed, development.