Title: The Role of Law in Improving Water Quality
Event type: Seminar
Date: 2010-09-07
Time: 14:00 - 17:30
Convenor: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Room: K22

Event Description
The objective of this event is to discuss the role of law as a tool for improving water quality both at national level and under broader institutional arrangements that govern the use of transboundary river basins. Law is an effective tool that countries and regions can use to respond to water quality degradation. Although not yet universally accepted, environmental considerations are being increasingly integrated, alongside needs for consumption, sanitation, agriculture, and industry, into the drafting and implementation of water resource-related national and international policies and legislation to ensure that the water needs of the environment are taken into account. It is a process that could be described as the "greening" of water law.

The seminar will consider the foundations for "greening" water- related legislation, potential benefits and mechanisms, such as water permits and licenses, environmental impact assessments, minimum flow requirements, water allocations for environmental purposes, environmental services payments, etc. Invited speakers will engage with the audience in a stimulating discussion on the topic and highlight examples as well as lessons learned from considering the environmental dimension more prominently in water laws from around the world to help identify key "green" water law mechanisms that can be used in addressing current and future water quality problems.

Chair: Arnold Kreilhuber, UNEP


Welcome and Introduction, Arnold Kreilhuber, UNEP


Keynote address. Hon. Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water and Environment of Uganda


The Evolution of Water Law. Prof. Edith Brown Weiss, Professor of International Law, Georgetown University Law Center, USA


Key Trends and Mechanisms to strengthen the Role of Law in Improving Water Quality. Prof. Gabriel Eckstein, Texas Wesleyan University, USA; Director, International Water Law Project


Launch of UNEP publication "The 'Greening' of Water Law: Integrating Environmental Considerations in Water- related Legislation"


Coffee Break


Discussion and Panel debate 'The Role of Law in Improving Water Quality'


Closing remarks (UNEP)


Close of Seminar


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