Global Environment Facility / United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

International Water Law and Water-Related Investments: Reconciling Divergent Legal Regimes

Thursday 01 September | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL Music Hall / Musiksalen
Dr. Susanne Schmeier

As ever more investment in water-related infrastructure is carried out by foreign investors, e.g. in the hydropower sector, international water law and international investment law need to be reconciled. Arrangements such as bilateral investment treaties or concession agreements for specific projects often provide for an extensive protection of the investor’s interests, potentially affecting socioeconomic or environmental considerations of the respective state. This is particularly problematic in the case of international watercourses, where the interests of co-riparian states and their socioeconomic development and environmental considerations are affected as well. The event focuses on the linkages (or the lack thereof) between international investment law and international water law and asks which steps could be undertaken by different stakeholders in order to enhance synergies between these two fields in order to strengthen the sustainable development of shared water resources.

Programme

09:00  Opening remarks

09:05 Key note address I – Reconciling international water and investment law: The water perspective
Prof Owen McIntyre, University of Cork

09:20 Key note address II – Reconciling international water and investment law: The investment perspective
Dr Ana Maria Daza, University of Edinburgh

09:40 Panel discussion: How to reconcile international water and investment law
Representatives of
- national ministries/investment and planning agencies
- River Basin Organizations
- the hydropower sector
- public and private investors
- the UNECE Water Convention
- UNESCO-IHE
- the World Bank

10:20 Summary of key messages and closing remarks
Dr Therese Sjömander-Magnusson, SIWI