How can government be dis/incentivized to offer an inclusive planning process?

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Key Question Categor(ies):Power and Politics


From: Efforts of Coordinating Joint Development of Hydropower Projects Within the Salween Basin

Upstream nations with superior strength can hinder joint management of river basins. China, with far more military might and economic power than both Thailand and Myanmar combined, has little incentive to work jointly with them in the management of the Salween River. Thailand and Myanmar's water resources from the Salween may be at great risk depending on what China decides to do on the upper part of the river.

From: Limited Sovereignty: The Lasting Effects of Uranium Mining on the Navajo Nation

The lasting impacts of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation have led to greater costs (environmental, health and economic) for the Navajo Nation and the United States government. In addition, the US government has also been criticized for its treatment of the Navajo population.

The US government, which often sees itself as a leader in the provision of fair judicial processes, has failed to protect the Navajo’s health and livelihoods. Navajo sovereignty is limited by the United States government. The structure of the government is not set up to best serve the Navajo Nation. Thus there are at least two different ways the US government could be incentivized to offer an inclusive planning process:

  • First, build a joint committee between the US government and the Navajo Nation to oversee all uranium mining. This would enable greater transparency and encourage more conversations and understanding of the variety of positions.
  • Second, the US government needs to recognize the full cost of the uranium cleanup. They have already spent more than $100m on assessment and cleanup. That adds to the total cost of uranium mining and decreases the total value. That funding is still minimal in comparison with what the US government may be spending in the future to continue to remediate the impacts.

From: Management of Fisheries in the High Seas of the Central Arctic Ocean

The case study is an example of taking a precautionary approach in fish stock management as it learns from previous experiences (Bearing sea case in 1970s that resulted in over exploitation of fish stocks)

From: Regular Complexities: Lebanon's Water Issues

The current state of mismanagement and authority provides a strong basis for an inclusive planning process. Top-down authority is weak already, thus including many local and regional actors should be natural. This also would help to address the regional power structures that have been outside the national government structure. Furthermore, the current challenges are large and require buy-in from the entire population. The government is under-resourced in staff capacity and financially (El-Fadel) so there should be a sizable incentive to bring additional parties into the planning process for ideas but also investment options.

From: Urmia Lake: The Need for Water Diplomacy

Urmia Lake Restoration program initiated Iran Department of Environment (DOE) has prepared a 10-year plan to restore the Lake Urmia. The plan includes different solutions with a 10 year horizon will maintain the lakes condition. In addition to this, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) is also in collaboration with DOE have concluded the following solution to survive the lake (UNDP and DOE 2013):

Urgent Actions (to be implemented within 1-2 years)

  • Strengthen the institutional structure
  • Update the Integrated Management Plan
  • Establish a Lake Urmia Sustainability Fund
  • Reduce agricultural water use
  • Mobilize a public campaign to conserve water
  • Ecological restoration of (part of) the lake – “embayment”
  • Implement health-protection measures (especially related to salt/dust storms)
  • Develop a monitoring system on the condition of the basin and the lake

Recommended medium-term actions

  • Prepare a long-term development vision for the Basin
  • Continue with water conservation measures
  • Do not prioritize certain supply-side measures
  • Optimize the water allocation system