9473 - Implementing Water Frameworks for Border Waters or Framing Borders with Water

We cannot deny the importance of socio-political interaction in cross-border environmental management (EM). Therefore, it is important to focus on regional efforts regarding EM, the availability or lack of public information of these topics, as well as a socio-political analysis of the current situation. Generally, studies on regional integration and EM focus on the relationships between large states. This proposed study examines the role of small states in regional environmental management. This paper examines the relationship between local governance institutions and regional cross border environmental water agencies/commissions in two cross-border cases involving small states: Germany-Luxembourg and Mexico-Belize. By comparing an “American” case with a European one, the paper addresses water management issues on a practical level but also contributes to the literature on small state theories in regional contexts.

The Germany-Luxembourg case is driven by European directives, namely the Water Framework Directive. Important questions include: Do regional institutions/efforts (such the Water Framework Directive – WFD) promote effective local governance arrangements, especially in small states? How can regional governance efforts such as the WFD, impact or affect cross-border cooperation between large and small states? Are there non institutional cross-border actors (border NGO’s, local social capital) involved in EM regionalization processes? If so, what is their role and how do they impact or affect cross-border environmental politics?

Conversely, the Mexico-Belize case is described as evolving in an incomplete legal and institutional context. Like other policy arenas where integration has occurred in the Americas, water management is often lacks transparency, public information and social participation. Thus, the project compares small state behavior in most different cases.

Keywords: water management, small states, comparative regional integration, Mexico, Belize

Author: Maganda, Carmen (University of Luxembourg, Luxemburg / Luxemburg)


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