Transboundary Water Disputes in Asia: The Civil Society Dimension

Stream: Panel 87 - Environmental Politics: Cooperation and Conflict over Water and Forests 
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm


Whether cooperation or conflict prevails over the disputed transboundary rivers that cut across developing Asia has proven to be an exceedingly important question—one which impinges on regional stability and security. This paper examines the different types of non-state actors involved in the management of transboundary rivers in Asia. Focusing on unresolved disputes over the utilization of the Mekong, Nu-Salween and Brahmaputra rivers’ water resources, it argues that aside from riparian governments, non-state actors—namely, civil society and the private sector—have also informed the agenda on water management within these cases. In particular, civil society actors are shown to play an important role in catalyzing and framing the nature of these water disputes at the national and regional levels, with cascading consequences for global water governance.


PIchamon Yeophantong (Presenter), UNSW
Dr Pichamon Yeophantong is Lecturer in International Relations and Development at UNSW Australia, and leads the Environmental Justice and Human Rights in Asia Project at the Australian Human Rights Centre. She is also a Research Associate at the Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford.