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Protecting the Third Pole

Transplanting International Law Simon Marsden, Professor and Chair in Energy Law, School of Law, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Stirling, UK
This highly topical book considers the important question of how best to protect the environment of the Third Pole – the area comprising the Hindu Kush Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau – using the tool of international law. Following detailed analysis of the weaknesses in the current legal protections according to comparative legal theory, Simon Marsden recommends three potential options for implementation by policy and lawmakers.
Extent: c 328 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78643 740 2
Availability: Not yet published (pre-order)
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  • Environment
  • Environmental Law
  • Law - Academic
  • Asian Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Environmental Law
This highly topical book considers the important question of how best to protect the environment of the Third Pole – the area comprising the Hindu Kush Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau – using the tool of international law; specifically, international environmental law and the law of international watercourses. Following detailed analysis of weaknesses in current legal protections according to comparative legal theory, Simon Marsden recommends three potential options for implementation by policy and lawmakers.

The first option is to transplant existing international law, including conventions from the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the Council of Europe. Secondly, transplantation of a comprehensive international treaty, based upon the Alpine and Carpathian regimes, is suggested. The overwhelmingly European focus of the first two options, and possible contextual constraints to implementation, informs a third option: the development of a new treaty, giving appropriate attention to the Asian context on one hand, and the need for access of information and public participation on the other, to ensure effective implementation and compliance.

Taking a comparative, interdisciplinary approach, Protecting the Third Pole will be a key resource for legal and policy scholars. NGO’s and practitioners will also benefit from its detailed analysis.
‘This book offers an in-depth assessment of the relevance of international environmental law for protecting one of the world’s most fascinating ecological regions – the Hindu Kush Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. The Third Pole, as this high altitude area is known, is under enormous pressure from local, regional and global threats, including climate change. Marsden assesses the potential for ‘transplanting’ successful environmental regimes from other contexts to the Third Pole, and makes a major contribution to understanding the potential for enhanced environmental governance in this vital region.’
– Tim Stephens, University of Sydney, Australia

‘While to some extent international law protects the first two poles (the Arctic and Antarctic), it has largely been ignored for the Third Pole (the Hindu Kush Himalayas / Tibetan Plateau). This book responds to this by reviewing measures for Asia’s polar region. Supplementing analysis of customary international law with potential treaty law, it analyses the practicalities of legal borrowing together with the content of such measures. In doing so it provides an extremely welcome contribution to existing literature on international transplants and broadens the discipline of polar law.’
– Timo Koivurova, University of Lapland, Finland
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. International Legal Transplants 3. Developing Global Protected Areas 4. Connecting Area and Species Protection 5. Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment 6. Protection of International Rivers 7. Protection of Transfrontier Mountains Bibliography Index