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.