Managing Common Pool Groundwater Resources: An International Perspective

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Enclosure was the process that ended those traditional rights, converting open fields to private property. Today, many commons still exist in England , Wales , Scotland , and the United States , although their extent is much reduced from the millions of acres that existed until the 17th century. The term "global commons" is typically used to indicate the earth's shared natural resources, such as the deep oceans , the atmosphere , outer space and the Northern and Southern polar regions , the Antarctic in particular. The only landmass that may be regarded as part of the global commons is Antarctica Today, the Internet , World Wide Web and resulting cyberspace are often referred to as global commons.

The key challenge of the global commons is the design of governance structures and management systems capable of addressing the complexity of multiple public and private interests, subject to often unpredictable changes, ranging from the local to the global level. There are several key differences in management of resources in the global commons from those of the commons, in general.

Also, there are differences in the shared culture and expectations of resource users; more localized commons users tend to be more homogeneous and global users more heterogeneous.

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This contributes to differences in the possibility and time it takes for new learning about resource usage to occur at the different levels. Moreover, global resource pools are less likely to be relatively stable and the dynamics are less easily understood. Many of the global commons are non-renewable on human time scales. Thus, resource degradation is more likely to be the result of unintended consequences that are unforeseen, not immediately observable, or not easily understood. For example, the carbon dioxide emissions that drive climate change continue to do so for at least a millennium after they enter the atmosphere [15] and species extinctions last forever.

Importantly, because there are significant differences in the benefits, costs, and interests at the global level, there are significant differences in externalities between more local resource uses and uses of global-level resources. Several environmental protocols have been established see List of international environmental agreements as a type of international law , "an intergovernmental document intended as legally binding with a primary stated purpose of preventing or managing human impacts on natural resources.

Often, they are slow to produce the desired effects, tend to the lowest common denominator , and lack monitoring and enforcement. They also take an incremental approach to solutions where sustainable development principles suggest that environmental concerns should be mainstream political issues.

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The global or world ocean , as the interconnected system of the Earth 's oceanic or marine waters that comprise the bulk of the hydrosphere , is a classic global commons. It is divided into a number of principal oceanic areas that are delimited by the continents and various oceanographic features.

In turn, oceanic waters are interspersed by many smaller seas, gulfs, and bays. Further, most freshwater bodies ultimately empty into the ocean and are derived through the Earth's water cycle from ocean waters.

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The Law of the Sea is a body of public international law governing relationships between nations in respect to navigational rights, mineral rights , and jurisdiction over coastal waters. Maritime law, also called Admiralty law , is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans.

It deals with matters including marine commerce, marine navigation , shipping , sailors , and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea. However, these bodies of law do little to nothing to protect deep oceans from human threats. In addition to providing significant means of transportation, a large proportion of all life on Earth exists in its ocean, which contains about times the habitable volume of terrestrial habitats.

Specific marine habitats include coral reefs , kelp forests , seagrass meadows , tidepools , muddy, sandy and rocky bottoms, and the open ocean pelagic zone, where solid objects are rare and the surface of the water is the only visible boundary. The organisms studied range from microscopic phytoplankton and zooplankton to huge cetaceans whales 30 meters 98 feet in length.

At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet.

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India must treat groundwater as a common resource, not private property

Marine life resources provide food especially food fish , medicines, and raw materials. It is also becoming understood that the well-being of marine organisms and other organisms are linked in very fundamental ways. The human body of knowledge regarding the relationship between life in the sea and important cycles is rapidly growing, with new discoveries being made nearly every day. These cycles include those of matter such as the carbon cycle and of air such as Earth's respiration , and movement of energy through ecosystems including the ocean.

Marine organisms contribute significantly to the oxygen cycle , and are involved in the regulation of the Earth's climate. The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP has identified several areas of need in managing the global ocean: strengthen national capacities for action, especially in developing countries; improve fisheries management; reinforce cooperation in semi-enclosed and regional seas; strengthen controls over ocean disposal of hazardous and nuclear wastes; and advance the Law of the Sea. Specific problems identified as in need of attention include rising sea levels ; contamination by hazardours chemicals including oil spills ; microbiological contamination; ocean acidification; harmful algal blooms ; and over-fishing and other overexploitation.

The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. A primary concern for management of the global atmosphere is air pollution , the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals , particulates , or biological materials that cause discomfort, disease, or death to humans, damage other living organisms such as food crops, or damage the natural environment or built environment.

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Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems. Pollution of breathable air is a central problem in the management of the global commons. Pollutants can be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases and may be natural or man-made. Although controversial and limited in scope by methods of enforcement, in several parts of the world the polluter pays principle , which makes the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment , is accepted.

It is also known as extended producer responsibility EPR. EPR seeks to shift the responsibility dealing with waste from governments and thus, taxpayers and society at large to the entities producing it. In effect, it attempts to internalise the cost of waste disposal into the cost of the product, theoretically resulting in producers improving the waste profile of their products, decreasing waste and increasing possibilities for reuse and recycling.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer , or Montreal Protocol a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer , is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on 16 September , and entered into force on 1 January Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth 's surface, which has been observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the s.

Global dimming is thought to have been caused by an increase in particulates such as sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere due to human action. Global dimming also creates a cooling effect that may have partially masked the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming. Along with global warming, generalized climate change is an ongoing global commons concern.

Although global warming is now a generally accepted scientific observation, the precise causes of global warming are still a matter of research and debate. The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and prevent potentially harmful anthropogenic i.

The Council operates on consensus basis, mostly dealing with environmental treaties and not addressing boundary or resource disputes.

The treaty, entering into force in and currently having 50 signatory nations, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. Climate change in the Arctic region is leading to widespread ecosystem restructuring. Changes in ocean circulation appear responsible for the first exchanges of zooplankton between the North Pacific and North Atlantic regions in perhaps , years.

These changes can allow the transmission of diseases from subarctic animals to Arctic ones, and vice versa, posing an additional threat to species already stressed by habitat loss and other impacts. Where these changes lead is not yet clear, but are likely to have far-reaching impacts on Arctic marine ecosystems.

These conclusions which are of interest for Morocco and the whole Mediterranean will be promoted as a regional, Mediterranean contribution for the World Water Forum in Korea. Affiche Allocution M. Organisation travaux de groupe J1 26 mars Organisation travaux de groupes J2 27 mars Restitution travaux de groupes J1 26 mars Restitution travaux de groupes J2 27 mars. Subscriber sign in. Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. Search within Show Summary Details Summary and Keywords Watersheds are physical regions from which all arriving water flows to a single exit point.

Brent M. Haddad University of California Santa Cruz.


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