Transboundary environmental assessment in the Aral Sea basin: the interplay of international and domestic law

Dinara R. Ziganshina


Scientific Article


This paper discusses the interplay between domestic law and international law taking the example of transboundary environmental assessment. Tracing historical evolution of environmental assessment at domestic and international planes and analyzing legal frameworks that regulate environmental assessment as applied to transboundary waters in the Aral Sea basin, the paper demonstrates how international law and domestic law interact and influence each other in various instances, including norm formation, interpretation, implementation and application. The obligations to conduct transboundary environmental assessment deserve a special attention in the context of the current large scale hydropower development in the Aral Sea basin, shared by Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. While the countries’ economies and livelihoods of their population depend profoundly on the availability and quality of the basin’s waters, such dependency exacerbated a delicate ecological balance in the region and put under stress its environmental integrity.

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Central Asia, national law, transboundary waters

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