On 13 January 2021, the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies and the Heidelberg Center Latin America (HCLA) held the second edition of the Chilean-German-Tanzanian Legal Talk about “Water Resources – Legal Protection and Conflicts”.
Again over 40 students and researchers from Germany, East Africa and Latin America took part in this multilateral academic exchange.
Organizer Dr Carolin Herzog opened the digital legal talk with a short welcome and remarked the internationality of this academic cooperation. She passed over to co-organizer and long-term DAAD lecturer Dr Sven Korzilius from the HCLA He presented the HCLA as an institution with its different collaborations in Chile and made a brief introduction about the first speaker, Prof. Dr. Omondi Robert Owino from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) School of Law. Prof. Dr. Omondi Robert Owino presented the “New Challenges in a Transboundary Watercourse: Retooling Cooperation in the Lake Victoria”. He gave insights into the ecosystem and the challenges it is facing, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution in the Lake Victoria. In addition, he recommended solitary solutions and retooling cooperation against the water pollution in the Lake.
The second presentation titled “Struggle over sustainable policy solutions. The case of water pollution by contaminants of emerging concern” was given by Simon Schaub, PhD Candidate from the Institute for Political Sciences, University of Heidelberg. He highlighted the main pressures on surface waters with a special reference to Germany, these are hydromorphological degradation, agriculture and human contaminants of emerging concern.
However, the regulatory response has been weak due to a stronger interest to achieve health security, strong influence by industrial actors and also because of a lack of concerted public efforts.
The third speaker, Prof. Dr. Pilar Moraga from the University of Chile, Faculty of Law, Center for Environmental Law presented on “Environmental and social conflicts: the Chilean glaciers”. She analyzed the content of environmental water conflicts including water quality, disposability, environmental damages and impacts including the example of the Pascua Lama Mining Project in Chile. Although there is a multiple existence of evidence for environmental conflicts, the regulations of adequate glaciers protection are insufficient and not effective and need to be changed in order to adequately protect them from anthropogenic influences.
The event ended with a fruitful and instructive discussion on the challenges in social and environmental climate conflicts. The final question of this event “Do climate refugees have a right to asylum?” opened a new thematic perspective for the following third Chilean-German-Tanzanian Legal Talk in May.
You are interested in learning more about water resources and its legal protections and conflicts, go to our YouTube Channel and find all of our legal talks.
Report by Ligia Link