The role of valuation and bargaining in optimising transboundary watercourse treaty regimes

Rafael Macatangay (Lead / Corresponding author), Alistair Rieu-Clarke (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    207 Downloads (Pure)


    In the face of water scarcity, growing water demands, population increase, ecosystem degradation, or climate change, transboundary watercourse states inevitably have to make difficult decisions on how finite quantities of water are distributed. Such waters, and their associated ecosystem services, offer multiple benefits. Valuation and bargaining can play a key role in the sharing of these ecosystems services and their associated benefits across sovereign borders. Ecosystem services in transboundary watercourses essentially constitute a portfolio of assets. While challenging, their commodification, which creates property rights, supports trading. Such trading offers a means by which to resolve conflicts over competing uses and allows states to optimise their ‘portfolios’. However, despite this potential, adoption of appropriate treaty frameworks that might facilitate a market-based approach to the discovery and allocation of water-related ecosystem services at the transboundary level remains both a challenge and a topic worthy of further study. Drawing upon concepts in law and economics, this paper therefore seeks to advance the study of how treaty frameworks might be developed in a way that supports such a market-based approach to ecosystem services and transboundary waters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)409-428
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
    Issue number3
    Early online date18 Apr 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


    • Asset management
    • Ecosystem services
    • Law and economics
    • Market-based approaches
    • Portfolio optimisation
    • Transboundary watercourses
    • Treaty regimes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Political Science and International Relations
    • Law


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