The Caspian Sea Convention should be taken as an example, or a path to follow, when it comes to the regulation of inland water masses.

The ratification of the Caspian Sea Convention represents a milestone regarding the diplomatic establishment of legal frameworks to protect an inland mass of water, as these ecosystems are some of the most delicate and vulnerable in the world. In the article ‘Impacts on inland aquatic ecosystems’, authors Miguel Cobelas, Jordi Catalán, and Diego García mention the difficulties these ecosystems have in adapting to environmental changes—they are mostly closed and usually depend on very specific environmental conditions; thus they might have trouble resisting pollutants and environmental changes. The Aral Sea is a perfect example of this. The Aral Sea example also highlights the necessity of cooperation between all countries who have a share of the coast in order to protect the whole area; as well as for diplomatic agreements to be reached promptly, for the lack of agreements, paired with national animosities, have pushed the lake to the brink of complete desiccation. The Caspian Sea Convention should be taken as an example, or a path to follow. The pollutant effects of some coastal nations can easily overcome the protective measures of the others. But the Aral Sea also needs guidance on how to regulate and protect the sources of water that provide for the lakes and inland seas. The rivalries between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, through which the rivers that lead to the Caspian Sea run, have avoided any agreement on the matter, which has led to one of the worst environmental disasters in recent history. I believe that an international agreement should be reached regarding the protection of rivers and is sources as well as inland water masses, for there are several cases in which projects performed by a single nation over a certain river can negatively impact the lives of millions abroad. In the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia’s hydro-logic initiatives to bolster the production of hydroelectricity should take into consideration its externalities on the surrounding nations. On a completely different scale is the case of China. Its control over the Tibetan Plateau puts in its hands the origins of some of the world’s most important rivers, such as the Indus, the Ganges, the Mekong, the Yellow River and the Yangtse. According to Madeleine Lovelle in its article ‘Tibet: A Major Source of Asia’s Rivers’, around 46% of the world’s population depends on rivers which have its origins in Tibet. This places plenty of responsibility on China and makes a strong case for international regulation. Finally, and going back again to lakes and inland seas, I would like to place the attention in a water mass that, even though is not exactly a landlocked sea, shares some of its characteristics. That is the Mediterranean Sea. With its exchange of water with the rest of the Ocean limited to the Gibraltar Strait and the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean ecosystem should be strongly protected and a legal framework, ambitious in its scope, established to regulate the economic activities that take place on it, with special emphasis on fishing. The Mediterranean has provided families of countless nations over the centuries, including my own, and it is imperative that we help it continue doing so for future generations to come.