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International Lending Agencies and Regional Environmental Cooperation in the Black and Caspian Seas

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Matthews, Mary M.
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/676
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Global Commons
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--policy
water resources
Black Sea
Caspian Sea
environmental degradation
transboundary disputes
Abstract: "How do international lending agencies influence domestic policy makers decisions to join international regional environmental regimes? Why does a regime form in one region and not in another similar region when there is a clear need for cooperation in each case? This paper seeks to address these questions specific to the Black and Caspian Sea regions. Both Seas suffer from nearly catastrophic environmental degradation, both are mostly surrounded by former Soviet Bloc states, and all states involved are struggling under challenging economic conditions. Yet the Caspian Sea Region has no regime of cooperation to care for the environment, while the Black Sea Region has implemented an environmental regime charged with overseeing and improving the ecological conditions of the shared sea. "Employing empirical data, it is hypothesized that domestic policy-makers choose to join regional regimes to protect the environment of a commonly held sea only when it is clearly within their economic interests. Conversely, when there are alternative sources for domestic economic gain that may be hampered by joining such regimes, cooperation among states becomes less appealing to the domestic policymakers. When domestic policymakers do not see clear incentives for environmental cooperation, such regimes are unlikely to form. Hence the role of international lending agencies to induce cooperation among states is often perceived by policy makers in terms of economic payoffs for cooperation, versus cooperation leading to the potential decrease of income from other sources. When there are not other sources of income that are adversely affected by cooperation though, international lending agencies are more able to induce cooperative behavior, especially if there are clear economic incentives tied to this behavior. This paper will tests these assumptions to determine how cooperative regimes emerge in areas of profound environmental degradation, and how much impact international lending agencies actually have on the formation of these regimes by inducing cooperation."

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