International and global issues​

Regional and international governance

(climate change, environment, disaster management, coastal adaptation against sea level rise, arctic waters, etc.)


International perspective on water governance

Our multidisciplinary research team explores water related issues and priorities at the regional and international level. Research initiatives are divided into five research priorities:

Water, Sustainable development, and climate change

Freshwater and oceans are threatened by several environmental issues that have generated social movements and international initiatives since the Brundtland report in 1987. Water pollution, invasive species, microbeads, threatened species, maritime transportation are not new issues, but they are certainly aggravated by climate change. Our research team explores the various perspectives, policies, and laws as well as regional and international governance mechanisms through which a wide range of policy and social actors protect water ecosystems with a long-term vision rooted in sustainable development.

Water Governance and Environmental International Law

The management and governance of freshwater and oceans is a global issue. International institutions and judicial institutions explore mechanisms through which they can better protect and manage this finite resource. Our research team analyses emerging perspectives, theories and judicial doctrines in International Water governance and Environmental International Law, and how they can be applied to better understand current governance challenges and opportunities.

Water and Disaster management

Water is not only a vital resource for the human being, it also represents a growing threat to its existence. Recurring episodes of droughts, the depletion of underground water, the changing water levels, extreme weather events, the growing pollution threaten communities worldwide. Our research team explores emergency management and preparedness mechanisms and tools to increase the resilience of communities.

Adaptation and coastal management in response to sea level rise

Sea level rise, a direct consequence of climate change, is becoming a growing threat for cities and communities living along seas and oceans. Several cities (ie. Miami, New York, Venice), islands (ie. Tuvalu, Prince-Edward-island), and countries are experiencing rapid coastal erosion and expansion of ocean water onto land. Our research team studies tools, policies and initiatives that are deployed by governments to sustain coastal adaptation to cope with sea level rise.

Arctic Ocean governance and Arctic freshwater

Although Antarctica is considered a global commons, the Arctic is not, despite being one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. Since 2011, the Arctic Council develop policy and quasi-judicial instruments to regulate and protect the Arctic Ocean including the Polar Code and international instruments to prepare and respond to marine pollution. Our research teams studies governance and judicial instruments and mechanisms through which the Arctic Council and Indigenous communities (can) protect this fragile ecosystem as the melting of ice capis accelerating the race to access the North-Ouest and North-East passages.

Our research team is also interested in exploring international and regional perspectives to freshwater management and governance. Several worldwide jurisdictions have developed and implemented various strategies, policies, policy instruments, and laws that aim to foster a more collaborative, efficient, and effective governance and management of freshwater. In the current Canadian context, what can we learn from these international initiatives, experiences, strategies and models? The study of their characteristics, their successes and challenges are an important source of knowledge, particularly as the Federal government develops the new Canada Water Agency.