13. Resources in International Waters, Airspace & Territories

Commercial parties involved with fishing, harvesting, or gathering any natural resources in international waters (or international airspace or astronomical object) should be required to obtain permits from an international organization that is responsible for regulating all activities taking place in international spaces. Income generated from such activities should be taxed at a rate equivalent to the business income tax rates proposed elsewhere in these Policy Proposals. The revenues generated would mainly go towards funding this international organization with smaller portions being given to countries ecologically nearer to or surrounding the specific bodies of international water or airspace in which the activities are planned.

Resource distribution between territories should naturally be based on where the resources are located.

This principle often seems to be the most difficult to apply on the contentious issue of water rights because of its fluidity and rapid natural transport. The most logical way to resolve these issues is to define ownership largely as to where the water originally fell from the sky.

For example, in Egypt and the entire Nile River watershed, as in most parts of the world, water falls in vastly different amounts throughout the watershed. ┬áJust like any natural resource distribution, territorial ownership of vastly differing amounts of a resource must just be accepted as a natural fact. Thus, Ethiopia, which is responsible for the generation of nearly two-thirds of the the lower Nile river’s flow, should be entitled to use virtually this entire amount. Egypt, on the other hand, contributes very little precipitation within the Nile watershed, and thus, is entitled to use very little. All the water that flows in from upstream neighbors should rightly belong to the country into which it flows unless the upstream country has explicitly reserved the right to designate that water for some restricted use, such as in-stream, non-consumptive environmental uses. Egypt’s creation of facts on the ground (large population size, irrigation infrastructures, or other water dependent activities) should not be regarded as valid reasons to claim a larger amount of water than rightfully falls on its territories or flows freely into the country.

Leave a Reply