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Convention on the Protection of the Rhine
Kiss A. (1985), “The Protection of the Rhine Against Pollution”, Natural Resources Journal, 25, 613-637.

Mostert E. (2009), “International Co-operation on Rhine Water Quality 1945-2008: An Example to Follow?”, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 34:4, 142-149.

Abstract: The management of the Rhine is often seen as an exemplary case of international river basin management. In the Rhine basin, countries that went to war with each other twice in the last century have managed to reach agreements on many issues and water quality has improved considerably. The improvement in water quality is often attributed to the activities of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine and in particular to its Rhine Action Plan. In order to test this assertion, this paper describes and analyzes the development of international co-operation on the water quality of the Rhine since 1945. It concludes that water quality improvement cannot be attributed to any single factor. Instead, a whole array of interrelated factors are at play, including the European Union, other international fora such as the North Sea Ministerial Conferences, domestic legislation, the activities of environmental NGOs and waterworks, growing environmental awareness, and the changing structure of the industry in the basin. Because of the importance of contextual factors, the Rhine experiences cannot simply be applied to basins with a different context. In many cases, international river basin management may be promoted most effectively by promoting co-operation at the river basin level. In many other cases, however, it may be more effective to identify and then work on the contextual factors that (1) have the biggest leverage effect in the specific case and (2) can be influenced most effectively.