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Benefit sharing in international rivers: A Q-methodology study of regional understanding and perception in Asia

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Article number0280625
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/01/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number1
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)1-22
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study aims to identify and examine the different perception of benefit sharing in the sharing of international rivers in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Using the Q-Method, this study undertakes an in-depth analysis of the views of 35 experts of the field on hydrodiplomacy, international water law, benefit sharing and ecological benefits compensation. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis help to innovatively identify three streams of views among the participants, respectively described as supporters, idealists and pragmatists, each displaying strong geographical association to the three Asian regions. Supporters from Southeast Asia and pragmatists from China share much common ground on issues such as the types of benefits to share in international rivers, potentially providing the conceptual foundation for international cooperation. Idealists from South Asia prioritize and emphasise the role and importance of environmental benefits and ecological protection, yet differ greatly from the others on practical issues such as the inclusion of direct economic benefits and ecological compensation for using resources. This study contributes to the understanding of the theory and practice of benefit sharing in international rivers, as well as providing new perspectives to the interpretation and practice of hydrodiplomacy in Asian regions.