Knowledge sharing & science-policy dialogue
4th Water and Peace Seminar “Cry me a River: the affective dimensions of water cooperation and conflict”
On 9-10 March 2022, IHE Delft organised the Fourth Water and Peace Seminar, focusing on affective factors influencing transboundary water cooperation and conflict. During the sessions on emotions, trust, art, informal connections, spirituality, and discourses, participants discussed the latest scientific approaches in analysing and studying these factors, and exchanged their experiences stemming from different transboundary river basins, such as Mekong, Zambezi, Brahmaputra, Nile, Syr Darya, Danube, and others.
More than 65 researchers, experts and practitioners joined the event both in-person and online, discussing the potential of affective aspects – which often are overlooked - to solve water-related conflicts and contribute to cooperation for a sustainable and equitable future. An impression of the workshop can be found here: https://www.un-ihe.org/stories/4th-water-and-peace-seminar-emotions-and-human-relations-key-water-diplomacy
Young Water Diplomats Program 2022
In January 2022, IHE Delft launched six-months Young Water Diplomats Program with 14 participants from 12 countries. The content of the program is designed to enhance an interdisciplinary understanding of transboundary water challenges and advance tools for water diplomacy, as well as to strengthen professional networking among the next generation of leading water and environmental diplomats. The completion of the program will enable early career diplomats to strengthen their expertise and skills in contributing to the prevention and mitigation of conflicts related to water and the environment, as well as to environmental peacebuilding.
The Program consists of online meetings and lectures twice a month and two in-person meetings with negotiation simulations and other group activities. More details about the Program here: https://www.un-ihe.org/young-water-diplomats-program. Some insights from participants can be found here: https://www.un-ihe.org/stories/young-water-diplomats-program-%E2%80%93-helping-future-leaders-learn-about-water
Meeting of early career scholars interested in water cooperation and diplomacy, July 7-8, 2021
Early career scholars of Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy organized an online meeting on July 7-8. Around 15 young scientists jointly discussed their ongoing research, including topics of transboundary benefits sharing, hydro-politics of transboundary water quality governance, power dynamics, management of transboundary wetlands, international environmental and water law, trust, and others in a variety of basins - Brahmaputra, Aral Sea, Okavango, Mekong, and others. Participants also had a chance to exchange thoughts about the ways how to strengthen and enlarge the network.
The initiative is lead by IHE Delft with the coordinating partners - The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) and University of Arizona, and with the support of scholars from University for Peace (UPEACE) and The Center for Central Asia Research at Corvinus University of Budapest.
The third Water and Peace Seminar was held on 8, 12 & 14 April 2021. In a three-part online seminar with more than 50 contributors and participants from all over the world discussed the roles of data and models in transboundary water governance. Data and models are generally approached as neutral. However, in discussions between states over transboundary waters, it becomes apparent that the ideas and visions on what needs to be discussed and what the world looks like, or should like, differ. Practitioners and researchers shared their experiences on, data, technology, and models, and finally, institutions, strategies, and trust. A Special Issue on the topic of ‘‘The Role of Data and Models in Transboundary Water Governance” will be published in the journal Water International in 2022. More information is available here https://www.un-ihe.org/news/water-and-peace-seminar-results
Water and Peace Seminar 2021 “Water cooperation, data and policy making”
Online cross-regional workshop ‘(En)Gendering Transboundary Water Governance: Feminist Perspectives on Water Conflict and Cooperation’.
On 29 and 30 September 2020, IHE Delft organized the online cross-regional workshop ‘(En)Gendering Transboundary Water Governance: Feminist Perspectives on Water Conflict and Cooperation’. It brought together academics and practitioners to shed light on the often hidden gender dynamics of water conflict and cooperation at transboundary level and on the implicit assumptions that guide research as well as policies. We also discussed ways (and obstacles) to foster more inclusive water diplomacy. A summarising blog post about the conference can be fund here .
Water and Peace Seminar
The annual Water & Peace Seminars brings together scientists, policy makers and practitioners to share experiences and gain more insights into transboundary water cooperation. In 2018, participants at the first seminar broadly discussed ‘The role of science in transboundary processes and agreements’. In 2019, the seminar focused on ‘Water security and the principle of no significant harm’.
The 3rd Water & Peace Seminar aims to better understand the role of data in science-policy interactions over transboundary water. It was planned for spring 2020 but is postponed to 2021.
The outcomes of Water and Peace Seminar 2018 are summarized here. The Water and Peace Seminar 2019 resulted in a Special Issue of ‘International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics’.
In 2019, IHE Delft co-organized the 10th Hydro-Hegemony Conference focussed on ‘The Power of Representation & the Representation of Power in Water Conflict and Cooperation’. The conference was organised together with Wageningen University & Research, King’s College London, the University of East Anglia, and the London Water Research Group, with additional support from the City of The Hague. In this collective blog, the conference organizers present a few of the insights shared by scientists, policymakers, practitioners and students from more than 25 countries.
From the Delta looking up
Experts and diplomats from six downstream countries exchanged experiences in an atmosphere of trust in Vlissingen, Zeeland, The Netherlands, from 12 to 14 September 2018. They shared experiences in transboundary water management, recognised commonalities and differences in approaches, and distilled lessons that may be useful for other downstream countries, as well as for their upstream counterparts. The lessons are compiled in the ‘Zeeland call for action’ that can be found here.