Knowledge sharing & science-policy dialogue
Opening of the Young Water Diplomats Programme 2023
The opening meeting of the second edition of the Young Water Diplomats Programme 2023 took place on 5 January 2023. 18 participants from four continents will come together in the online and in-person meetings during the next six months to learn about natural and technical processes of water management and governance, and to create a network of young water diplomats working around the globe.
Launch of the book on Gender dynamics in transboundary water governance
On 3 November 2022, the launch of the book on gender dynamics in transboundary water governance was marked with a panel debate to highlight what can be learnt from a feminist perspective on water conflict and cooperation. Around 30 participants joined in the Hague Humanity Hub and 50 more online for an interactive discussion how a feminist (water) diplomacy can contribute to more equitable transboundary water governance. Learn more about the book here.
Concluding events of the Young Water Diplomats Program 2022
Thirteen participants of the Young Water Diplomats Program in 2022 finalized their studies and received certificates from IHE during a four day workshop in June 2022. The concluding events included a workshop on "Governance of transboundary water resources and drivers of conflicts" where participants presented about transboundary basins of their choice, a two days training at Clingendael Institute of International Relations, and a roundtable discussion with water diplomats. Diego Jara from IUCN as well as Joyeeta Gupta and Mohd Faisee from IHE shared their experiences in water diplomacy during an interactive Roundtable discussion moderated by Susanne Schmeier.
The Second Hydrohegemony Conference
On May 24-25 IHE Delft, together with the Wageningen University, University of Geneva (Geneva Water Hub), King’s College London and the Municipality of The Hague co-hosted the second Hydrohegemony workshop with the title: Water diplomacy isn’t what you think it is – taking a processual view. The workshop brought together more than forty academia representatives and practitioners in The Hague to think together about water diplomacy and the role that power plays in it. Special attention was given to young scholars who participated in the event.
The first day was dedicated to reconceptualizing water diplomacy and discussing specific aspects of it, while the second day was organized with presentations about water diplomacy in different transboundary basins of the world. It is expected to continue this series of Hydrohegemony workshops in future to maintain dialogue among scholars and practitioners engaged with water diplomacy.
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
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.