Workshop on "Trans-boundary Water Diplomacy, Mediation & Conflict Resolution and Cooperation" with Ms. Dena Marshall

Faculty: 

Riphah Institute of Public Policy 

Riphah International University Islamabad

 

Riphah Institute of Public Policy organized a workshop on "Transboundary Water Diplomacy, Mediation & Conflict Resolution and Cooperation" on Thursday 26th April 2018. Ms. Dena Marshall Us - Fulbright Specialist from Oregon United States who has the rich experience in International Law and Trans-boundary Diplomacy was the main speaker. 

The workshop provided a platform to share experiences, good practices, challenges faced and lessons learnt from transboundary basins where work has been carried out to better understand, analyze and communicate the benefits of transboundary water cooperation as well as the cost of inaction, but also transboundary basins where development has been guided by common benefits and benefit sharing arrangements.

The availability, allocation and access of water resources determine the well-being, prosperity and stability of societies worldwide. Currently, the demand for freshwater is increasing everywhere, which is leading to situations of unbalanced distribution and tensions among users. Water issues (local as well as transboundary) are complex because of their intricate coupling with multiple issues within the natural and societal domains. In cases of (potential) conflict, involved parties will need to find ways to address the tensions, in order to prevent escalation. Water diplomacy, therefore, is anticipated to play an increasingly important role in preventing, mitigating and resolving the growing water-related conflicts. Consequently, water diplomacy related efforts can and will take place at many levels. This can include high-level diplomatic delegations of riparian states solving transboundary water allocation issues through formal discussions, or building relationships through unofficial dialogue. It encompasses research, fact-finding and “independent” sourcing and investigating. It demands a common base, understanding and data-sets that inform diplomacy (for example information on water availability and water use, impacts of climate change, policy-economy, legal, social, historical and cultural aspects, etc.). It could also involve business interests, with individuals and private groups building people-to-people relationships at the grassroots level.Water scarcity poses a threat to human health and sanitation and can threaten socio-economic development and political stability. Some security experts warn that dwindling water resources could spark future conflicts between countries. The availability, allocation and access of water resources determine the well-being, prosperity and stability of societies worldwide. Currently, the demand for freshwater is increasing everywhere, which is leading to situations of unbalanced distribution and tensions among users. Water issues (local as well as transboundary) are complex because of their intricate coupling with multiple issues within the natural and societal domains. In cases of (potential) conflict, involved parties will need to find ways to address the tensions, in order to prevent escalation. Water diplomacy, therefore, is anticipated to play an increasingly important role in preventing, mitigating and resolving the growing water-related conflicts. Consequently, water diplomacy related efforts can and will take place at many levels. This can include high-level diplomatic delegations of riparian states solving transboundary water allocation issues through formal discussions, or building relationships through unofficial dialogue. It encompasses research, fact-finding and “independent” sourcing and investigating. It demands a common base, understanding and data-sets that inform diplomacy (for example information on water availability and water use, impacts of climate change, policy-economy, legal, social, historical and cultural aspects, etc.). It could also involve business interests, with individuals and private groups building people-to-people relationships at the grassroots level.

 

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