Blue Peace Bulletin - "Protection Of Water: Local Solutions"

MUMBAI, India

Niranjana Menon, Research Analyst with international think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) "Water Diplomacy Talks" audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of SFG’s sixth Blue Peace Bulletin, "Protection Of Water: Local Solutions", which can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

Background

Since the advent of human conflict, various forms of conflict resolution methods have been created in different countries, from traditional means of resolving disputes through the assistance of village elders and local leaders, to more formal means such as signing of water-sharing agreements. It is imperative to analyze the positive impact of traditional conflict resolutions mechanisms in order to understand the manner in which similar local solutions can be adopted to prevent or curb other localized disputes.

The latest Blue Peace Bulletin describes instances where people have had faith in traditional means of conflict resolution over water related disputes as compared to established international practices, outlining circumstances where traditional means of conflict resolution may be favored. Bulletin author Niranjana Menon is a Research Analyst with the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG). She works on water diplomacy in the Middle East region. Prior to joining SFG, Niranjana worked with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), wherein she undertook research and analyses on Indian legislation and relevant regulations on agriculture, environment, forestry, water and natural resources and prepared research papers on contract farming in India and labor laws in the forestry sector. She holds an LLM in “International Trade Law, Contracts and Dispute Resolution” from the ILO affiliated International Training Centre (University of Turin) and an LLB from Government Law College (University of Mumbai) and has interned with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). While at UNIDROIT, Menon published a paper on “Insolvency of Intermediaries in Cross-Border Holding Systems” with the Oxford University Press.

SFG is an international think-tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. SFG's body of work encompasses over 50 countries, across four continents. SFG pioneered the “Blue Peace” concept to use water as a tool to promote peace and security in the world.

Further Reading: Other SFG “Blue Peace Bulletins” can be DOWNLOADED HERE

“Water and Violence: Yemen”, released January 2019:

In “Water and Violence: Yemen”, Strategic Foresight Group examines the issue of protecting water in Yemen.

“Water and Violence: Ukraine”, released February 2019:

Strategic Foresight Group’s “Water and Violence: Ukraine”examines the prospects of securing critical water infrastructure in Donbass? What can be done by the relevant actors and the international community?

“The Middle East Blue Strike List”, released March 2019:

This “Middle East Blue Strike List”bulletin provides details of 51 attacks that have taken place between 2012 and 2018 in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The attacks are categorized by Strategic Foresight Group into three types, either “Direct Target”, “Weapon” or “Indirect Target”, based on the kind of attack.

“Water and Violence: Mali”, released April 2019

Strategic Foresight Group's "Water and Violence: Mali"describes how, while Mali’s water infrastructure is yet to be used as a tool of violence during the on-going conflict, that conflict has had an impact on access to water leading to constant clashes between ethnic groups in the country.

"Water and Violence: Somalia", released May 2019

In the drought and conflict-stricken country of Somalia, water is often indiscriminately targeted or used as a weapon of war primarily by Al-Shabaab. Destruction of water infrastructure, blocking of access to rivers and other water sources, poisoning of wells of both civilians and peacekeepers are among tactics deployed by the terror group. “Water and Conflict: Somalia” argues for a holistic and coordinated response by the Somalian government, key countries such as Ethiopia, regional actors like the African Union and the AMISOM peacekeeping forces could go a long way in helping the nation grapple with their water woes and protecting their dwindling resources.

“Blue Peace Bulletin: Regional Water Protection Frameworks", released June 2019

There are a plethora of legal instruments including the Geneva Conventions that address the issue of protection of water resources especially during armed conflicts. However, implementation is relegated to the realm of domestic polices of state parties. The protection of water resources and related infrastructure more often than not require collective, regional or basin level measures by states. This Blue Peace Bulleting is therefore an attempt to lay down guidelines that states can adopt towards cooperative and collective security measures to protect water resources and infrastructure against acts of violence by terror groups or during international and non-international armed conflicts.

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