Water Diplomacy Talks - - "Alternative Dispute Resolution"

2 May 2020 by Staff - Water Diplomat

Jayantika Kutty, Research Analyst with think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) OOSKAnewscast / Water Diplomat audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of  an SFG "Blue Peace Bulletin" titled "Alternative Dispute Resolution". (THE FULL APRIL 2019 BULLETIN CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE).

Riparian countries cooperating on water management are bound to face new issues that could potentially lead to conflict. It is therefore important to have built in mechanisms in their water sharing agreements that could lead to a peaceful resolution of issues as and when they arise. River Basin Oraganisations around the world have found a different, but effective way of dealing with resolution of disputes between them. This issue of the Blue Peace Bulletin examines some of them.  Kutty is part of the research team behind Blue Peace Bulletins, monthly publications which highlight issues related to water and violence in different geographic regions.
Jayantika holds an MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. SFG is a Mumbai, India-based international think-tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. Measuring cooperation between riparian countries and the efficacy of such cooperation can serve to better inform and advance regional peace and stability. In the audio conversation, Jayantika Kutty describes the "Water Cooperation Quotient"  (WCQ) developed by SFG, which uses a framework of different parameters to measure the level of cooperation between riparian countries such as agreement, exchange of data, water infrastructure, and political commitment. One of the WCQ parameters stipulates for "Alternative Dispute Resolution" (ADR), defining this as “The riparian countries have a well-defined mechanism for resolving disputes, which could be either through a River Basin Organisation, to which they belong, or through reference to a specific third party.

The Blue Peace Bulletin offers a number of examples of Alternative Dispute Resolution; in the audio conversation, Kutty makes specific mention of:

  • The 1978 "Convention Relating to the Status of River Gambia", signed by Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and Guinea Bissau, which provided for the creation of ‘The Organization for the Development of the Gambia River’ (OMVG), an RBO to manage three trans-boundary rivers namely, Gambia, Corubal and Geba.
  • 1960's Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan which has managed to survive wars and diplomatic clashes between the countries and has been able to fulfil certain water obligations with The World Bank acting as a mediator.