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Paris Peace Forum: “Blue Gold: Water And Cooperation For Peace And Development”

Paris, France

The annual Paris Peace Forum, meeting in November, included a panel presentation / “debate”, presenting cooperation initiatives around water contributing to peace and development, highlighting hydrodiplomacy with examples of solutions in transboundary basins, in preparation for the 9th World Water Forum.

“Blue Gold: Water and Cooperation for Peace and Development” convened with the theme that water crises generate political and social instability and threaten the security of populations.

These demonstrate that water management is a key factor in building resilient societies and economies. In a context of climate change defined by shortages, floods and droughts, the central question remains how to improve access to water for all as well as international cooperation around this strategic resource.

Recommended Viewing: Video Footage of the Debate HERE:


Human Rights And Water Security In Our Uncertain Times

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

The latest in a series of guest columns written for OOSKAnews and The Water Diplomat by participants in different parts of the international water community. 

In this article, Tobias Schmitz discusses human rights, water security and climate change in advance of a 13 October UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility high-level webinar on the subject. Tobias is senior advisor on water resources and monitoring at the Global Institute for Water Environment and Health in Geneva. His work focuses on progress monitoring in the water sector related to different state commitments such as the targets and indicators of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation and the human rights to water, sanitation and a healthy environment. He is currently a member of the SDG 6 core group of the Netherlands, providing support to the government of Kenya on SDG 6 monitoring, working with UN Habitat to support the transition to the country-led phase of SDG 6, and working with the Geneva Water Hub for the next development phase of monthly news publication "The Water Diplomat". He worked as an alternate on the Asian Water Council to develop the water and ecosystems component of the first Asian International Water Week. Previously Tobias was Director of Operations at Waterlex International Secretariat, working to support the implementation of the human right to water. He holds a PhD in Integrated Water Resources Management from Radboud University in the Netherlands with a focus on institutional responses to water scarcity in South Africa. He hails from Lesotho, Southern Africa.


New Report Proposes Solutions To The World's Water Conflicts

Edinburgh, Scotland

Water security challenges, and related instances of human conflict, are increasing across the world as populations grow, economies expand, and climate change begins to impact the hydrological cycle, says a new report published 2 September.

“Ending Conflicts Over Water: Solutions to Water and Security Challenges”, which has been produced by authors from the World Resources Institute (Charles Iceland; Ayushi Trivedi) and the Pacific Institute (Peter Gleick) with the Water, Peace and Security Partnership, describes a global rise in water-related conflict, observing political instability and intensifying driving factors, including population growth, economic expansion, severe and prolonged drought, climate change, pollution, the destruction of natural landscapes, upstream infrastructure development (such as dams and diversions), inefficient water use in agriculture, poor water resources management and weak institutions.


Urban Water Resilience Under COVID-19: What Happens Next?


A Stockholm World Water Week session on “Urban Water Resilience Under COVID-19: What happens next?" on August 27 brought together water system leaders primarily from cities in the global south to focus on the challenges and corresponding lessons learned in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the context of the current world health crisis, the session was convened virtually under the event's 2020 rubric "WaterWeek@Home".

An "OOSKAnews Voices" preview of the discussion, and relating issues can be found here.


Skills And Knowledge For Water Cooperation - New Learning Opportunity


A new Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) designed to deliver skills and knowledge with respect to water cooperation has been launched by the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) International Waters programme and Global Water Partnership (GWP).


GERD Talks Fail To Reach Consensus; US Plans Aid Withdrawal To Pressurise Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The latest round of negotiations among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan around the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam did not reach consensus on legal and technical differences before concluding 28 August. The three countries' technical and legal committees did not agree a unified draft at negotiations convened by the African Union (AU), attended by the parties’ ministers of irrigation with observers from the United States and the European Commission.

Further OOSKAnews coverage of the Grand Ehiopian Renaissance Dam HERE


Latin American Countries Cooperate In Innovative Plan To Tackle Climate Change In Arid Regions


A new project was launched in August to enable people in the semiarid regions of Latin America to work together to share knowledge, address the climate crisis, and find more sustainable and humane ways to live.

The DAKI-Semiárido Vivo Project (or Dryland Adaptation Knowledge Initiative), launched in August, will focus on three dry areas of Latin America most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: Gran Chaco Americano (in Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia), the Central American Dry Corridor and the semiarid region of north-eastern Brazil. These areas, which are amongst the poorest of these countries, are home to at least 37 million people.


Japan Team Lands 2020 Stockholm Junior Water Prize


HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020 to Hiroki Matsuhashi and Takuma Miyaki of Japan in an online ceremony during an unusual "World Water Week at Home" 25 August.


Funding Partnership Will Support 3.7 Million Sudanese With Water And Food Security

NEW YORK NY, United States

The Green Climate Fund, the government of Sudan, and the United Nations Development Programme have approved new funding for innovative climate resilience with a focus to promote agriculture, health and food and water security.


Civil Society Groups Appeal To UN As Key Syria Water Station Disabled Again In Conflict Zone

Damascus, Syria

For the eighth time since October 2019, actions by Turkey and Sunni rebel allies cut water service from the Allouk (Alok) pumping station in Syria, 13 August.

While flow from the station was partially restored 23 August, potable water supply has not yet been restored to parts of Al-Hasakeh city which is under control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is considered by Turkey to be a terrorist group. The facility supplies water to as many as 800,000 people in Al-Hasakeh, Syria, including hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians and Islamic State captives. It is estimated that about half are infants and children, who are living in under-resourced camps and detention centres.


Valuing The Climate Mitigation And Adaptation Benefits Of Wetlands

Washington DC, United States

Experts in climate change and nature-based solutions (NBS) are calling for wetlands to play a much larger role in countries’ climate mitigation efforts going forward. The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and Wetlands International suggest in a new report that now is the most important time to properly value wetlands for their carbon storage potential, as countries are in the midst of revising and updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement on climate change

"Locking Carbon in Wetlands: Enhancing Climate Action by Including Wetlands in NDCs", produced with support from German Development Agency GIZ, is written for policymakers and national climate planners to provide the scientific rationale behind the integral role of wetlands — and especially peatlands — within the global carbon cycle.


UN Rapporteur Criticises Chile Over Human Rights To Water And Health

Santiago, Chile

A strongly worded statement from the UN has requested the Chilean government to “clarify” its choice to place economic development ahead of human rights, identifying controversial agriculture and energy projects at the heart of its rebuke of the country.


China PM Pledges Improved Mekong River Water Data Sharing

Bangkok, Thailand

The Prime Minister of China has said that his country is willing to share more Mekong River water data with fellow members of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) organisation which consists of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

"China is willing to offer more assistance within its capacity to other Lancang-Mekong countries for better utilizing water resources," Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in a 24 August video conference with leadership from the other organization members, Chinese state media reported.

The Mekong, which is Southeast Asia's longest river and acts as a lifeline to 60 million people, has been hit by record drought in two consecutive years.

The government of Thailand has urged the China-backed LMC, which is viewed by many as a mechanism to advance Chinese interests in the Mekong region, to work with the longer-established Mekong River Commission (MRC), which is more associated with US geopolitical positioning, when developing any information-sharing platform.


Crisis Response Register For Water Professionals

LONDON, United Kingdom

Water professionals who are interested in offering assistance to disaster relief efforts can now register with a "Crisis Response Register", created in thte aftermath of the 4 August Beirut port explosion.


UNFAO Supports Green Development In Albania's Vjosa River Basin

TIRANA, Albania

A new green development project in the river basin of the Vjosa in Albania will aim to deliver effective and improved management of the basin’s natural resources.

Support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) will focus on sustainable farming techniques: sustainable land use, increasing soil fertility, combating pollution and general degradation. FAO will assist farmers and community institutions to better cope with the impact of climate change on agriculture in the region.


ADB, ICRC Leaders Discuss Collaboration Around Development, Peace, Clean Water Access

MANILA, Philippines

The heads of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have met to discuss areas of potential collaboration and share expertise and knowledge.


Reopening The World's Schools Post-COVID; The WASH Challenge

NEW YORK NY, United States

43 Percent of schools around the world lacked access to basic handwashing with soap and water in 2019, casting some doubt on the safety of operations during and post-COVID pandemic.

A 13 August report from the Joint Monitoring Programme of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF presents updated national, regional and global estimates for Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) in schools up to the year 2019, with a special focus on the implications for ensuring the safety of students and school staff during the coronavirus pandemic.


World Bank Official Clarifies Institution's Role In Indus Waters Treaty Dispute Resolution


The outgoing World Bank Country Director for Pakistan has said that the international institution is unable to make an independent decision on either the appointment of a court of arbitration or the appointment of a neutral expert in the settlement of a dispute between Pakistan and India over the Indus Waters Treaty.



The Water Diplomat is produced by OOSKAnews, Inc in a collaboration with The Geneva Water Hub. Content is produced by, and copyright held by OOSKAnews, Inc and do not represent any official position of The Geneva Water Hub.