A call for abstracts has been issued for a planned multi-volume book series that will focus on key themes in transboundary freshwater management.
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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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three months of torrential rain and flash floods have left an estimated 300,000 people homeless in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said 28 August.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that his government would consider supplying drinking water from the mainland of Ukraine to Russia-occupied Crimea in the event of a "humanitarian disaster".
"If necessary to provide people with water, if there is a humanitarian disaster, of course, Ukraine will provide Ukrainians – somewhere in Crimea or elsewhere – with water and with everything they need, medicines, food and so on," Shmyhal said in an 8 August interview for Radio Svoboda's Ukrainian service.
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.