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Darfur Conflict: Water As A Tool For Peace

KHARTOUM, Sudan

Human conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region has been described as “the first climate change war”. In 2007 the then United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said “Amid the diverse social and political causes, (the conflict) began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change”.

A December 2019 feature article in UK media outlet The Guardian, produced with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), describes how a new water management initiative has increased crop productivity through community construction of weirs that slow the flow of seasonal rains, allowing water to seep into the land.

Further OOSKAnews Coverage Of Water And Conflict In Darfur (70 Articles)

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"Alternative COP": Santiago Protests Focus On Right To Water

SANTIAGO

“Water, water, water, is a right, not a business, not a privilege”. Used as a rallying cry during protests, this chant rang out as an underlying current throughout an alternative climate conference held in Santiago, Chile from December 2-11, 2019.

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Argentina: Unrest Follows Relaxation Of Water Contamination Regulation

MENDOZA

A number of protests took place this weekend in Argentina’s central province of Mendoza, following the approval of a new version of Law 7722, which restricted the use of dangerous chemicals in mining operations. The modified law allows for the use of cyanide and sulfuric acid in mining activities but forbids the use of mercury.

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Conflict Then Flash Floods: 230,000 Children Affected In Northern Syria

ANKARA, Turkey

Flash flooding in northern Syria has particularly affected over 230,000 children who have already been displaced by conflict in 2019, according to NGO Save the Children.

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Water Scarcity And Conflict Are Drivers Of Iraq Migration Patterns

BAGHDAD, Iraq

While human migration in northern Iraq is often driven by conflict, in the south of the country it is more often linked to livelihood factors such as water scarcity and the loss of arable land according to a new report. This first "Migration Profile" of Iraq, released 19 December, is a joint effort of the Iraq Ministries of Migration and Displacement, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Labor and Social Affairs, Planning, Interior in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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GERD Talks Show Little Sign Of Progress

CAIRO, Egypt

Senior representatives of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are set to meet again in Washington DC in January over outstanding issues related to the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

More OOSKAnews coverage of GERD (44 Articles)

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Reinforcing Afghanistan Water Diplomacy

KABUL

Afghanistan has many natural resources, especially in terms of water and mines, but they haven't been tapped effectively so far. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran have a long history of conflict over scarce water resources – largely over Afghanistan's infrastructure-building on the Helmand and Kabul rivers despite it's a legitimate right and immediate domestic need of Afghanistan.

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Japanese Water Advocate Assassinated In Afghanistan

JALALABAD

Few other foreign nationals have perhaps received as much love and admiration from the Afghans as Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese doctor who dedicated his life to improving healthcare, water availability and agriculture in Afghanistan over the last four decades.

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MENA: Climate Stress Fuels Unstable Political Situations

MONTREAL

While our environment might not transform in one conspicuous event, combined small changes will add up over time, and tip over into the aforementioned catastrophe. No place can demonstrate this steady progression better than the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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Israel Accused Of "Hoarding" Jordan River

AMMAN

Two areas farmed by Israelis for more than 50 years have recently been returned to neighbouring Jordan. The association with water bodies is no coincidence: neither land would have been occupied in the first place were it not for the water that the Israeli army and kibbutzim required to sustain the farms.

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EU Humanitarian Aid Supports Water Access In Ukraine Conflict Zone

Brussels

The European Commission announced today an additional €8 million for the vulnerable people in Ukraine affected by the ongoing conflict in the east of the country. This funding brings EU humanitarian allocation to Ukraine in 2019 to €23 million.

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Japan Considers Options For Disposal Of Radioactive Fukushima Water

TOKYO

The economy and industry ministry has proposed gradually releasing or allowing to evaporate massive amounts of waste liquid that has been treated but is still contaminated with radioactive materials at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

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Pakistan To Demand Indus Treaty Arbitration Proceedings

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

A Pakistan government delegation visiting Washington DC this month was expected to demand establishment of a court of arbitration to address concerns over India’s two hydroelectric power projects – Kishanganga and Ratle, under terms of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India.

The group, headed by Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner Syed Mehr Ali Shah left for the United States 15 December, and was expected to stay for five days of meetings, particularly with the World Bank (WB) which acts as Arbitrator to the Treaty.

Further OOSKAnews Coverage Of Indus Dispute (More than 100 Articles)

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Water Diplomacy Talks - - Charles Iceland, World Resources Institute

WASHINGTON DC, United States

Charles Iceland, Director of Global and National Water Initiatives, World Resources Institute (WRI) speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) “Water Diplomacy Talks” video interview. (LINK)

 

Iceland explains a newly launched learning tool which claims to predict, with 86 percent accuracy, the risk of violent conflicts up to 12 months ahead of time. Initial findings from the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership’s Global Early Warning Tool predict risk of conflict in the next 12 months in many parts of the world, notably in Iraq, Iran and Mali. The tool uses machine learning coupled with environmental, meteorological, social and economic data to forecast exactly where organized violence is likely to occur, and aims to enable global development, diplomacy, disaster response and defence experts – together with country governments and local stakeholders – to intervene and help defuse conflicts before blood is shed. The tool, including a map-based interface, predicts the risk of conflict across Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia (and soon globally) by analysing patterns between violent conflict and more than 80 environmental, economic and social variables going back 20 years, and then compares those patterns to current conditions to pinpoint potential hotspots. The tool has highly granular spatial resolution – at the sub-provincial or district/county level.

The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership is a collaboration between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a consortium of six partners: IHE Delft (lead partner), World Resources Institute (WRI), Deltares, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), Wetlands International and International Alert.

In a post on the World Resources Institute Iceland says: “As the world’s population moves closer to 10 billion people, we are seeing more severe water and food crises, social unrest and conflict. Water is often an overlooked root cause of conflict and destabilizing migration. The Water, Peace and Security Global Early Warning Tool and other components of the WPS approach are designed to help water-insecure countries map and understand the challenges, mobilize resources, build capacity and take action. With the power to predict conflicts triggered in part by water risks 12 months in advance, and with a high degree of geospatial resolution and certainty, we hope this is a game-changer in helping prevent such conflicts in the first place...Water is certainly not the only driver of conflict, but it is an important – and often overlooked – one. A quarter of the world's population lives in extremely water stressed areas.

"While action on water issues can serve as a means of building peace, water risks like drought, scarcity, pollution and floods can also serve as threat multipliers that help trigger conflict or contribute to famine, loss of livelihoods or displacement. Previous early warning tools have only focused on vulnerabilities such as political, economic, social and demographic factors to predict conflict. The WPS Global Early Warning Tool is unique because it combines these factors with environmental variables linked to water – such as rainfall, water scarcity and crop failures – to understand the full picture".

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Water Diplomacy Talks - - Natasha Carmi, Geneva Water Hub

GENEVA, Switzerand

Natasha Carmi, Lead Water Advisor, Geneva Water Hub, speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) “Water Diplomacy Talks” video interview (LINK)

Two years ago, the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace, launched its report “A Matter of Survival”, that included a set of recommendations aimed at strengthening the global framework to prevent and resolve water-related conflicts, to facilitate the use of water as an important factor in peace building and to enhance the relevance of water issues in national and global policy making. Among those recommendations was the establishment of the Global Observatory for Water and Peace (GOWP), an inclusive network that improves the limited capacity of international actors to act collectively and effectively at the political and diplomatic levels to fill the critical gaps of the global water architecture in its ability to contribute to meeting the 2030 Agenda and “leaving no one behind”. GOWP is a global platform, based in Geneva, made up of a network of regional and local implementing partners of existing well established, credible and neutral institutions committed to the agenda of peace, using water as a vehicle to achieve it.

In this video interview, Natasha Carmi describes the role of GOWP; how it differs from other mechanisms for water co-operation; GOWP as a platform, a framework and a network; GOWP and “International Geneva” as a “safe space” for pre-negotiations of project development and implementation issues; how GOWP engages and partners with with existing regional entities and partnerships; next steps and benchmarks for the Observatory.

Further readingThe Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace report “A Matter of Survival”

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Large Hydro Corps Fail To Meet Basic Social, Environmental Standards

OAKLAND CA

A new report by International Rivers finds the world’s largest hydropower corporations fail to meet basic social and environmental standards in preparing and constructing new dams. ‘Watered Down’ provides an in-depth look at how policy meets practice in seven flagship dam projects spanning Africa, Asia, and South America from some of the world’s largest hydropower firms.

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World Bank Extends Support For Pakistan Hydro Project

ISLAMABAD

The World Bank will extend $ 700 million additional financing for transmission line for Dasu Hydropower Project. The World Bank Country Director, Patchamuthu Illangovan has conveyed the decision in a letter to the Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, sources said.

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