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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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).
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
The Russian and Turkish armies have reportedly brokered a deal between themselves to swap or trade water for electricity in areas of northern Syria.
The 15th Session of the European Youth Parliament for Water (EYPW), convening in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, with the theme “River basin: the backbone of regional development”, focused on proposals for concrete actions for better cooperation between water basin participants and emphasized the involvement of youth in these regional issues, and implementation by youth who can act as an agent for change.
Lack of rain in Zambia and Zimbabwe has left the area in a prolonged drought, drastically reducing flow at the iconic Victoria Falls, shrinking Lake Kariba, affecting tourism, threatening the livelihood of regional farmers, and causing power outages.
South Africa utility Eskom seems set to enter into contracts to supply power to Zimbabwe and Zambia to help the shortfall in hydropower output - but only if it is available.
A "fitness check" of the European Union Water Framework Directive, its associated Directives, and the Floods Directive concludes that they are overall fit for purpose, with some room for enhanced effectiveness. Despite improvements in the protection of water bodies and flood risk management, the evaluation points to insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by sectors with a heavy impact on water such as agriculture, energy and transport.
During November's Geneva Peace Week, the International Secretariat for Water/ Solidarity for Water (ISE-SIW-ISA) organized a multi-faceted “Intergenerational Dialogue on Water and Peace”. Over 70 participated in the event at the Palace of Nations in Geneva with the overarching objective to discuss water as a vector of dialogue and cooperation.
On December 11, TIME Magazine announced its Person of The Year. Teen-aged climate activist, Greta Thunberg, will take this year’s award after a year in which she has addressed the UN Climate conference in Madrid, the United Nations in New York, and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
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.