The government of India's lower parliamentary house has passed a bill to amend the country's Inter-State River Water Disputes Act. The purpose of the amendment to 1956 legislation is to address shortcomings that have led to lengthy proceedings and, often, no resolution of ongoing disputes.
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A former senior analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the United States State Department has defended his decision to resign last month from his job examining impacts of climate change on national security.
In June, Dr Rod Schoonover's written testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was blocked by the White House on the basis that the scientific evidence in the analysis was at “odds” with the “administration’s position on climate change".
US President Donald Trump's statements about climate change have been remarkably skeptical about accepted science regarding climate change causes and impacts.
Meeting Turkish envoy Veysel Eroglu July 31 in Baghdad, Iraq President Barham Salih confirmed that the two countries’ water issues are shared priorities, and that a long-term solution that guaranteed the rights of both parties was required.
Severe drought in Somalia and continued violence in South Sudan are threatening more than 8.5 million people with severe food insecurity according to humanitarian agencies.
Human rights watch-dog Global Witness has launched its 2018 annual investigative report on attacks on "defenders" of land and environmental rights.
According to "Enemies of the State? How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders", killings of activists linked to the defense of water resources rose across the globe last year, with reported incidents rising from four in 2017 to seventeen in 2018.
Often the aggressor is a company’s private security apparatus but state enforcement agencies and contract killers have worked in cooperation with private firms, Global Witness reports.
Ethiopia Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew has expressed his country’s enthusiasm to strengthen bilateral relations with Egypt and a commitment to resume negotiations on the contentious, and massive, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the River Nile.
At a Cairo meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last week, Gedu delivered a message from Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed communicating Ethiopia’s resolve to resume tripartite talks on GERD – which are expected to focus on implementation of the declaration of principles regarding water fills and operation of the dam.
Al-Sisi on this part reportedly returned greetings to Abiy Ahmed and expressed “hope for promoting various aspects of bilateral partnership between both sides”. Egypt has historically been particularly critical of the dam’s construction, arguing that it will reduce its legitimate share of River Nile water access, and thus threaten its water security.
The exchange of goodwill comes soon after, and perhaps in spite of, reports in Arab and Israeli media that Israeli firms, in May this year, installed an advanced “Spyder-MR” air defense system for GERD on behalf of Ethiopia, in the face of objections from the highest levels of Egypt’s government. There has been no official comment on these reports from the governments involved.
A new collaboration between UN Environment (UNEP) and the Panama Canal Authority will develop programmes and research, human resource training and knowledge sharing in order to advance efforts on sustainable development and combating climate change.
Since the advent of human conflict, various forms of conflict resolution methods have been created in different countries, from traditional means of resolving disputes through the assistance of village elders and local leaders, to more formal means such as signing of water-sharing agreements. It is imperative to analyze the positive impact of traditional conflict resolutions mechanisms in order to understand the manner in which similar local solutions can be adopted to prevent or curb other localized disputes.
Research studies of river hydrology and hydrodynamics can now be enhanced by new hydrography data developed by scientists at the University of Tokyo and released earlier this month.
Describing the linkage between water challenges and climate change, a new UN Water Policy Brief calls for increased investment in improved hydrological data, institutions and governance, education and capacity development, risk assessment and knowledge sharing.
The Horn of Africa is once again in a drought that appears to be a new norm in the region, with more than 15 million people in need of urgent assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The region, which hasn’t fully recovered from a drought in 2017, is once again facing a humanitarian crisis.
Twenty-two scientists from Europe, the United States and Africa are calling on governments support the notion of the United Nations' International Law Commission to protect the environment in armed conflict. This would make wanton destruction of megafauna a war crime.
Variable climate conditions and persistent conflicts contine to cause high levels of food insecurity in 41 countries, with 31 of these in Africa, UNFAO has reported.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has issued a $35 Million USD grant for water management and agriculture projects in the Indus River Basin in Pakistan.
The battle against cholera in Yemen is far from over, the Save the Children charity has warned: the first six months of 2019 have already seen more suspected cases than the whole of 2018, including 203,000 children under 15. At least 193 children have died of cholera related illnesses in the country in 2019.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed new $24.7 Million USD investment to the South Sudan Strategic Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights has launched a new report that assesses the impact of climate change on those living in poverty.
The June 25 report points out that climate change will affect people in poverty disproportionately and will “undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction. It could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.”
“We are all Water Diplomats”
Turk urges coordinated “hydrodiplomacy” including a UN Water Conference next decade, which would be the organisation's first since 1977’s event in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.
Turk is a professor of international law and human rights expert who, prior to his Presidency of Slovenia, was the first Slovene ambassador to the United Nations, from 1992 to 2000, and UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs from 2000 to 2005.
Following up on the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (GHLPWP) Report “A Matter of Survival”, The Water Diplomat caught up with François Munger, Director of the Geneva Water Hub, which acts as Secretariat to the Panel.
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