We all seem to be very well aware of the increasing pressure on our planet’s water resources. And mostly, we are all well aware of the usual suspects; climate change, population growth and changing consumption patterns. However, an issue less addressed is the antagonistic and uncooperative practice among riparian countries. No matter how well refined a river basin plan is drafted, how well the stakeholders have been involved and even, how well willing they are. If political will is lacking, or the overruling political objectives do not correspond, the plan to overcome physical challenges hardly ever materializes.
Inspired by these political challenges to Transboundary Water Cooperation and the dynamics of the associated negotiations, on October 12th 2016, I hosted a seminar on Water Diplomacy at Wageningen University. Following the initiative, a group of around 70 international participants from various backgrounds came together. It was encouraging to witness how they collectively engaged to advance the conceptual and practical understanding of Water Diplomacy and discussed a way forward.
The successful afternoon has to be accredited to the esteemed speakers and panel members who enthusiastically pursued in open and interactive presentations, sharing their experiences and views. In order of appearance:
- Henk Ovink – Special envoy for International Water affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Tjitte Nauta – IWRM expert and regional manager South and East Asia for Deltares
- Joop de Schutter – Former business director at UNESCO IHE, senior policy analyst for IWRM and member of the Water Diplomacy Consortium
- Sonja van der Arend – Participatory governance researcher and policy fiction novelist
- Jeroen Warner – Associate Professor of Disaster Studies, Social Sciences Group, Wageningen University
- Jelle Behagel – Assistant Professor of Forest and Nature Conservation Policy at Wageningen University
Besides the panel members, I also wish to thank Professor Bas Arts and Professor Patrick Verkooijen for their support and guidance and all participants for their equally valuable input and aptitude.
Please find the seminar’s full proceedings: DOWNLOAD SEMINAR’S PROCEEDINGS
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