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Water diplomacy, a tool for climate action?

24 August 2020

In this SIWI World Water Week workshop organised by adelphi and IHE Delft, experts from the diplomacy, development, security, climate change and water communities discussed the conditions under which specific diplomatic tools can be used by riparian and non-riparian countries to shape regional cooperation to address climate, and other security and development challenges, such as migration.

Many transboundary water basins around the world are facing climate-related challenges that will intensify in the decades to come, potentially contributing to insecurity and fragility. Adaptation will be important for ensuring sustainable development and political stability; in turn, these are preconditions for countries to be able to adapt to a changing climate while meeting their Paris and Agenda 2030 goals. Water diplomacy can help prevent and resolve current and potential conflicts over water resources. However, a comprehensive understanding of the conditions under which specific diplomatic tools have been successfully used to this end – and how they can address broader development and security challenges - is missing.

This session discussed under what conditions water diplomacy can contribute to broader regional cooperation beyond water. After an introductory keynote, it featured a panel discussion bringing together experts from the water, climate change and diplomacy and security communities to discuss how diplomatic tools can be used to advance climate and security goals, with examples from the Central Asian region and the Mekong basin. 


Welcome – Beatrice Mosello, adelphi

Introduction“Emerging trends in water diplomacy” – Susanne Schmeier, IHE Delft

Panel discussion“How has water diplomacy been used to advance climate and security goals?”

Moderation    Beatrice Mosello, adelphi

Speakers          Aaron Salzberg, University of North Carolina

                             Anoulak Kittikhoun, Mekong River Commission

                             Dinara Ziganshina, SIC ICWC in Central Asia

                             Aaron Wolf, Oregon State University


Concluding remarks – Aaaron Wolf, Oregon State University


Click here to register.




Read here the summary of last year's World Water Week side-event 'Analytical tools for identifying water conflict risks'.

Watch this interview on the 'Water, Peace and Security Partnership' with Dr. Susanne Schmeier (IHE Delft) at the Planetary Security Conference 2019: