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Water Diplomacy: A tool for climate action? | SIWI World Water Week Event | 24.08.2020

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. Other members of the audience will be encouraged to share their views and experiences.


  • Welcome

Beatrice Mosello, Senior Advisor, adelphi

  • Introduction: “Emerging trends in water diplomacy”

Susanne Schmeier, Senior Lecturer in Water Law and Diplomacy, IHE Delft

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


Beatrice Mosello, Senior Advisor, adelphi


Aaron Salzberg, Director of the Water Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anoulak Kittikhoun, Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer, Mekong River Commission (MRC)

Dinara Ziganshina, Deputy Director, Scientific Information Center of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (SIC ICWC) in Central Asia

Aaron Wolf, Professor of Geography and Director of Water Conflict Management and Transformation, Oregon State University

  • Q&A
  • Concluding remarks


Raquel Munayer, Research Analyst, adelphi