Hope for Resolving the Water Conflict in the Middle East

The conference of shame and disgrace

Muslim countries participation in Riyadh’s meeting is contrary to Islamic values

Another gamble: Abbas to propose large-scale land swap with Israel

Denouncing Terror – Islam promotes the good and forbids the bad EDITORIAL

Shafaqna Interviews Brother Ali-Reza Goudarzi on the Architecture of the Holy Shrines

Bahraini forces attack a number of anti regime protesters

Murderers of Muslim Ummah: $380 billion to spill the blood of Muslims

A dangerous move: US’s Iranophobia for Saudi dollars

At least 22 killed, over 59 injured in suicide attack at Manchester concert

PM Nawaz condemns Manchester blast, calls for concerted efforts against terrorism

Rouhani’s re-election: The challenges ahead

War on extremism: The state, Maulana Abdul Aziz and Masood Azhar

A day dream: Can Trump Isolate Iran?

Indian army awards officer who tied Kashmiri man to jeep as human shield

Widow of 9/11 victim to Trump: Saudis should be held accountable for ‘role in murdering 3,000’

Why Muslims need to take part in their own affairs?

Conference on Takfirism to be held in Denmark

Ayatollah Bashir al-Najafi: “Clerics responsible to inform societies”

Imran slams Nawaz for being silent spectator at Saudi summit

The end of Trump

Moving Security Council after ICJ: Do India enjoy an upper hand in Yadav’s case?

Pakistanis ashamed at how PM Nawaz was treated in Saudi Arabia: Imran Khan

US Senator censures $110Bn arms sale to Saudis, citing atrocities in Yemen

US airstrike on Syrian Army proves Washington’s fake claims about war on terrorism

Syrian conflict:  Saudia diplomacy to foil peace talks

Rising threat: ‘Extremist outfits radicalising educated women in Karachi’

MWM Conference demands Pakistan’s withdraw from Saudi Military Alliance

Reasons why Arab NATO is doomed to failure

Iranian FM responds to Trump's anti-Tehran remarks

Robert Fisk from Independent: “Donald Trump’s speech to the Muslim world was filled with hypocrisy and condescension”

Trump’s Pro Saudi stance is a tragic continuation of US foreign policy of being aligned with the creators of Al Qaeda

I did not fast in my early years of adulthood, is it Wajib for me to compensate for those days and pay Kaffarah?

Writing a faith out of death’s throes – Shia Islam shall be silent no more …

Report documents evidence of attacks on Rohingya

Iran offers peace after bellicose Saudi threats

A nefarious agenda: How Saudia fooled Muslim Ummah for vest interests

Detaining Pakistani diplomats: Afghanistan’s quest for escalation with Pakistan

An unsolved mystery:  Why Govt is hesitant to arrest Lal mosque cleric?

Why Britain’s support for Bahrain king is unwavering?

US Senator censures $110Bn arms sale to Saudis, citing atrocities in Yemen

Trump visits Riyadh: Democracy, Human Rights out of; arms deal, Iranophobia top on agenda

JUI-F’s dirty politics on FATA reforms

ایران کے صدارتی انتخاب: ڈاکٹر حسن روحانی ایک بار پھر کامیاب

Hassan Rouhani wins another term as president of Iran

No iota of Shame: Saudia disgraces Trump by inviting a wanted President for war crimes

Rouhani leads Iran presidential race, expected to win

Appeasing a fanatic: Saudia’s penchant for anti-Muslim Trump

Grave mistake: India’s self imposed regional isolation

Yemenis fire ballistic missile at Riyadh ahead of Trump visit: Report

Polls close, vote counting underway in Iran

Saudi Arabia boosts US Treasury holdings ahead of Trump visit

Some signs of the time of re-appearance of Imam Mahdi (AJ)

Grand Shia scholar: Clerics adhere to Ahlul Bayt doctrine to serve society

Saudi Arabia’s ideology of exclusion and genocide

Blackwater returns to Iraq under new name

Saudi cleric calls on FIFA to ban sign of cross, Twitter fires back

No iota of Shame: Saudia disgraces Trump by inviting a wanted President for war crimes

Mahmoud Abbas on 3-day visit to India

Dawn leaks II: A new controversy

Verdict on Kulbhoshan and US’s influence on ICJ

Saudi ambassador to Cairo affirms Saudi efforts to disrupt US-Iran ties

Iranians to vote in pres. election in 102 countries: Foreign Ministry

Zionist ‘Axis of Evil’ against Iran

Why ICJ rushed to suspend execution of Indian spy?

Pakistan to form new team of lawyers on Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Sartaj

Key points of the judgment by International Court of Justice

U.S. New “Plan B” for Syria: Military Escalation

ICJ stays execution of Indian spy Jadhav pending final decision

Anti Russia hysteria makes the US mainstream press side with ISIS

A country ‘on its knees’: Cholera takes hold in war-weary Yemen

Top Shia leader ready for talks with Shia parties

Saudi Arabia rushing to normalize relations, amid Israeli silence

Why India has become an irrelevant power in South Asia?

Is US pressurizing Pakistan to release Kulbhoshan Yadav?

Trump administration renews Iran sanctions waivers

Saudi Regime lays siege on historical Shiite city, several killed

The other picture: Why did Nawaz Invite Jindal to Pakistan?

Perfect Footwear for Traveling That You Can Not Afford to Miss Upon

Famous Zoos In Pakistan

5 Beauty Tips to Try This Summer Season, Especially During Travelling

Is Saudi Arabia Waging a Holy Crusade Against Iran?

What is the most important task we have in this world?

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei vows to enhance missile capability

Israeli minister says Assad should be killed

US trying to save Zionist-Wahhabi Axis in Middle East: Analyst

Innocent killings: Is Gawadar still at risk?

Labour govt. will ‘immediately recognize a state of Palestine’

Stability of Pakistan and Imam Mahdi Conference’ in Karachi on May 21

Trump to Saudia: A new hope for ISIS

Prolonging hunger strike: Would UN feel any shame?

Special Dua by Imam Sadeq (AS) to be recited at the time of the occultation of Imam Mahdi (AJ)

State of emergency over Cholera Outbreak In Sanaa, Yemen

Pakistan, Bangladesh ties need be strengthened: Info Minister

Obama officials, led by Kerry, team up to defend Iran deal from Trump

Yemen popular forces capture military base in Saudi Arabia

Cutting the Knot: Why Pakistan should divorce to Washington?

Cyber Crime law: Pakistan’s freedom of speech under threat

Nearly 30 million children across Arab world live in poverty: UNICEF

The sudden death of Mishaal bin Abdulaziz complicates the process of coup in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Shia town under 'siege' for sixth day

2016-08-22 23:38:37

Hope for Resolving the Water Conflict in the Middle East

victoria-nileSHAFAQNA – The availability of fresh water has direct impact on food and energy production, development of industry, and human survival. Fresh water resources are often unevenly divided and irregularly distributed throughout the regions of the world. As populations in the world continue to increase, particularly in water scarce regions, the potential increases for conflict to develop over competition for water. As such, concern over the dwindling water supplies in the Middle East has been labeled as the next source of conflict in the Middle East.

The severity of the water issue in the Middle East is a key strategic issue in understanding future security decisions within the region. Nations in the region have many ongoing disputes, but few are more basic and deep-rooted as the need for water. After all, the human body can survive without oil, but the soul requires the font of living waters for survival. An understanding of the magnitude and scope of the water issue will better prepare an analyst or decision-maker to anticipate events in the region.

Nations in the region share more political conflicts than just water, to include religious differences, ideological disputes, border disputes, and economic competition. These tend only to complicate the water problem further. Cooperation in the region is a very significant problem. Nations in the Middle East are constantly afraid of another gaining an advantage from an agreement of any type. As a result, Nations of the region are blinded by preoccupation with autonomy, power, and security.

mar

THE BLUE PEACE INITIATIVE

To address the ongoing water crisis in the Middle East, SFG has developed the Blue Peace approach that transforms trans-boundary water into an instrument for cooperation, with collaborative and sustainable strategies shared by riparian countries. The Blue Peace concept was conceived by Strategic Foresight Group in a project supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Political Directorate of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and presented in the form of a report published in February 2011.

Blue Peace at the Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat in Entebbe, Uganda.

This initiative is supposed to create a complete framework for water cooperation covering the entire spectrum from cooperation at the political and diplomatic level to cooperation to address the plight of marginalized people in the Middle East. The exchange of experience takes place in various forms. An important component is “Learning Journeys” to successful river basin organizations. It is feasible to undertake such Learning Journeys only when important river basin organizations agree to host them.

Per se, the Rhine Hydrological Commission and Mekong River Commission have hosted in the past Learning Journeys for policy makers and media persons from the Middle East and the latest learning journey was hosted by the Nile River Basin in East Africa in August 2016, following the Learning Journey to Senegal River Basin, held in August 2015, this was a continuation of the ‘exchange of experience’ activities under the Blue Peace Initiative.

On August 8-10, 2016, members of the Blue Peace Middle East Community embarked on a learning journey to explore and understand cooperation in the Nile River Basin in East Africa. The delegation from the Middle East included senior policy makers, academic and technical experts and leading members of the Blue Peace Media Network.

Strategic Foresight Group organized the Learning Journey to Nile River Basin in coordination with the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), headquartered in Entebbe in Uganda. The journey was conducted over a period of three days in Uganda during which the participants were able to appreciate the functioning of NBI and learn about its history and mandate. In addition, six other African River Basin representatives also participated in this learning journey which helped the Middle Eastern participants to get an overview of successful water cooperation across Africa. They included representatives of River Basin Organizations from Komati River, Gambia River, Congo River, Senegal River, Volta River, Orange-Senque Basin.

The most significant feature which the participants discovered in the case of NBI and also in the case of the other African River Basins was their emphasis on cooperation and the importance of a strong political will. The participants also noted that the riparian members of the Nile River were developing countries that were trying to find a common solution to water scarcity and economic development through cooperation over the common water resource they all shared.

NILE BASIN INITIATIVE

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership of 10 Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.

For the first time in the Basin’s history, an all-inclusive basin-wide institution was established, on 22nd February, 1999, to provide a forum for consultation and coordination among the Basin States for the sustainable management and development of the shared Nile Basin water and related resources for win-win benefits.

Mr. John Rao Nyaoro, HSC, Executive Director, Nile Basin Initiative (right) and Dr. Sundeep Waslekar Director of the SFG (left)

 

The highest decision and policy-making body of NBI is the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM), comprised of Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in each NBI Member State. The Nile-COM is supported by the Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC), comprised of 20 senior government officials, two from each of the Member States.

 

LEARNING JOURNEY TO UGANDA

The learning mission began with a presentation on the overview of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), its structure and historical background by the Executive Director of the NBI, Dr. John Rao Nyaoro. The day was dedicated to understanding the socio-political background and the functioning of the NBI. A detailed historical background of the formation of NBI helped the participants better understand the context of cooperation.

Dr. Nyaoro also touched upon the Agreement on Declaration of Principles between the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia And The Republic of the Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (GERDP) which was signed by the Heads of States on March 23, 2015. Later he emphasized the importance of cooperating and finding sustainable solutions together in order to fight the water scarcity in the basin. According to him, a balance can be struck once the cooperative mechanisms are in place.  The problems can be foreseen and the solutions can be found before the problems go out of hand, eventually leading to a basin-wide development and peace.

Presentation on Nile Basin Initiative

On the second day of the Learning Journey, in addition to NBI, six African River Basin Organizations shared their experiences with the Middle Eastern participants. As participants, we had the chance to interact with representatives of the seven major African River Basin Organizations at the same time. The representatives gave brief presentations on the history, functioning, achievements and challenges that their respective organizations face. The session was later followed by a detailed discussion on the Strategic Foresight Group’s report on “Water Cooperation Quotient” where the participants gave their suggestions and remarks which will prove instrumental in upgrading the quotient.

 

FIELD VISIT

As a part of the field visit the participants visited the Bujagali Hydropower Project built on the Victoria Nile in the town of Jinja, about 140 km east of Entebbe. It is a 250-megawatt power generating facility sponsored by the Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) Limited and SG Bujagali Holdings Ltd, an affiliate of Sithe Global Power, LLC (USA). The main purpose of the project is to provide electricity to Uganda which suffers from power deficit and in turn to promote the socio-economic development of local residents.

Bujagali Hydropower Project built on the Victoria Nile

After the visit to the dam, the participants went on to see the source of the Nile River. It was an overwhelming experience for all the participants to be at the source of the world’s longest river from where it travels through eleven countries before it finally drains into the Mediterranean.

 

BLUE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

It is when riparian countries face problems such as prolonged drought, depletion of water resources and other factors that can produce competition between them, that institutionalized cooperation for the sustainable management of water resources is most required. The African River Basin Organizations came into existence in order to address the problems of natural disasters or acute underdevelopment which would potentially lead to conflict over resources. This is the situation in the Middle East today, where natural disasters such as drought and underdevelopment in some parts pose a challenge. It is precisely at this time that institutionalized cooperation is required.

The Nile Basin Initiative for instance has a long history of disagreements which have been gradually narrowed down to the minimum and now have the prospect of the countries reaching an amicable agreement in the near future. This has been possible because the NBI is available as a forum where the state parties can meet, irrespective of the extent to which they may agree with each other.

In the case of the Middle East, currently the Blue Peace Community brings together various stakeholders including individuals associated with the institutions of state. However, this is not an official forum of the governments in the region. It is important for the Middle East to take the next step to progress from the Blue Peace Community to a Cooperation Council of state parties to address the issues related to water and environment in the region.

By Marwa Osman for Shafaqna

 
Categories:   Middle East ،
From other agencies (RSS Reader)

The city of litter

- Tribune PK

Manchester attack

- Tribune PK

Mental fitness

- Tribune PK

Defending Malala

- Tribune PK