SIWI promotes water diplomacy at high-level forum

May 10, 2017

Earlier today, SIWI’s Director of Transboundary Water Management, Dr. Therese Sjömander Magnusson, spoke at the 4th Istanbul International Water Forum in a panel titled “Water for Peace”.

Earlier today, SIWI’s Director of Transboundary Water Management, Dr. Therese Sjömander Magnusson, spoke at the 4th Istanbul International Water Forum in a panel titled “Water for Peace”.

Drawing on SIWI’s broad experience in water diplomacy and peace building through water cooperation, Dr. Sjömander Magnusson spoke of the important role that joint knowledge generation plays in building trust among stakeholders and increasing awareness of the broader benefits of water cooperation. Combining different policy areas and entry points, and incorporating a diplomatic approach, has also been effective in reducing the risk of conflict over shared waters. Dr. Sjömander Magnusson also reminded that “Water diplomacy should be tailored and responsive to each process and aim for realistic achievements – step by step.”

Regional cooperation on transboundary waters is a public good that benefits all parties and can open new opportunities for riparian states to sustainably develop water resources. SIWI helps basin actors to engage in transboundary processes with a long-term perspective of promoting both security and development, and encourages a holistic approach that includes the perspectives of other affected sectors. By employing tools such as modelling and working with incentive driven engagement, SIWI enables decision-makers to engage effectively and gain understanding of risks, benefits and opportunities associated with different strategies. By applying a systems approach, SIWI also helps decision-makers look beyond the water resource itself and illustrates mutual benefits that can be achieved within a region, such as improved opportunities for trade and financing.

The 4th Istanbul International Water Forum (May 10-11, 2017) will address water-related challenges and management practices in response to demographic pressures triggered by displacement, as well as opportunities for cooperation over water as a means of peace. As a triennial event held one year prior to each World Water Forum, the 4th IIWF will aim to provide valuable remarks to the 8th World Water Forum, which will be held in Brazil in 2018.

Read more about SIWI’s work in water diplomacy and transboundary water management on the Cooperation Over Shared Waters page.