Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Workshop outcome

Group one: conflict case studies. What transboundary water conflicts do you know? 

Group two:What could be TWC's actions?

Group three: Why would/wouldn't UN countries ratify the UN convention on the law of non-navigational uses of international watercourses?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Actions for TWC

Information & Consultation Services

  • Offer useful information and consultation services for sustainable TW management for countries
  • Engineering and technical advising
  • Environmental consultation
  • “Opening” information
  • Encouraging the sharing of information
  • Facilitating “informed” water management

-       Scientific facts
-       Mutual facts
-       Rumours
-       Beliefs
-       Attitudes
-       Assumptions

-       Cultural & religious traditions
-       Area & boarders
-       Political ideologies
-       Conflicts & history
-       Media
-       Relationship between national & global

-       Inter-linkages between different aspects
-       Understanding the whole picture

-       Experiences on transboundary issues
-       Peoples’ needs
-       Reasons for opposition and resistance (not always environmental!)
-       Behavior
-       Political culture (getting support by joining people’s opinions)
-       Media: sensational or objective?
-       Synergy between industry & community
-       BAT and beyond that
-       Monitoring
-       Scenarios
-       Biological & geographical background
-       Who uses water and for what?
-       Municipal
-       Industry
-       Agriculture & food production
-       Navigation
-       Institutions in transboundary area: weak or strong; i.e. courruption rate
-       Political culture
-       Geopolitics
-       Relations between different institutions in the riparian countries (both national and transboundary level) -> How well different stakeholders communicate? Is the lack of communication due to cultural behavior? Hierarchies? I.e. governmental officials & private sector do not communicate or cooperate in some cultures.


-       Promoting fair TW usage
-       Publish a journal on TW matters

Education & Research

-       Scientific research
-       Assisting with education (in Universities): courses, seminars, theses (bachelor, master, doctoral)
-       Offering and education programme on TW issues: doctoral theses, post grad school?

Crisis Management

-       Suggesting dispute resolving strategy
-       Work with riparian countries to preserve culture & environment in TW areas
-       Offer conflict-solving services for countries: CMI provides?

Legislations & Governance

-       Promoting UN Water Convention as a framework for regional agreements?
-       Give advice to river basin organizations about TW agreements
-       Assist in creating sustainable water policies & technical policies
-       Legal advicing: How to update and implement the environmental laws? How to intergrate the UN Convention into local legislation?
-       Assist in institutional strengthening
-       Basin commissions?
-       “Water bodies”
Here, also an active part could be implemented:
-       Initiating states to ratify UN Water Convention
-       Organizing a governmental summit creating proceedings around TW issues; creating a TW protocol (compare with climate change issues and global activity there!)


All above-mentioned actions are necessary for a global platform. TWC would work as a connecting platform in different TW issues:
-       Helping the exchange of ideas and views: governmental level decision making (politics, science)
-       Organizing seminars, meetings, events for different TW actors (countries, industry…)
-       Facilitating participation on a local and regional level
-       Organizing negotiations between riparian states in TW areas (especially due to conflicts)
-       Meetings between (TW-) riparian countries’ governments (this could be the summit mentioned under Governance-topic)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Format for a 'A brief look at the institutions'

According to the group plan,understanding the main activities and network of international water institutions is vital to find the right place for the future center.For sure,despite having many water related institutions the efforts for a better world are not centralized and well organized.And trans-boundary water issues are potentially among the primary global concerns in the growing demand and competition for water.
The group has planned to prepare an organizational structure,after the group members have studied different institutions(almost completed).This structure would help while contacting the representatives of the stakeholders,the very next activity.

A format for observing the institutions,

1.Main activities of the institution
2.Members and key partners
3.Geographical coverage and network
4.Financial resources(funds)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Solesbury William: Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case Study of the Evolution of DFID Policy

This paper was given at the beginning of the course and it could work as a straight guideline to our project plan. There are lots of similarities.

- Interesting paper on how something (in sustainable development field) is turned into an everyday policy. Could this give us ideas, how transboundary water areas are already researched but not yet transferred into policy and practice?

- Need to find linkages between research, policy and practice, and to develop simple tools for (in our case) policy-makers to promote transboundary water areas’ development.

- Success needs certain attributes/factors:

o People’s needs? Cooperative atmosphere? People centered approaches? Industry centered approaches? Many angles must be covered.

o Different stakeholders should cooperate (also in planning a centre; researchers, politicians, implementers, experts…)

o Continuous communication, information

o Necessary and sufficient conditions: time, money… what else?

- For example: what is the influence of research in creating a policy and practice? Or are there already known changes in policy, which are driving towards setting up the transboundary water centre? How would the UN Convention fit into this: isn’t it already an initiation for such TW policy?

- Key interactions

Concluding from that above, we could still think about (for TWC of course):

  1. Basic idea, “VISION”
  2. Commitment, policy, “MISSION”
  3. Then cover:
    1. Background material
    2. Key interactions
    3. Analyze the interactions

Then, some additional questions to be answered:

- When did transboundary water issues become apparent?

- When were the first (political) definitions or actions? By who?

In the Solesbury's paper is mentioned for example The Brutland Commission report (1987), which stated the framework for sustainable development. These key factors could be taken for guidelines always, when working with transboundary water issues in those areas and with the local communities. I mean, that these could give a guideline for TWC, what kind of actions and services they have to have, at least on second hand if not right under their organization:

- a political system

- an economic system

- a social system

- a production system

- a technological system

- an international system

- a flexible administrative system

So, again a lot of theoretical stuff to think about. That kind of studies should be taken into considerations, once we have an development project in a way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ethiopia as one case for the future TWC

As we found out, Ethiopia is one of the main countries on focus in International Strategy for Finland's Water Sector. What a coincidence, since Ethiopia is one of our group member's home country! So, we have decided to choose Ethiopia as one of the cases to study for TWC as a "case-to-start-with".

Another coincidence after a while is that CMI (Crisis Management Initiative) has been active recently especially in Ethiopia. CMI has collaboration between the African Union's Conflict Management Devision (AU CMD) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD). I just found that out when I surfed in web.Why is this interesting? Well, CMI is a Finnish non-profit organization, which works for crisis management and solving disputes. It is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland. We have thought of that as a possible co-operative organization for TWC, since they both would locate in Finland, and both are in interests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I think we have a case here!

(Strategy available:
(CMI Home Page, available: