header-normal1

Tools for Climate Finance Readiness: Building Capacity to Support Increased Finance Flows

On Friday December 12, 2014, delegates to the UNFCCC COP 20 discussed capacity building for climate finance at the event, 'Tools for Climate Finance Readiness: building capacity to support increased finance flows,'. At this side event, Dennis Tänzler presented the new Climate Finance Readiness Training toolkit “CliFiT”...
read more ›

Vulnerable nations urged to craft climate migration policy

Countries vulnerable to extreme weather and rising seas should follow the example of small Pacific island states like Kiribati, and work out how to relocate threatened communities if there is no alternative, experts said at U.N. climate talks in Lima. "We now know that climate change is a driver of migration, and is expected to increase the displacement of populations,"...
read more ›

ECC Newsletter Edition 3/2014

We have published the third Edition of the Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation Newsletter in 2014. It features e.g. an article by Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, about how his country approaches climate diplomacy on the way towards ambitious climate action. We also take a closer look at local governance and climate resilience with perspectives from Latin America and from Southeast Asia...
read more ›

Quote of the Month

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and represents an urgent and unalterable threat to human societies.” - Ram Prasad Lamsal, Chair of the LDC Group at UN climate change negotiations, Statement at the Opening Plenary of the Twentieth Session of the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20), Lima, Peru, 1 December 2014.
read more ›

Water Intro

water hands 297x198The availability of freshwater resources in sufficient quantity and quality is essential for the preservation of human health and sound ecosystems. The use of water resources is also vital, however, for economic development: whether for agriculture, industrial production, or for electricity generation. The world's freshwater resources are distributed very unevenly in terms of geography and the seasons. In addition, water shortage is becoming more prevalent in several regions due to population growth, economic development, urbanization, and increasing environmental pollution. Thus, water resources can hold potential for conflicts between parties who have different interests and needs.

Conflicts surrounding the distribution, access and quality of water resources often arise between upstream and downstream riparians on waterways, since water usages upstream can affect the quantity and quality of the resource downstream. Bodies of water frequently flow across borders and can, therefore, also become the subject of international disputes.

Furthermore, conflicts can also develop between water users and the authorities responsible for water management. Water-related disputes take on different forms, such as civil disobedience, acts of sabotage or violent conflicts. However, the latter are more likely to be seen at the local and intrastate level than at the interstate level.

Even though it remains to be seen whether wars over water will actually develop, interstate water conflicts have nonetheless already contributed to tensions that, in several cases, significantly constrain the economic development of the region. In addition, interstate water conflicts can, in their own right, encumber the stability of the country and have negative consequences for international relations.

At the same time, various examples also demonstrate that precisely this need for joint management of water resources gathers conflicting parties around one table and encourages cooperative negotiating. Even if a tedious negotiation process often precedes cooperation in water management, water cooperation has in the past provided a fertile starting point for peace promotion, and has led to the development of stable institutions.