Grassroots water governance: a contribution for hydrodiplomacy and peace

IUCN presented its experience on water governance at the International Symposium on Water Diplomacy, organized by the International Centre for Water Cooperation (ICWC), a UNESCO Category II Centre located in the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).



Water diplomacy or hydro diplomacy consists on dialogue and negotiation processes in order to conciliate interests between countries over the water resources. It is a process that operates under the sovereign authority of the States, but also is related to cooperation between multiple actors, including municipalities and civil society organizations.

In Mesoamerica, the Project BRIDGE: Building River Dialogue and Governance (for more information about this project, please go to the following link: has supported transboundary cooperation processes with local stakeholders, for the good management of river basins as the Sixaola (Costa Rica-Panamá) and Goascorán (Honduras-El Salvador), demonstrating that grassroots water governance contributes to hydro diplomacy and peace in these regions.

This experience was presented at the International Symposium on Water Diplomacy, organized on November 16th and 17th. This event reunited researchers, diplomats, decision-makers, leaders and professionals from different international entities for discuss about the international cooperation over shared water resources and the water diplomacy, with an approach over conflict transformation, building and consolidation of peace and regional cooperation. Furthermore, during the event, there were work sessions to discuss the role of women in water diplomacy, communication and networking, and academic and diplomatic approaches related to water diplomacy. 

Among the 65 participants, stand out representatives of different international organizations such as United Nations, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the Global Water Partnership, the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, the Sudan Ministry of Water; as well as academic entities such as the Oregon State University (OSU) and Gothenburg University; and women associations as the Swedish Network of Women Mediators and the Women For Water Partnership, among other institutions.

After this Symposium, the objective is to strengthen a network of people that facilitate exchanges of information, approaches and capacity building, in order to promote the pacific, inclusive and sustainable cooperation over shared water resources in different regions across the world.

For more information about this event and to read about the contributions of the other participants, please got to the following link of the Stockholm International Water Institute:

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