Building a Curriculum for Training in
Water Conflict Resolution, Prevention
Water scarcity, natural disasters, access to water, and pollution, are increasingly becoming acute problems that hamper social and economic development, especially in third world countries. These problems are escalating from being individual and local problems to becoming national and international, as demand for water increased world-wide. National water resources come under increasing demand and are open to exploitation. This is partly due to population growth, agricultural expansion and the ever-rising expectation of and expanding in living standards. There is now a growing recognition that water resources are not unlimited and competition and conflicts will ensue. The problem is particularly acute in arid and semi arid regions.
Conflict of interest over access to, and control of, water resources are triggering acute diplomatic disputes as well as human suffering. Millions of people throughout the world are suffering because of insufficiency of water and/or a high cost of access, which bars the way. The natural How of water should be managed and exploited for the benefit of humankind. Positive and negative impacts follow disputes and interventions, which quite often have significant short and long-term implications for local communities, cities and nations,
Conflicts over national and trails-boundary water resources have seriously affected the living conditions of millions of people as well as hampered regional economic development and population stability. Clearly the best way to prevent disputes is by addressing the problems before they escalate. There are, however, few successful examples of appropriate preventive interventions.
The objective of the programme is to bring young experts from areas of disputed waters together in practical co-operation by
• capacity building
• stakeholder participation
• sustainable development of water resources
Main Elements of the Programme
The programme will address two main elements
• water resources co-operative actions
• water resources conflict resolution related to international rivers management
The programme also address water resources sustainability, enhanced and streamlined wastewater policy and institutional capacity, technological innovations and improvements, and research and development.
The programme will have a strong south/south dimension through partners in three main regions of developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Main Subject Areas
• principles and trends in water resources management
• linkages between water resources management, poverty reduction and economic development
• sustainable development and resources economics
• dispute settlement tools and training in applied negotiations
• planning and real time decision support systems
• hydro politics around international rivers
• water related activities in river basin organisations (RBO’s) and multilateral organisations
• regional perspectives, Asia, Africa, Middle East
• water quality monitoring
• irrigation technology
• arid hydrology and arid land management (on the job training and background courses)
• basics of resource geography
• river basin management
• regulation of river flow
• institutional training
• public participation
Training Young Experts from Nile Basin River Countries
The pilot programme for training of young experts from the Nile, began in Cairo December, 2001, and will continue until late April, 2002, when 7 participants from four Nile countries (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda) will arrive in Norway.
After this first phase of training, their programme for Phase II will be with the Academy for a period of 6 months (theory in conflict resolution, environmental law and river management) followed by a 6 months on the job training with partner organisations and business partners of the Academy (Phase III).
According to plans, the final part of the training takes place in Amman/Jordan (Phase IV, March to June 2003). This part of the programme is funded by Norwegian authorities through the new Peace Corps arrangement.
Training of Ethiopian Officials for Participation in the Nile Basin Initiative
The Academy has been approached from the Minister for Water and Irrigation in Ethiopia requesting Academy help to train Ministry staff involved in the Nile Basin initiative. This course is still to be developed and funded.
Funding will be sought from different sources, and Academy members will be asked to participate in the training.
Training of Water Managers in Afghanistan
Major international efforts are under way to rebuild Afghanistan. One key operator among the agencies with long experience in Afghanistan is the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Action of Churches Together (ACT).
For almost two years, the Academy has had a strategic co-operation agreement with NCA/ACT on advisory service in the water sector. NCA has asked the Academy to support their rehabilitation programme for the water sector in Afghanistan. The Academy will organise training of trainers in water management and water conflict resolution. The UN has undertaken a preliminary assessment of training requirements in the water sector, and the Academy participated in a field mission to major towns and cities in February 2002 before designing the training programme.
Members will be asked to assist. Funding will be sought from Norwegian and United Nations sources.
Training of People Working in International River Basin Organisations
In August 2001, the Academy signed an agreement of collaboration with Office International de 1′Eau (OIE) in further development of the Academy’s training programme for the Nile River. OIE is the principal department of the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO). Together with OIE, the Academy will establish an international
water research centre, most probably located at the University of Washington, Seattle. A one-year modular based programme for education of conflict resolution connected to administration of water resources of international rivers will be developed with the purpose of making the programme one of the most comprehensive international training institutions within its field. Main administration of activities will take place at the Academy’s head office in Oslo.
During early 2002, the programme will also be connected to institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Financial aid from the EU has been requested. First training modular is expected to start autumn 2002.