Conflict Basins: Powderkegs to Peacepipes

Chapter

Conflict Basins: Powderkegs to Peacepipes

Many of the world’s most critical transboundary waterways are facing unprecedented economic and environmental pressures. The combined impacts of population growth, climate change, and wasteful or ineffective water management are particularly concerning in several geopolitically important areas in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, which are likely to emerge as critical nodes of regional and global security in the coming years. But as heightened competition for shared water resources raises the potential for conflict between and within countries, it is also increasing opportunities for cooperative hydro-diplomacy efforts. A thorough understanding of how the confluence of environmental and human pressures shapes the security and livelihoods of populations within these basins is key to improving cross-border collaboration and mitigating regional tensions. Conflict basin management has often involved formal efforts by governments, but newer, more informal strategies that include non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector are also helping to bolster security and cooperation in some of the most complex regions of the world.

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