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Session Introduction

“Water cooperation” refers to the peaceful management and use of freshwater resources at local, national, regional, and international levels among various players and sectors. The concept of water cooperation entails working together towards a common goal, in a way that is mutually beneficial. Promoting water cooperation is a long-term and resource-intensive process. Partnerships and funds need to be mobilized for long-term processes, such as establishing collaborative structures and institutions, building capacity, trust, and consensus.

The concerted efforts must be made to promote water cooperation at river basin and local scales, including trans-boundary river basins, irrigation districts, and cities. Cooperation is necessary to deal with major issues such as water allocation decisions, upstream and down- stream impacts of water pollution and water abstraction, construction and management of new infrastructures, dealing with illegal abstractions and overexploitation of surface and groundwater, deciding on the financing of water management, and improving water-related disaster management. The role of negotiation, mediation, and other dispute resolution mechanisms are key to improving cooperation processes.

Considering different stakeholders’ engagement and multi-level perspective for water cooperation, the purpose of the priority "Cooperation" in the process of the 9th World Water Forum is to seek a better understanding and measure the impacts of interactions between different actors, either with different interests or with common objectives. In addition to conflict prevention, the theme includes the promotion of positive cooperation. It should also confirm the potential of past cooperative work to address various local and global water-related challenges. It is indeed also important in the priority of “cooperation” to consider the significance of inter-sectoral and inter-actors impact as essential factors in promoting cooperation, as it has been demonstrated in the past cooperative actions for sustainable development or the achievement of SDGs.

In addition to sectoral cooperation, it is widely recognized that all actions undertaken, combining technical or technological solutions with political decisions, are the best solutions to water-related problems. Thus, providing potential for cooperation through platforms to discuss or exchange on both technologies and policies is one of the most important ways to make implementation more sustainable.

To this end, understanding that cooperation is not merely the opposite of conflict, but the beginning of the development of effective policy, meaningful collaboration to achieve equitable outcomes is important. It also requires an interdisciplinary approach, combining bio-physical and geo-political aspects with engineering and decision-making as well as other relevant disciplines. It also requires working at different scales, with local, regional, or international actors.

Finally, the process of promoting “cooperation” will be expected to have meaningful and influential outcomes to deliver both to water and non-water actors.

Session Schedule

Time Contents Speaker/Participants
09:00 – 09:05 Opening Dr. Jung-moo Lee,
President (Korea Water Forum)
09:05-09:10 Water Cooperation in the Process of the 9th World Water Forum Mr. Fawzi Bedredine, OMVS
09:10-09:25 Water Cooperation and Policy Impact in Asia : Case on the Mekong River Prof. Seungho Lee, Korea University
09:25-09:40 Concerted efforts for Water Cooperation in Asia : Benefits and Hurdles Mr. Fany Wedahuditama, Regional Coordinator of GWP Southeast Asia
09:40- 09:55 Good Governance and Capacity Building for Water Cooperation in Asia Pacific Region Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director, Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Science in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO
09:55-10:25 Discussion:
What is water cooperation and what has to be done for sustainable cooperation
Interaction with remote-participants
(using on-line tool)
Mr. Eric Tardieu, INBO (Moderator)
  • Prof. Seunghyun Kim, Kyungnam University
  • Dr. Fawzi Bedredine, OMVS
  • Prof. Seungho Lee, Korea University
  • Mr. Fany Wedahuditama, Regional Coordinator of GWP Southeast Asia
  • Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director, Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Science in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO
10:25-10:30 Encouragement and Closing TBD