Side Events

Sharing Water in Fragile Contexts: Lessons from…

Sharing Water in Fragile Contexts: Lessons from the Sahel (UN 2023 Water Conference Side Event)
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In the Sahel region, despite a lasting security crisis, institutions led the way to reinforce social cohesion, using water as a driver for peace and cooperation.

Water is a vital resource that can both foster cooperation and trigger tensions and conflicts. In water-stressed settings, access to water is key to enable productive activities and land uses. Despite the security crisis in the Sahel, some institutions led the way to reinforce cohesion using water cooperation, at interstate, intersectoral or intercommunal levels. The Senegal River Basin Development Organization is recognized globally as a model that implements the principle of shared benefit in a way that both addresses critical infrastructure gaps and promotes peace and diplomacy among the four riparian states. Similarly, the Niger High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace pioneered an approach to seal local peace agreements among rival communities by incentivizing water cooperation in fragile zones.

The main objective of the event is to promote bottom-up approaches and encourage incentives for water cooperation in vulnerable areas. This is essential for fostering lasting peace and sustainable development.