Green Prophet’s Karin meeting Jordan’s prince in 2010 in Switzerland.
Way back in 2010 a group of high profile water researchers and dignitaries from the Middle East met in Switzerland to find ways of making liquid peace. Diplomacy works through slow channels, but a new group of ministers and VIPs from around the region have agreed on long-term water cooperation. Chaired by Jordan’s Prince Hassan bin Talal the group hopes to transform water into an instrument of cooperation between nations with their own internal problems, problems which could worsen with more water shortages. The countries are Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
The group was launched in Amman on April 1o this year and includes Yasar Yakis, the former Foreign Minister of Turkey, and Mohammad Chatah, the former Finance Minister of Lebanon. Others from Iraq and Syria will represent in due course.
The group is supported by the Government of Switzerland, in cooperation with the Strategic Foresight Group, a think tank based in Mumbai.
According to the Strategic Foresight Group, The High Level Group (that’s the name!) was formed on the basis of the Blue Peace report (2011), published by them not long after the Swiss meeting back in 2010. The Group analyses dangers arising from depletion of water resources and the report has suggested that a special mechanism be formed for sustainable management of water resources between five countries: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
Recommended is exchange and calibration of hydrometric data, development and dissemination of new technologies, among other measures.