REFRAMING CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST
In 1995, World Bank Vice President Ismail Serageldin, in a prescient moment, claimed that "the wars of the next century will be about water." Climate change and growing populations are already affecting the world’s shared freshwater resources. Now that climate catastrophe is upon us, how true is Serageldin’s prophecy? History tells us that nations do not go to war over water. Water is so essential and sacred to human life that these disputes are usually settled amicably before war breaks out. When countries come together to collaborate on the sharing of water resources, water becomes a negotiating tool, building trust that helps mitigate conflicts spiraling over political issues. The Center for Emergent Diplomacy was invited to deliver training at the Arava Institute, the premier environmental organization in Israel, in the use of Complexity Science methodology for Track Two (back-channel) negotiations. The Arava team will use the training to assist ongoing Transborder negotiations that have reframed the failed “Road Map” for Middle East peace between Israel and Palestine. The negotiations also include Jordan, one of the world’s most water scarce countries also housing over one million Syrian refugees.