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 in the past have not gone to war over water. Water is so essential and sacred to human life that these disputes have been settled amicably before war breaks out. But meta-droughts and global warming is changing history.
Ten years ago, The Center for Emergent Diplomacy was invited to deliver deep dialogue training at the Arava Institute, the premier environmental organization in Israel. The methodology was seen as useful in Track Two (back-channel) negotiations involving growing conflict over dwindling water resources. The Arava team will use the training to assist ongoing Transborder negotiations that are attempting to reframe 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.