water diplomacy

August 27, 2012

Scientific and technical knowledge is important in water negotiations, but not in the ways it has often been used. It is counterproductive to use scientific information to justify arbitrary (political) decisions...There is a difference between knowledge of water as an innate object and knowledge of water as a multifaceted resource.

"Egypt, the gift of the Nile” is a phrase coined by the Greek historian Herodotus 3,000 years ago in his book about Egypt. His description continues to be true today, as Egypt is the only place in the world where a river cuts across a thousand miles of desert, creating a civilization along with it.

August 16, 2012

Reciprocity is the first principle of diplomacy, and India has walked the extra mile to befriend neighbours, as underscored by its record on land and water disputes. Yet today, India lives in the world’s most-troubled neighbourhood. India’s generosity on land issues has been well documented.

The ongoing drought in the Midwest has affected approximately 80 percent of the U.S. corn crop and more than 11 percent of the soybean crop, triggering a rise in global food prices (RFE/RL) that CFR's Isobel Coleman says may fuel political instability in developing countries. The United States produces approximately 35 percent of the world's corn and soybean supply, commodities that are "crucial in the food chain, because they are used for feed stock for animals," Coleman says.