Training for Uzbekistani Stakeholders on Water Law and Diplomacy, July 2015, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Youth training Governance and Diplomacy, Almaty 2015

Day 1 was crafted to begin with formal welcome address from sponsors and co-sponsors, and with a local expert laying the national setting for legal and policy approaches to water governance. Aaron Wolf then transitioned the group from formal presentations to interactive exercises with an overview of the global issue of transboundary waters.

Days 2-4 were designed to provide both educational and experiential opportunities for participants. Each day was divided into two, with one expert taking the lead in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Day 2 began with Gabriel Eckstein, who worked with the group on general principles of international water law, including exercises on developing international law for water governance. Aaron Wolf took over in the afternoon with exercises highlighting approaches to conflict at multiple scales, starting from the interpersonal and moving all the way to the international.

Day 3 began with Stefano Burchi expounding on how international water obligations implicate national legislative responses for implementing the obligations. Examples were brought from around the world. In the afternoon, Zaki Shubber worked with the group on key principles and mechanisms of national water law, including institutions and regulations.

Day 4 was dedicated to a role play on a hypothetical basin designed with characteristics that resemble the local and regional setting. Participants spent the morning learning about the role of treaties in managing transboundary waters, after which they acted as “national commissions” whose task was to develop negotiating strategies for their respective, fictitious countries. Aaron Wolf took them through this first portion and thereafter led the first part of formal “negotiations” among the countries. As part of the exercise, negotiation approaches and skills were imparted to the participants.

Gabriel Eckstein then followed up with second round of “negotiations” over a recently discovered aquifer. His exercises brought the participants full circle to their use of international law and obligations to help guide negotiations.