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Transboundary Water Resources

This year the thematic focus of our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP) is on Transboundary Water Resources with a cohort of water visionaries.

Water is among the most shared resources in the world today. It is a finite resource which is becoming scarce due to the pressure of growing population, inter-sectoral competition for water, climate change and deteriorating quality.It is a very serious concern as water scarcity will jeopardize food and energy security, increase poverty and unemployment and create many negative socio-economic effects. The growing scarcity of the resource is changing the nature of discussion from managing a shared resource to conflict management amongst the water users eclipsing the much needed cooperation in the face of growing challenges.Transboundary conflicts arise when the upper and lower riparians have conflicting claims about their share of water, accusations about degradation of water quality, violations of agreed arrangements to share water and water related disasters. The “boundaries” across which the conflicts arise can be international, inter-provincial, inter-divisions and so on down the administrative hierarchy upto a “chaK’ , the smallest agriculture unit comprising a number of users. Similarly, hydrological inter-basin boundaries can also be reckoned. Leadership is needed to transform these Transboundary conflicts to Transboundary Cooperation which requires understanding of the water issues, a vision for changing the zero sum game of “my water” and “your water” to the positive sum game of maximizing the benefits of waters through cooperation, trust and understanding for the people whose lives are connected with the water.

Despite the vital importance of water resources for Pakistan, there is limited knowledge, understanding and capacity in key institutions to effectively manage transboundary water resources and to promote cooperation. This often translates into policies devoid of on-ground realities, research and evidence. LEAD Pakistan aims to contribute in bridging this knowledge, research and capacity gap through conducting our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP) in the field of transboundary water resources. With this spirit and rationale LEAD will conduct its LDP under the title and theme of “Water Cooperation through Leadership and Institutional Development”.