ESF Strategic Workshop on the “Water & Trade”

Strategic Workshop on “Accounting for water scarcity and pollution in the rules of international trade”

The outcomes of this Strategic WorkshopAccounting for water scarcity and pollution in the rules of international trade' have now been published as special issue #54 in the UNESCO-IHE 'Value of Water Research Report Series', available online at: www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report54-Proceedings-ESF-Workshop-Water-Trade.pdf.

The special report contains 7 full papers based on some of the presentations that were held during the two-day Strategic Workshop: 

  1. The relationship between international trade and freshwater scarcity
  2. The role of those who produce food and ‘trade’ in embedded water: What are the impacts and who benefits?
  3. Failure of the virtual water argument
  4. International farm trade in Latin America: Does it favour sustainable water use globally?
  5. Constraints and opportunities in meeting the increasing use of water for energy production
  6. Alleviating water scarcity by optimizing "Green Virtual-Water": the case of Tunisia
  7. Water and the WTO: Don’t kill the messenger

This event was co-sponsored by the LEE (formerly LESC) and SOC (formerly SCSS) Standing Committees of the European Science Foundation and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was also supported by the University of Twente, the Water Footprint Network (WFN) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP).

Traditionally, water resources management has been dealt with from the local, regional or national perspective. However, it is increasingly recognized that water governance has a global dimension: The linkages between international trade and freshwater scarcity are rarely analysed, while international trade presently involves a significant part of products for which production is water-intensive, and virtual water flows are mainly subordinated to world trade rules.  It is therefore worthwhile further exploring the possibility of incorporating water sustainability considerations into international trade regulations. 

This Strategic Workshop will create an interdisciplinary discussion forum bringing together 25-30 leading water experts, international trade scientists and policy advisers and policy makers – coming from more than 15 countries – to share and integrate knowledge and expertise between the hitherto unconnected water management and international trade communities. It will make it possible for the participants to discuss issues of common concern, to initiate new lines of research and synergistic contacts throughout Europe and beyond, and to develop guidelines on how to incorporate virtual-water trade knowledge into international trade regulations, in order to increase global water-use efficiency and to achieve a sustainable water management at a global level. 

The outcomes of this Strategic Workshop will be published in a special issue in the UNESCO-IHE 'Value of Water Research Report Series' and as an ESF Science Policy Briefing

 

The "Water & Trade" Strategic Workshop will be held on 25-26 November 2010 at the NEMO Science Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Thursday 25 November 2010

08.30

Registration and welcome

09.00 – 09.10

Welcome speech by Michiel Buchel (NEMO Director)
Introduction by Arjen Hoekstra, University of Twente - Accounting for water scarcity and pollutionin the rules of international trade

09.10 – 10.30

How to incorporate a wise and fair virtual water trade into international trade rules (session 1)

15 minute presentations by each water expert followed by discussion

Chair: Patrick Messerlin, Sciences Po - Paris.

·       Tony Allan, SOAS and King's College London - The role of trade and those who trade in using, producing, ‘trading’ embedded water: what are the impacts and who benefits?

·       Peter Rogers, Harvard University - Failure of the Virtual Water Argument?

·       Alberto Garrido, Technical University of Madrid - International Farm Trade: Does it Favour Sustainable Water Use Globally?

·       Holger Hoff, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - Real water - virtual water: a process-based analysis of green and blue water scarcity, productivity, trade

10.30 – 11.00

Coffee break

 

·       Taikan Oki, University of Tokyo - How virtual water trade and water footprint can be beneficial, practical, and useful?

·       Jacob Granit, Stockholm International Water Institute - The different values of water

·       Junguo Liu, Beijing Forestry University - Virtual Water Trade Assessment: From global to local

·       Jamel Chahed, National Engineering School of Tunis - Controlling water scarcity by optimizing blue and green virtual water fluxes: the case of Tunisia

12.20 – 13.20

Lunch

13.20 – 14.20

How to incorporate a wise and fair virtual water trade into international trade rules (session 2)

15 minute presentations by each trade expert followed by discussion

Chair: Margaret Catley-Carlson, WEF Global Agenda Council on Water

·       Daniel Zimmer, World Water Council - .

·       Caroline Sullivan, Southern Cross University - Wicked Problems of Water and Trade

·       Hong Yang, Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology - Virtual water flows associated with food trade and implications for efficient utilization of global and regional water resources

14.20 – 14.50

Coffee break

14.50 – 15.50

·       Joppe Cramwinckel, World Business Council for Sustainable Development - Water Vision for Business

·       Mohamed Ait Kadi, Global Water Partnership - Water-Agriculture-International Trade Nexus

15.50 – 16.00

Introduction by Bernard Avril, European Science Foundation

16.00 – 17.30

Break into 2 breakout groups (session 3)

Objective: discuss the challenges and opportunities on incorporating virtual water trade into trade rules. Each group will discuss separately about the remaining scientific challenges and the related policy formulation and implementation.

Chairs: Aslihan Kerç, ESF-LEE (formerly LESC) member & Pieter Hooimeijer, ESF-SOC (formerly SCSS) member

Rapporteurs: Bernard Avril, European Science Foundation & Ines Dombrowsky, German Development Institute

17.30 – 18:00

Plenary session, with short debriefing from both breakout groups

draft Report 1 (to be uploaded later)
draft Report 2 (to be uploaded later)

Friday 26 November 2010

09.00 – 09.10

Introduction by Maite Aldaya, University of Twente and UNEP

09.10 – 10.10

Elaboration of recommendations for research and guidelines for policy-makers on enhanced international virtual water trade – Global context (session 4)

Chair: Caroline Sullivan, Southern Cross University

·       Alexandre Le Vernoy & Patrick Messerlin, Sciences Po. Paris - Water and the WTO: Don’t kill the messenger

·       Vesile Kulacoglu, WTO Trade and Environment Division - .

·       Margaret Catley-Carlson, WEF Global Agenda Council on Water - Ten Random Thoughts: Might The World be able toFind ways to talk about Water and Trade?

10.10 – 10.40

Coffee break

10.40 – 12.30

·       Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development - How might international trade agreements support acting on water scarcity and pollution?

·       Tim Swanson, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute, Geneva - Water, Trade and MEAs

·       Gerard Payen, International Federation of Private Water Operators (AquaFed) - Changing international trade rules to solve local water challenges?

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch

13.30 – 15.30

Elaboration of recommendations for research and guidelines for policy-makers on enhanced international virtual water trade – European context (session 5)

Chair: Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

·       Peter Gammeltolft, Protection of Water and Marine Environment Unit, EC Directorate General for the Environment - A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources

·       Beate Werner, Water Group, European Environmental Agency - Water Footprints and water accounts – A European Perspective

·       Andrea Tilche, Unit Environmental Technologies and Pollution Prevention, EC Directorate General for Research - Recommendations for research strategies and suggestions for use to policy makers

·       Sergey Moroz, WWF European Policy Office - Shared risks and virtual water trade

15.30 – 16.00

Coffee break

16.00 – 18.00

Plenary session: Synthesis and Future Plans

chair: Arjen Hoekstra, University of Twente

rapporteur: Bernard Avril, European Science Foundation

Presentation of the draft conclusions (to be uploaded later)

Discussion and agreement on the main strategic conclusions

Next steps, list of Actions - summary related to ESF Science Policy Briefing

Organisers:

  • Arjen Hoekstra, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Maite Aldaya, University of Twente and UNEP, France

 ESF Standing Committees' Representatives:

  • Aslihan Kerç (LEE (formerly LESC)), Turkey
  • Pieter Hooimeijer (SOC (formerly SCSS)), the Netherlands

ESF Contact Person:

  • Bernard Avril, Science Officer, European Science Foundation, France

 

 

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last updated: 28 November 2010