Submitted by guest blogger on Wed,11/07/2012

By Claire Warmenbol, IUCN Global Water Programme Communications Officer.
What is hydro-diplomacy? I was able to find the answer to that question last week when I interviewed leading water experts, scientists and politicians at the IUCN Hydro-diplomacy conference in Chiangrai, Thailand. I asked the question many times and received as many different answers. Clearly, it is a vast and complex topic.

For the purpose of producing a short conference video, I switched from programme communicator into video journalist to capture the insights of the bright minds present at the conference which gathered over 140 participants from all over the world.

I felt quite privileged to listen first-hand to what Ghandi’s grandson, H.E. Ambassador Gopalkrishna Ghandi, had to say about the current and future state of water resources; to how the CEO of the Mekong River Commission, Hans Guttman, thought about sharing water to meet the needs of growing demands for food and energy in the Mekong region; where Dr. Khaled AbuZeid, Director of the Arab Water Council, saw solutions for his water-scarce region; or which key elements Ian Makin from the Asia Development Bank identified as crucial for hydro-diplomacy. All shared their own interpretations, but also their hopes and visions for a safer water future.

From plush conference lobby to the rugged banks of the mighty Mekong, at the point where it crosses Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, the interview locations varied greatly. In short, appropriate places for hydro-diplomacy as a topic that spans from the highest political echelons to the widest stretches of borderless ecosystems.
And yet, to those who know

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