“It was a very successful two-week International Water Law programme. The first week consisted of lecture series, which had some 50+ delegates; the second week was the interactive assessment week, which included many GWP participants and went down well,” says Dr Patricia Wouters.
Wouters is Professor of International Water Law at the Dundee UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, and she is also a member of GWP’s Technical Committee. For the past three years GWP and the University of Dundee have jointly been offering scholarships for 30 participants to learn more about International Water Law. The arrangement is part of GWP’s efforts to share knowledge and build capacity.
This year’s workshop on International Law and Transboundary Freshwaters gave persons who work in water resources an opportunity to acquire specialist knowledge of international water law, especially relating to transboundary water challenges in the GWP regions. The primary scholarship target was mid- to high level practitioners and professionals from governments, NGOs, international organisations, academia, and the private sector.
The feedback after the workshop has been very positive among the GWP participants.
“I am a PhD research student at the University of the Western Cape and the training was very relevant to my research topic that deals with interstate politics and transboundary water management in the Zambezi Basin. It certainly helped to look at some of what is happening in the basin in a new light and I believe I am better armed now to understand transboundary water management more holistically,” says Joanna Fatch from Malawi.
Fatch says that the workshop put a lot of things into perspective: she previously took a more or less sweeping view of treaties, but now she can argue that she understands better.
Another participant, Le Thi Huong, is Deputy Head of Division of the Vietnam National Mekong Committee (VNMC). This is an inter-sectorial organisation which is responsible for assisting the Vietnamese Prime Minister in directing and managing all government cooperation activities with the Mekong River Commission (MRC).
“I am involved in negotiation and development the Rules for Water Utilization in MRC and Vietnamese Law on Water Resources, so the participation in the IWL training organised by GWP and the University of Dundee is very useful for my career path and my organisation. I am sure I will contribute my knowledge on international water law to the MRC and also on national level. All knowledge gained at the IWL training will help me to become a national expert on international water law in the future”, says Le Thi Huong.