On 28 October, the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water (PADUCO) organized its second conference in the Netherlands. The event in The Hague welcomed academics and practitioners to exchange experiences and research on water related issues affecting Palestine. The conference took place against the backdrop of the Dutch-Palestinian Bilateral Cooperation Forum. Prime Minister Rutte and Prime Minister Hamdallah addressed the forum on 29 October which aims to deepen and broaden the relations between the two countries.
Water was recognized as the “greatest common denominator” issue and established as a core theme of PADUCO after a delegation of universities from the Netherlands and Palestine met in March 2012. Through broader Dutch-Palestinian relations, PADUCO aims to strengthen the Palestinian water and education sectors by means of collaborative activities in three clusters: Research, education and training.
The conference highlighted contributions from the research track and included more than 70 papers addressing empirical and policy-related issues. Topics covered included water management and governance, sanitation, agricultural production and capacity improvement in Palestine’s water sector. The next step will be to improve curriculum at university level and apply findings from research into practice.
In partnership with the University of Twente, Wageningen University and Al Quds University in Jerusalem, The Hague Institute for Global Justice is contributing its water governance expertise to PADUCO. Dr. Patrick Huntjens, Head of Water Diplomacy within the Institute’s Conflict Prevention Program, is supervising the joint research project, Rethinking the Water Governance Systems to Cope with Water Scarcity. Overall, PADUCO will contribute to the effectiveness of the Palestinian water sector, especially the development, provision and management of water resources and services.
“Study after study makes clear that water, food, and energy challenges are among the most significant contributors to violent domestic and international conflict in the world today. Access to clean and sufficient water is critical, not only for human health, the environment, and economic development, but also for establishing stability and sustaining peace. Therefore, the water sector, the food and agricultural sector, the energy sector and the ICT sector are the key economic pillars of Dutch-Palestinian collaboration.” – Dr. Patrick Huntjens, The Hague Institute