Spotlight: Oceans, Climate Change and Water

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. on 15 and 16 September. The conference aims to address key ocean-related issues facing our planet: marine pollution, sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas and climate-related impact on the oceans.

The work of The Hague Institute on the governance of oceans, climate change and sustainable water use complements the agenda of this important conference. In March 2016, the Institute organized a high-level conference on oceans governance, convening a group of  practitioners, experts and scientists from diverse backgrounds to develop innovative solutions to the challenges our oceans face.

This Spotlight page highlights the publications, events and commentaries the Institute has produced on oceans governance, climate change and water diplomacy.



  • global commission reportConfronting the Crisis of Global Governance, Report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance | 16 June 2015
    Humanity today faces a growing range of global problems that require urgent attention. The independent Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance published a report that provides targeted reforms that transcend national borders, and reach out to diverse stakeholders, including business groups, mayors, civil society, and local communities and cities.
  • Climate Justice: Equitable and Inclusive Governance of Climate Action | 13 April 2016
    This paper explores potential pathways for reform to make multi-level climate governance more fit for purpose.
  • Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier for Human Disaster and Conflict | 15 May 2016
    In this paper, the authors address two broad categories of security: states security (national and international) and human security.
  • Adaptive Delta Governance: Learning from Dynamic Deltas | 1 May 2015
    This policy brief reflects on key lessons learned and the way forward in three deltas: the RhineMeuse Delta in the Netherlands, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta in the United States.



  • Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance
    The Hague Institute and the Stimson Center conceptualized a project built around a Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance to understand and address common global threats and challenges that require collaborative action at various levels.
  • Global Governance Reform Initiative
    The Global Governance Reform Initiative (GGRI), a collaboration between The Hague Institute for Global Justice, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi), seeks to analyze the deficiencies of the current international system and proposes policies for improving global governance in select domains: cyber, oceans and migration.
  • Climate Governance and Green Technology
    This project aims at addressing issues pertaining to global climate governance, including the review of the UNFCCC process and related multi-stakeholder processes, that are relevant for the broader context of climate justice. The relationship between climate justice and innovative technology is also a focus of the research under this project.
  • Governance of Climate Adaptation in Small Island Developing States
    The aim of this project is to contribute to sustainable economic development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) through developing effective governance arrangements in a participatory process. The central tenet is to build adaptive capacity at multiple levels and to ensure social justice and human security in local climate action.
  • Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative
    Bangladesh and India have some of the most intricate and complex river systems in the world. Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative is a multi-stakeholder dialogue process which aims to promote better understanding and efficient management of natural resources in Bangladesh and India.
  • Framework for Political Economy Analysis of Transboundary Basins in Africa
    This project is part of the World Bank managed Multi-Donor Trust Fund Cooperation in International Waters (CIWA), with 50 million USD for direct beneficiaries of projects influenced by CIWA and 10 billion USD investment financing for implementation of projects influenced by CIWA
  • Integrated Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin
    Building on the framework of three important elements — access, security and sustainability — this Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin seeks to integrate the disparate water management plans of Jordan, Israel and Palestine in an effort to produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river.
  • Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water (PADUCO)
    Water scarcity is a major problem in the West Bank and, even more so, in the Gaza strip. The water resources are under increasing stress due to a combination of factors, such as increasing demand, economic development, population growth, climate change, and water pollution from untreated waste water. The water sector should therefore be well adapted to the challenges ahead.
  • Water Conflicts in Yemen
    Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region and is faced with political instability. An acute water crisis looms over the country, as Yemenis are amongst those populations with the lowest water availability per capita in the world. Despite research and aid work in Yemen in recent years, significant knowledge gaps remain, especially concerning the use of national and local rules and procedures for solving water-related conflicts. This project aims to better understand the political economy of Yemeni water management as a precondition for effective conflict prevention and resolution.
  • Water Diplomacy Consortium
    Water management and the fair distribution of water is an issue of growing importance on the international agenda. Building on the internationally renowned Dutch expertise in water technology, water governance, conflict resolution, and legal systems, The Hague Institute for Global Justice has joined forces with the Netherlands Institute for International Relations “Clingendael,” Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, and UPEACE Center The Hague to form a Water Diplomacy Consortium (WDC). The consortium aspires to become a knowledge hub for water diplomacy, governance and law, and to contribute to conflict prevention and conflict resolution in relation to water management across and within national borders.
  • Water Diplomacy: Making Water Cooperation Work
    The aim of this  project is to identify and operationalize the key factors that contribute to the transformation of water conflicts into cooperation over water.

Further Reading

Active: Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC)

Developments in globalization and industrialization continuously push governments, international organizations, and NGOs to reexamine the opportunities available to people at all levels of society…


Active: Global Governance Reform Initiative

The Global Governance Reform Initiative (GGRI), a collaboration between  The Hague Institute for Global Justice, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Observer Research Foundation…


Active: Water Diplomacy Consortium

Water management and the fair distribution of water is an issue of growing importance on the international agenda. Building on the internationally renowned Dutch…