Sponsored by: Center for Russian and East European Studies
Speaker: Erika Weinthal, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
This talk examines the changing landscape of water cooperation and conflict in Central Asia over the course of two decades. Water has for centuries been the main focal point for Central Asian peoples, linking them physically, economically, and culturally. The introduction of new political borders as a result of the Soviet Union’s dissolution has transformed a large number of Soviet Central Asia’s domestic rivers into international rivers (e.g., Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Chu, Talas, and Zarafshon), and has accordingly turned water into a source of potential interstate conflict. The speaker will elucidate why early attempts at water cooperation have achieved limited success and provide insights into the underlying constraints that have precluded effective and sustained cooperation in Central Asia. This talk will also examine the impact of increased water demand in Afghanistan as well as climate change on water management within Central Asia and the broader regional context.