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Launch of the Bonn Water Network

Connecting competences for sustainable water futures

The new initiative will allow for strengthening the visibility of the network’s multi-disciplinary expertise and international partnerships. It aims at facilitating better exchange of perspectives on global water problems and fostering joint endeavors in identifying and advocating technical and institutional solutions. The Bonn Water Network will benefit from and reinforce Bonn’s status as a center for international cooperation, sustainable development, and innovation. 

The network consists of seven renowned institutions with longstanding experience on water and related issues: the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC); Bonn University with its Institute of Geography (GIUB) holding the UNESCO Chair in Human Water Systems, and the Center for Development Research (ZEF); the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE); the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and two UN institutions, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The network members deal with water and related problems worldwide and, together with partners in science and practice, contribute to finding sustainable and socially appropriate solutions. Investigating how cross-border cooperation in Africa can help to make better use of water for energy and agriculture, supporting policy makers and stakeholders at all levels globally on drought risk mitigation, or simulating how and where climate change is affecting water resources in Nepal and India are exemplary contributions. These also include developing solutions for resolving conflicts over water and to promote sustainable water management in Jordan, Morocco and Mongolia, as well as finding climate-sensitive adaptation strategies to reduce flood risks in Togo and Benin.

A virtual launch event was attended by Dr. Annabelle Houdret, DIE, spokesperson of the network, Stefan Wagner, head of the Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability of the City of Bonn, by Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner, Scientific Director of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research / Innovation Campus Bonn (ICB) and by representatives of all member organizations. The event was facilitated by Dr. Luna Bharati, IWMI and ZEF, co-spokesperson of the network, and included a panel discussion and public debate on the topic. Moreover, the Bonn Water Network member institutions presented short videos on their work and exemplary contributions.

Bonn Water Network will launch its own website in 2021; more information on events and publications of the network is available here: